A simple salad dressing you can whip up at home that is sweet and tart. A perfect salad dressing on the run that will pair up with a bunch of salad creations.
What is Emulsification?
Emulsification is the process by which two liquids that don’t normally mix are combined in suspension. By suspension, the two liquids, such as oil and water, can never truly dissolve in each other to form one homogenous combination.
However, if you shake the 2 liquids together hard enough or use a whisk vigorously, the oil can be broken down into tiny droplets and is then suspended in water (which is known as the continuous solution as it can’t be broken down)
This suspension, however, is not stable, and it won’t take long before it separates again.
Why Do We Care About Emulsification in Salads?
The primary basis of all vinaigrettes is the emulsification of oil and vinegar.
Understanding that the two liquids won’t stay together for long as they eventually repel each other means that you know to use it immediately on your salads before the oil starts to float back up to the top and you get an uneven dressing.
You can certainly prepare it in advance, but you will still need to mix it just before use.
What Is an Emulsifier?
Emulsifiers are the agent by which it allows oil and water to mix. It can be a natural substance or a chemically produced substance. Its chemical breakdown shows that it contains a water-loving hydrophilic head and an oil-loving hydrophobic tail, hence making them stick together.
The most common natural emulsifier is lecithin which is found in egg yolks. That is how mayonnaise is a stable emulsification. The lecithin has to suspend the oil well with the lemon juice, which gives it a more permanent emulsification.
Pertinent to this salad dressing, we use mustard as the emulsifier. Mustard contains a complex component that helps with the process of the oil working in harmony with the vinegar. It is not by any means a long-standing union but certainly much longer than just oil and water.
Olive oil: Always use good olive oil or extra virgin olive oil for your salad dressings. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes as you don’t want it to overpower the flavours.
Maple syrup: It is important to get a good quality maple syrup that is not filled with corn starch or plain sugar. Maple syrup is not to be confused with golden syrup, which adds no flavour.
Dijon mustard: If you’re able to, grab yourself some Grey Poupon Dijon mustard. The first batch of mustard was made back in the 1860s in Dijon, France and was instantly a winning formula.
The Maille brand is also great and a much easier Dijon mustard to find.
In a small mixing bowl, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard.
Whisk until well combined.
Best Salad for This Dressing
Let’s bring Hasselback potatoes back into vogue by making a salad of roasted potatoes with a difference. Crispy on the outside and fluffy and creamy on the inside. Served with a sweet mustard vinaigrette, what more could you ask for?
Sweet Mustard Vinaigrette
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- In a small mixing bowl, add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard.
- Whisk until well combined.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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