You're gonna want to sop this balsamic vinaigrette up with the biggest lettuce, spinach, or kale leaf in your salad bowl. The secret ingredient to the best balsamic dressing you've ever had is the toasted pecans. This amazingly delicious dressing is vegan, oil-free, gluten-free, and soy-free.
Not only is this sauce amazing on salads, but it's also excellent on Buddha bowls and for dipping veggies.
The Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar give this sauce nice tangy, umami notes, while the dates give it a sweet flavor. The pecans provide this fantastic dressing with a subtle nutty taste and beautifully rich body. Since this is an oil-free salad dressing, and uses water instead, the calorie density isn't as bad as the customary balsamic vinaigrettes. Also, store-bought doesn't hold a candle to this deliciousness because you're making it from scratch.
What you need to make this salad dressing
- Pecans, raw and unsalted
- Simple Homemade Date Syrup
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dijon mustard
How to prepare
Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Add raw unsalted pecans to the dry skillet and warm for 1 to 2 minutes, carefully shaking the nuts around a few times, so they don't burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
Carefully add warmed pecans to the mini blender with the other ingredients and let sit for 5 minutes. This allows the pecans to cool to room temperature and soften in the liquid.
After sitting, blend until smooth and creamy. The dressing will be a little warm, adding to the yumminess.
Also, this oil-free salad dressing will thicken as it sits. So if you want a thinner consistency, add a little water and mix well to combine.
Store any extra dressing in an airtight container—such as an 8 or 12 ounce mason jar—in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Generally speaking, balsamic vinaigrette dressing tends to be a healthier choice than cream-based dressings because it has less saturated fat than dairy-based options. However, most balsamic vinaigrettes have a lot of oil, which is a processed food item. This recipe, however, is oil-free and uses whole pecans as its source of unprocessed and healthy fat.
Yes. In short, balsamic vinegar is a key ingredient in balsamic vinaigrette along with other seasonings and a source of plant-fat, like toasted pecans.
The word ‘balsamic’ comes from the Latin word balsamum for balm-like, meaning ‘healing’ or ‘restorative.’ Balsamic vinegar is made from grapes, and there are two main classifications: (1) Traditional balsamic vinegar that has been aged for 12 or more years. (2) Commercially prepared that’s less expensive but mimics traditional balsamic vinegar.
Traditional balsamic vinegar is the “OG” of vinegars. It’s produced from just white grapes (e.g., Trebbiano) that have been boiled down, then fermented with a slow aging process that results in concentrated and intensified flavors. This happens because the vinegar is stored in wooden containers for at least 12 years, though some traditional balsamic vinegars will be aged for 25 years. Traditional balsamic vinegars will come from the Modena or Reggio Emilia regions of Northern Italy.
Commercially prepared balsamic vinegar is also referred to as Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, and readily available in grocery stores and restaurants. This type is less expensive. Some commercially prepared balsamic vinegars have been aged for a few months or up to about three years.
This recipe makes a great dipping sauce for a raw veggie plate, or as a drizzle over Veggie Pizza for One. But my favorite way to enjoy this delicious vinaigrette is on a good salad, like the Elegant Beet Arugula Salad, Easy Rainbow Salad, and Curry Quinoa Chickpea Salad. You'll love it!
We hope you love this oil-free, toasted pecan balsamic vinaigrette recipe as much as we do. Please rate and leave a comment below. Be sure to share a picture on Instagram and tag us @danielsplaterecipes so we can see your creation!Print
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