Paul’s Honey Mustard Balsamic Salad Dressing

2 TBSP brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp molasses
8 tsp honey mustard
1 C olive oil
4 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP wine vinegar
½C water

My interest in vinaigrette was aroused by Bradley Lechman-Su’s mixture of 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar and ¼C olive oil that he prescribes for his chop salad. Such a mixture is rather Zen in its wholesome simplicity and I think it performs well supporting rather than upstaging fine quality salad ingredients. I decided I needed something with more pizzazz for work-a-day salads. I made a mustard variation that I loved and then – can you believe it — I couldn’t reproduce it. I played with variations for months. I came close to what I had, but I wasn’t satisfied. I asked Horatio and Jessie Diamond to taste my latest generation and each of them recommended a touch of wine vinegar. I added that and – wow! It was finished.

I always use real brown sugar rather than the stuff with molasses added back into it. They have iodized sea salt now. The brand of garlic paste makes a big difference. Fresh crushed fresh rose clove garlic would be optimal. My favorite preserved stuff is Gourmet Garden and second favorite is Christopher Ranch. I am still working on a jar of black strap molasses I bought years ago from a co-op. Good luck finding its equal. I only use Beaver Foods honey mustard. There is a huge difference between brands of honey mustard. Beaver Foods brand is the hottest I have sampled. If you care about your heart, you will use only virgin cold pressed olive oil. If you you care about the flavor of the oil, you could make a life time study of oils from Italy alone. I have to admit I have never bucked up the money to use high quality balsamic vinegar. I have never seen anything other than generic wine vinegar offered in the stores where I shop. You could spend another lifetime researching different balsamic vinegars. If you care about the Earth, please stop using bottled water. If you don’t like the way your tap water tastes, try a filter. How about one of those low tech sand filters? If that doesn’t work, you could treat it with bleach. The taste of bleach should dissipate if you let it sit overnight in an open container.

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