Hibiscus Maple Vinaigrette

Hibiscus Maple Vinaigrette

My family and I have had our share of delicious, although sometimes interesting, salads. That's because a salad is often my go-to kitchen sink, "we need to use this or it will go bad" meal. So I always make sure to keep a large tub of greens to serve as a base for these concoctions in my fridge. I often make a quick protein-packed salad for lunch on the weekdays, and I also like throwing together dinner salads with either chicken, shrimp or salmon for a healthy weeknight meal. (Usually it's following a gluttonous night like the delicious, but calorie-packed dinner we enjoyed on Valentine's Day).

Hibiscus Maple Vinaigrette

A salad is just a salad, but I believe it's a great salad dressing that can make it truly special and delicious. I was recently introduced to RUNAMOK barrel-aged, smoked and infused maple syrups and couldn't wait to try it out since (1) I really love finding unique New England businesses and (2) They were named as one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2016!  Even though I wanted to try all of them, I opted for the Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup first. After tasting it, on top of me just wanting to chug it Buddy the Elf-style, a slew of ways I could incorporate it into recipes and cocktails flew into my head. And the first thing I did was use it to make a vinaigrette. 

Hibiscus Maple Vinaigrette

I poured my Hibiscus Maple Vinaigrette over an easy-to-make salad composed of sweet baby lettuces, roasted chicken, toasted pistachios, dried cherries and blue cheese. Sadly I had to leave the blue-cheese out of my portion after tasting it since my diet is dairy-free, but Brian complimented me on how the dressing paired really well with the blue cheese and tart cherries. He didn't even complain about having a salad for dinner (and that's a pretty huge win :)  ).

Hibiscus Maple Vinaigrette

Hibiscus Maple Vinaigrette

I can't wait to get my hands on some more RUNAMOK flavors! Some of the others include cinnamon + vanilla, elderberry, pecan wood smoked and barrel-aged maple syrups. Seriously how can maple syrup get better than that? RUNAMOK also offers recommended food pairings and chef inspired recipes for all their syrups right on their website!

Hibiscus Maple Vinaigrette


Hibiscus Maple Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

Add balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper to bowl and mix. Slowly add olive oil to bowl while quickly whisking. Continue whisking until mixture becomes uniform. Use immediately or whisk again prior to serving. 

As seen above, I used the Hibiscus Maple Vinaigrette to dress a salad that consisted of baby lettuces, roasted chicken strips (you can find them pre-cut at the grocery store), shelled, toasted pistachios (I toast nuts in a heavy skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes), dried cherries and blue cheese. The sweet, floral Hibiscus Maple Vinaigrette pairs amazingly with the tart cherries and sharp, saltiness of the blue cheese.  I hope you guys enjoy!

Thank you Runamok for sponsoring this post!

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