Falling leaves, pumpkins, apples, hot cocoa, sweaters, and reading a good book by the fireplace (and let’s not forget pumpkin spice everything!) These are just a few of the many things that I just adore about fall. However, as much as I love fall, and all of its associated comfort foods (think cozy casseroles, hot drinks, and scrumptious stews), I find I still have a taste for salads, too. Although the nature of my salad cravings might change with the seasons, I like to have a little something fresh along with all of my cool-weather favorites. Something like a fall harvest salad with a flavorful fall dressing fits the bill nicely.
And leafy green vegetables are still in season in the fall, so when I can, I like to keep some growing in my garden well into October and November. If you don’t have a garden, then lettuces, cabbage, kale, and other fall salad greens should be readily available at your local grocery store or farmers market (and at a good price, too, because eating with the seasons saves money!)
I like to dress up my salad with some yummy extras like roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, and hearty rye croutons. And let’s not forget that a fall harvest salad this amazing requires an equally amazing fall harvest dressing to top it all off. I made up this jar of Creamy Maple Apple Cider Vinaigrette for one such worthy salad, and it turned out to be light, and creamy, and possibly even a little healthy. It’s made with creamy Greek yogurt, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and a touch of dijon mustard for a little extra punch of flavor. I think this flavorful, light vinaigrette is perfect for any fall salad and would even be a great accompaniment to Thanksgiving dinner! (And if you love good fall salads, check out my recipe for Autumn Butternut Squash Salad.)
So let’s talk about the ingredients for the Maple Apple Cider Vinaigrette:
Greek Yogurt – I prefer whole milk Greek yogurt for this dressing. Of course, you can lighten up the calories by using reduced-fat yogurt, but I don’t recommend using fat-free yogurt as the dressing will lack that creamy texture that we’re going for.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Use any kind of apple cider vinegar that you like. I typically use raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with “the mother” because I like the flavor, but any kind of ACV will work.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I like to use my best extra virgin olive oil in this recipe, but use what you have on hand. If you prefer to skip the olive oil flavor, go with a neutral-flavored oil like grapeseed, avocado, or canola.
Maple Syrup – This is the place for the real thing. I don’t recommend using maple-flavored or pancake syrup.
Dijon Mustard – You could also use whole grain mustard in place of the Dijon, but I don’t recommend using plain yellow mustard.
- This only makes a small batch (about 1/2 cup) of dressing, so feel free to double or triple the recipe if needed.
- Store this dressing for a day or so in the fridge. But since this is a fresh dressing with no preservatives I like to just make a small batch whenever I need it.
- And this vinaigrette isn’t just for salads. Use it on your favorite roasted vegetables, too!
As always, if you try this recipe, I hope you love it! Please let me know in the comments below.
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