Apricots have a magnificent and agreeable dulcet flavor without being overly sweet and are fabulous in this easy and Subtle Apricot Vinaigrette.
What Are Some Great Recipes Using Fresh Apricots?
Apricots have been cultivated in Central Asia since antiquity, and dried ones were an important commodity on the Silk Road. They could be transported over huge distances due to their long shelf life.
Apricots have a magnificent and agreeable dulcet flavor without being overly sweet. Dried, they are a cheery little snack. They are also the foundation for great salads and fish and chicken dishes when used fresh. I enjoy using apricots both dried and fresh.
In recent posts, cocktails like my Apricot Bourbon Fizz, and in refreshingly less sweet desserts like my Almond, Apricot & Cheese Crostata have illustrated how to use the fruit fresh. Today’s Subtle Apricot Vinaigrette salad dressing will offer a way to use the dried version.
Dried apricots normally do not have any sugar added and have a low glycemic index.
Delicious spring mixed greens will be abundant in the southern kitchen in no time. January and February are tough months in terms of access to fresh, local ingredients. But food and cooking are all about improvising. I can still create a first class salad platter with this beautiful and easy Subtle Apricot Vinaigrette recipe and manage to keep the promise I made myself about eating better and fresher in the new year. Who after all doesn't want to live a little healthier and longer?
Apricot Vinaigrette calories, or lack there of, might surprise you. Of course, salad dressing recipes with olive oil will always count for something in terms of calories. But, the beneficial properties in olive oil make it an acceptable fat for me and my family's diet.
The following recipe for Apricot Vinaigrette is somewhat forgiving. I say this because if you are a home canner, and happen to have a gorgeous jar of apricot jam or apricot preserves which you canned, this is a fantastic recipe for that labor of love to shine in. Notably though, homemade jellies and preserves come with a higher calorie count than say just simple dried apricots.
Mediterranean or Turkish varieties of dried apricots are typically dried whole and then pitted; whereas California varieties are halved and pitted before drying.
For my purposes today, I am going to demonstrate a method which celebrates the simplicity of a dried apricot (rather than a preserve), rehydrated briefly in either white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Again, very forgiving in that it will wow you because it is entirely straightforward.
I struggled with what exactly to call this dressing when I set out to write this post. An apricot mustard dressing? Or, a dried apricot vinaigrette? I could legit call it a honey apricot vinaigrette, or an apricot orange vinaigrette, too. That's because every one of these treasured ingredients plays a role in building this vinaigrette.
What kind of vinaigrette is good for salads?
Any! Vinaigrettes are typically whole ingredients blended together, with or without oil, for a lighter tasting flavoring to salads and fruit salads. I find that aromatic vinaigrettes work especially well in fruit salads, while fruit vinaigrettes work best with greens.
What are some Apricot Dressing salad ideas?
Spinach Salad With An Apricot Vinaigrette
Arugula, Pear and Blue Cheese Salad With Apricot Vinaigrette
Warm Couscous Salad with Cashews, Feta, Olives, and Apricot Vinaigrette
A while back, I shared with you a trick for cutting dinner time prep in half. I purchase pork tenderloin at Costco, cut it into sections to be pounded thin into paillards, and frozen for later use. I demonstrated what to do with these beautiful cutlets in my recipe for Pork Scaloppine with A Warmed Tomato Ginger Sauce. Above, I am using pork paillards, dusting them with flour, egg, and panko, and preparing a ridiculously Crispy Pork Medallion Parmesan. Why I am telling you all of this? Because...apricot and pork may as well be peas and carrots...Jenny and Forrest...seriously good pairings begin with this Apricot Vinaigrette and a pork paillard or fried cutlet.
This versatile apricot salad dressing recipe is one of my standard three homemade dressings. Yes, I have showcased MANY homemade dressings on Not Entirely Average, however, I make three at home for me and my family CONSISTANTLY.
The Apricot Vinaigrette recipe outlined herein is a profile I introduced to a warm couscous salad that I always make and keep in the fridge for snacking. The vinaigrette is SO GOOD mixed into the couscous salad, that I began making it for a spinach salad with apricot vinaigrette. I'm able to maintain freshness for about 2 days, covered at room temperature on the counter after I make it. That is, if it hangs around that long.
It makes a great marinade for cedar plank grilled salmon and also compliments blue cheese so well, that I've taken to incorporating it into an arugula pear blue cheese salad. If you are not keen on dried apricots, this would also make a really beautiful fresh apricot vinaigrette drizzled atop char-grilled chicken thighs. Honestly, the only true limit is your imagination.
Quality counts when there are few ingredients in a recipe. EVERYTHING, every flavor is discernable. Théa Premium Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil features only Koroneiki olives and has very low acidity. It is unblended with other olive varieties, and is handpicked and harvested in Kalamata, Greece. THIS IS THE GOOD STUFF, and it will NOT break the bank. Click image for availability and pricing. Get your bottle before they sell out again.
How Do You Make Apricot Vinaigrette?
Funny enough, this really should be a post about making an apricot vinegar recipe rather than a recipe for salad dressing. Why? Because I am introducing the apricot in a dried state, we need to plump it up a bit; rehydrate it. The apricots soften making chopping them easier, and the vinegar becomes flavored like an apricot. Very subtle, very aromatic.
If you do not have white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar works well. I have also varied my vinegars to compliment the proteins I am serving. Steak on the grill pairs with a salad that uses Balsamic vinegar. By simply swapping out the white wine vinegar for a white balsamic, I've instantly got an apricot Balsamic vinaigrette recipe that is entirely intense with my grilled beef dishes.
If you do not have a bullet-style blender/processor, use a small bowl and a wire whisk to emulsify the oil and the vinegar in this method. In addition to emulsifying initially, I would suggest giving it a good going over just before dressing your salad also. Any leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator or covered at room temp and left on the counter for a couple of days.
My Mom purchased this bullet-style blender/processor for me two years ago specifically for smoothies, dressings and vinaigrettes, and small batch sauces. I LOVE IT. I use it in the video above to demonstrate how much easier it is to attain the consistency of favorite foods. A true kitchen necessary, click image for pricing.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Want a bigger or smaller serving size? Hover over the serving size and move the bar until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
- bullet-style blender/processor
Did you know that it’s super easy to print out a version of a half recipe or even a double recipe on Not Entirely Average? Hover over the serving size (highlighted in blue, it says 8 on this recipe) and then slide the the white line to the left to make less or to the right to make more. This "calculator" allows you to play until you get the number of servings you want. Easy.
** to assemble the salad shown in this post, reference the instructions and the additional ingredients shown below | the ingredients for the salad are not listed with the ingredients for the vinaigrette
Ingredients for Apricot Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil I am using Thea Greek Olive Oil exclusively
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 medium shallot finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- Place apricots and vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes. Off heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Strain into a small bowl, reserving apricots.
- When apricots are cool enough to safely handle, finely chop. In a bullet-style blender/processor or small bowl, blend oil, Dijon, honey, and 2 tablespoons of the apricot vinegar (and orange juice if you are using). Pulse to puree or whisk to emulsify. Stir in apricots and finely chopped shallots. Salt and pepper to taste.
- If you enjoy a thinner vinaigrette, wait until you are finished combining the ingredients to stream additional olive oil or what remains of the apricot vinegar. You will need to taste as you go to get both the 5acidity and consistency that you prefer.
To Assemble The Salad Shown Here
** the ingredients to assemble the salad shown here are NOT listed above
- Toss 1 head of butter lettuce with 2 bunches of fresh watercress, 2 scallions thinly sliced, 1/4 cup fresh torn dill, and 1 Persian cucumber also thinly sliced. Use 1/3 of a cup of the Apricot Vinaigrette and use your hands to toss all and coat all of the butter lettuce well. Plate. Top with crumbled Feta cheese, additional Apricot Vinaigrette, and fresh cracked black pepper.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.