Kidney Friendly Balsamic Vinaigrette
Salad is a summer staple. And all good salads need a good dressing. The dressing, to me, is what takes the salad from foraged fodder to civilized staple. However, salad dressing could also turn an otherwise nourishing meal into a sodium explosion. For example, Hidden Valley® Ranch is probably the number one salad dressing I hear about. A 2 tablespoon serving pours on a whopping 328 mg sodium to any salad. Whoah! Other salad dressings fair no better. Even a seemingly “healthy” dressing like Ken’s® Simply Balsamic Vinaigrette will douse your salad with 320 mg sodium in its two tablespoon serving.
The good news? Making your own dressing is a snap and can cut the sodium load drastically, as in our dressing only had 38 mg sodium per serving (yeah, baby!). Our simple balsamic vinaigrette has 5 ingredients. It is a beautiful dressing on its own, but lends well to other flavors such as cracked black pepper, rosemary, and other herbs. The original dressing calls for a 1/2 tsp salt, but we made it sans salt and didn’t feel like we needed the extra flavor boost from the salt.
A couple notes about this recipe:
- You’ll see garlic infused olive oil in our picture below. You don’t have to have this to make the dressing (but if you can get some, you should. Immediately). I happened to have this on hand and subbed out some of the oil for this infused oil. Talk about flavor dynamo!! I’ve been raving about smoked paprika for the last couple months to cut back on salt, but I think infused olive oil has just won me over as my new best cooking friend.
- We blended our dressing together for 3 minutes or so in a food processor. This generally will result in a nicely emulsified product that won’t separate quickly in the fridge. You, can however, just place all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¾ c oil (canola or grapeseed oil will not solidfy in fridge)
- ¼ c balsamic vinegar
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tsp poppy seed (optional)
- ½ tsp ground black pepper (optional)
- Place all ingredients in food processor and blend for 3-4 minutes until thoroughly emulsified. Alternatively, you can place all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.
This is a perfect summer dressing. And bonus, you can use it as a marinade or to dip your bread in. I honestly thought that we were going to need to add the salt, but it ended up being great the way it was. I actually forgot to try it with added salt so I don’t really know if a saltier version of this would taste better. It was super without the salt so I didn’t think we needed to rock the boat.