A previous boss of mine (actually he was my boss 2x in two industries), decided to pick up and move his family to New Zealand for a couple of years. He had previously had two very successful careers and was ready for a change. Well, instead of going to NZ and relax and act retired, he bought/started two different businesses. Upon his return, he shared with me the fruits of his labor of one of the businesses, Bees and Trees. Evidently, Manuka trees only grow in NZ and they have a special flower that bees use to make the most extraordinary honey you’ve ever tasted. It’s different from regular honey in both taste and texture. It looks more like apple butter than honey but, wow, is it good! I was determined to find some ways to use it other than just eating it by the spoonful (which still remains my favorite method) so I made this up. Yummy. More sweet than tart and delicious. I hope you enjoy this Manuka Honey Vinaigrette.
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5min; Cook Time – None
2T Manuka Honey
½ t salt
¼ t cracked pepper
1t Dijon mustard
1 meyer lemon – both zest and juice)
¼ cu champagne vinegar
½ cu quality extra virgin olive oil
Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:
Microplane or citrus zester
Preparing Mixed Greens Salad with Manuka Honey Vinaigrette:
Mix all ingredients together except the olive oil. Whisk in the olive oil while drizzling slowly to emulsify the vinaigrette. Vinaigrette can be made a day or two in advance or can be done at the last-minute. Serve over the salad fixings of your choice.
For this salad, I chose mixed greens, feta cheese, pickled red onions, candied pecans and fresh blueberries.
Taste it! Add more lemon juice or honey if you want it more acidic or sweet. Add salt or pepper if needed.
You can substitute regular honey or a regular lemon but it won’t be nearly as yummy! If you use a regular lemon, you may want to use part lemon juice and part orange juice.
I found this recipe 14 years ago in the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library Vegetables book. I modified their version to remove the parsley and hard-boiled egg mostly for my personal preference and I also increased the red wine vinegar to make it more tangy. I never measure any of these ingredients but have attempted to give you some guidelines to help. Remember, a vinaigrette is about your flavor profile and what you like so make it your own.
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time -10 min (plus soak time on asparagus if you have the time) Vinaigrette can be made well in advance; Cook Time – less than 5 minutes at the last second (perfect while your meat rests)
1 bunch of asparagus prepared (see How to Prepare Asparagus)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 T Dijon Mustard (either smooth or the grainy kind is fine, I like the grainy one)
2 green onions, finely chopped (whites and greens)
1 t salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
How to Make Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette:
1. Mix all above ingredients (except asparagus and olive oil), then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking the other ingredients to make the vinaigrette (and to make an emulsion so the oil and vinegar don’t separate). This can be done well in advance if desired.
2. Follow the steps to How to Prepare Asparagus. This too can be done well in advance too.
3. Remove the asparagus from its water bath and place in a skillet with about 1 cup of water (cover about 1/2 way up the asparagus). For a nicer presentation, keep the asparagus all going the same direction.
4. When everything else you are cooking is done, turn the skillet with the asparagus and water on high.
5. Once the water is boiling (1-2 minutes), move the asparagus around until it has all turned a bright green.
6. Once it reaches that bright green color, I remove it. That is when it is crisp-perfect and won’t taste at all like that mushy stuff in a can. If you want to cook it a bit more, you can but not more than about 1-2 minutes.
7. Place on your serving platter and top with the vinaigrette.
Top with your favorite vinaigrette or just salt, pepper and olive oil