Cooking with Beer: Amber Ale Dijon Vinaigrette
Beer! It’s not just for drinking! You can have your beer in a salad, and feel satisfied and healthy too. This amber ale dijon vinaigrette is an extremely easy and unique salad dressing to throw together. Because of its malty notes, it works particularly well on wintery salad components–bitter greens, chicories or peppery arugula, etc. It also plays very nicely with roasted meats and nuts. Versatile and fun!
So: a few items about using beer in dressings.
- Pick a beer you like (you will be tasting it in the dressing, after all).
- Since every beer is a little different, use your palate and adjust flavors as needed. The beer I used was nicely malty, so the amount of honey was perfect. If yours is less sweet, feel free to add more honey.
- This particular dressing is not a very sour one. If you’re also pairing with something rich in your salad, you may want to add more vinegar. Your call! I used white wine vinegar because it’s light and fairly neutral, but you could also try malt vinegar or cider vinegar for extra fun(k).
- Get creative! Add citrus zest or herbs to your liking, or substitute the honey with maple syrup, brown sugar or a fruit preserve. Hop notes in different beers will call for different elements.
- Because there’s already a lot going on, I’d save your fruity olive oil for another occasion. I recommend a neutral oil such as safflower or sunflower. Yes, canola and vegetable oil will work, but to me they leave a distasteful lingering flavor.
Amber Ale Dijon Vinaigrette
makes about 1/2 cup dressing
3 oz. amber ale
1/4 c. neutral oil
2 t. dijon mustard
2 t. white wine vinegar
1 t. honey
1 T. chopped green onion
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk everything but oil together thoroughly (the honey will take some time to blend with the cold elements). Add oil slowly and whisk to emulsify (or if you’re lazy like me, throw it in a jar with a good lid and shake the shhhh out of it). Adjust seasonings to desired levels, and stir before use! P.S. Give the remaining ounces in that bottle or can of beer a good home…