The subdued, earthy sweetness of maple syrup is luscious drizzled on desserts or as the foil to salty bacon on a plate of waffles. But it works deliciously, too, as the balancing ingredient in a simple cider vinaigrette. This fabulous maple vinaigrette recipe is perfect to use on a spinach salad with bacon and a hardboiled egg or to dress this crisp slaw recipe below. The dressing’s tangy-sweetness complements the crunchy cabbage and apples, a smidgen of creamy, sharp Gorgonzola and spicy-sweet maple pecans. (Note: Besides being a delicious slaw topper, the maple pecans are irresistible with a glass of white wine, or crushed and baked into homemade shortbread.)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup walnut oil
- 3 tablespoons Michigan maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Spiced maple pecans:
- 3 cups pecan halves
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 1/4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 tablespoons Michigan maple syrup
- 1/2 head green cabbage, cored and shredded
- 3 Granny Smith apples, julienned
- 1/2 cup Gorgonzola crumbles
Maple vinaigrette: Combine vinegar, oil, maple syrup, Dijon, salt and pepper in a small bowl or jar. Whisk or shake vigorously to combine. Keeps for one week in the fridge. Shake well before using.
Spiced maple pecans: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread nuts on a cookie sheet and toast for 15 minutes. Melt butter in a microwave in a large microwave-safe bowl. Toss the hot nuts with the butter and the remaining ingredients. Spread on cookie sheet to dry. Store in airtight container.
Slaw: Combine cabbage and Granny Smith apples in a bowl. Dress with just enough maple vinaigrette to lightly coat slaw. Toss with Gorgonzola crumbles. Serve on individual plates with a sprinkling of chopped spiced maple pecans.