Balsamic Maple Vinaigrette

A few years ago I had an amazing salad at a restaurant that I just had to recreate so I could eat it any time I wanted. I played with a basic vinaigrette recipe until I got just the right amount of sweetness without being too overbearing. This salad is very versatile. Dress it up with feta or blue cheese and some grilled chicken to be a meal. Or forego the meat and dairy and pile on the veggies. Today I went for dried cranberries, but this salad is amazing with dried Michigan cherries! Fortunately we have a local sources of cherries here in West Michigan (we cherry pick at Gavin Orchards in Coopersville) and it’s very easy to make your own dried cherries. Unfortunately for today’s salad, dried cherries do not last long in our house.


This dressing takes all of two minutes to make. I mix it up in a Ball Canning Jar and use a plastic Ball Canning lid to store it in. (Sidenote: If you do any canning or have canning jars around, you must get these lids. They help save your bands when you open a jar to put in the fridge. I also use them on canning jars in the pantry. Super useful. But I digress). Start with 1/3 cup each of two oils. I used olive oil and vegetable oil because that’s what I had. But you can use peanut oil, canola oil, whatever you have on hand. Add 2 T. Balsamic vinegar and 1 T. Pure maple syrup. Last, add 1t. Dijon mustard. And shake it up. That’s it! It’s that simple!


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (can use peanut or canola oil)
  • 2 T. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. Pure maple syrup
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • Dash of salt (optional)

Shake and pour over salad. For this salad I used mixed greens, walnuts, celery, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries (better with dried Michigan cherries). Other toppings that would go well would be blue cheese or feta, grilled chicken, cucumbers, grapes, pecans, mushrooms. The possibilities are endless.


Please leave a comment below if you loved this recipe.

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