Store-bought salad dressing will never be better than homemade salad dressings in my book. Maybe it's because I grew up with a Mom that worked salad dressing miracles with an Uncles Dan's dressing packet. As I have gotten older and have step away from highly processed foods, I found myself making quick salad dressings often. Salad dressing is so easy to make at home, that we don't keep any store-bought dressing on hand.
This Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette is a sweet and spicy symphony of flavors, ready to elevate your greens or panzanella salad from good to gourmet.
Pepper jelly, a sweet and spicy condiment made with chili peppers, pure cane sugar, and vinegar. A popular condiment in the South it pairs well with a variety of dishes, from sandwiches to dips to salad dressing.
Pepper jelly is typically made with green, yellow, or red bell peppers. However, any type of pepper can be used, including jalapeños, habaneros, and even ghost peppers. To make pepper jelly, the peppers are chopped and cooked with sugar and vinegar until the peppers are soft and the juices have been released. Just like other canned jellies, pectin is added to the mixture to help it thicken and set, though some chefs will use rice starch or xanthan gum.The peppers are chopped and cooked with sugar and vinegar until they soften and release their juices. Pectin is then added to the mixture to help it thicken and set.
Pepper jelly is a versatile condiment that can be used in a variety of ways. Here is our favorite way:
- Take a block of cream cheese (dairy or non-dairy), place it on a lipped plated and pour the pepper jelly over the cream cheese. Serve with buttery crackers.
It also works great with:
- Use it as a dip for vegetables or fruit.
- Add it to sandwiches or wraps for a flavor boost.
- Glaze grilled meats or fish with pepper jelly for a sweet and spicy finish.
- Use it as a base for a sauce or salsa.
We love pepper jelly in The Whole Revolution kitchen, and are suckers for a sweet/heat combo. Pepper jelly can be mild or spicy, depending on the type of peppers used. Pepper jelly is a delicious and easy-to-make condiment that is perfect for adding a little bit of heat to your next meal or salad dressing. With a touch of fire from the pepper jelly, tangy vinegar, and creamy Dijon, it's the perfect balance of sweet and heat that'll have you reaching for another drizzle (and then another). This dressing works wonderful with a spinach salad topped with blue cheese and candied walnuts.
So ditch the store-bought stuff and whip up this easy, homemade dressing in minutes!
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Red pepper jelly
- Salt & pepper
See recipe card for quantities.
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined and the dressing has emulsified;
- Finely chop both the shallot and garlic. These little flavor bombs will add depth and complexity to your dressing.
- Combine the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Whisk until smooth and emulsified.
- Stir in the red pepper jelly until fully incorporated. Adjust the amount based on your desired level of heat and sweetness.
- Vinegar: Substitute cider vinegar or red wine vinegar for a similar touch of tang. Balsamic vinegar can be used but the color will be darker and the the dressing a little sweeter.
- Mustard: Dijon mustard is a classic, but feel free to swap it for regular yellow mustard if that's all you have on hand. The flavor will be slightly different, but still delicious.
- Pepper Jelly: Can't handle the heat? Swap the red pepper jelly for a milder option like apricot or peach jelly.
- Herbicious: Add a teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, or oregano for an extra layer of aroma and taste.
- Citrus Forward: Infuse your dressing with a touch of zest from an orange or lemon for a bright, refreshing twist.
- Blender or;
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring spoons (optional)
- Store your vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Give it a good shake before each use.
Use a blender. Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor. It's a quick and easy way to achieve a silky-smooth texture.
Absolutely! This versatile dressing is also fantastic as a marinade for chicken, fish, or tofu. You can even use it as a dipping sauce for crudités or bread.
The heat level of your dressing will depend on the type of pepper jelly you use. Red pepper jelly typically has a mild to medium heat, but you can choose a spicier variety if you like.
This dressing is delicious on a variety of greens, including spinach, kale, and mixed greens.
Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette
- 1 Blender or;
- 1 small bowl
- 1 whisk
- 1 Measuring cups and spoons
- 1 tablespoon shallot finely minced
- 1 tablespoon garlic finely minced
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons red pepper jelly
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined and the dressing has emulsified; You can also place the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and pepper jelly in a small bowl and whisk until well combined emulsified. Add the garlic, shallot, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix until combined. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in a mason jar.
- Finely mince both the shallot and garlic, set aside.
- To a small bowl, combine the vinegar, dijon, pepper jelly, salt and pepper. Whisk until all ingredients are combined and no jelly lumps exist. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while whisking. Whisk until smooth and emulsified.
- Add in the minced shallot and garlic. To the dressing, whisking until well combined.
- Adjust the amount of Pepper Jelly based on your desired level of heat and sweetness.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- Always use fresh ingredients when making vinaigrettes.
- Store your dressing in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage.
- Discard any leftover dressing that has been sitting out for more than 2 hours.