For the past few years we have made our own maple syrup. We collect sap for as long as mother nature allows, then spend an entire day boiling it down over an open fire. A glorious full day in the fresh crisp outdoor air after spending four entire months inside. We’re like bears coming out of hibernation!
Other than the taps and a handful of buckets, we don’t have any special equipment. We build a fire under some old oven grates, and use a couple retired Nesco inserts to boil ‘er down.
Now, you don’t have to make your own syrup to make this recipe, but you do absolutely have to use real maple syrup. Yes, it is more expensive, but if you knew the work that went into making it, you’d know it was worth every penny! If you can’t find a local, trusted syrup source in your area, try Coombs Family Organic Maple Syrup (affiliate)!
An aside: you don’t need sugar maples to make syrup! Any maple variety will produce sweetened sap that you can boil down, even Box Elder trees and Birch! All you need is a few of these babies (affiliate) and some food grade buckets (we get them free from our local grocery store bakery!)
This is our #1 favorite dressing; the go-to for adding a quick salad with dinner.
Build the Perfect Salad for this Dressing:
-a bed of greens: kale, romaine, spring mix, arugula, anything…
-topped with thinly sliced red onion
-next add berries, try blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
-drizzle on the dressing
-top with toasted sliced almonds
Sometimes if I’m feeling really, really lazy I will just do lettuce with toasted almonds and the dressing. The toasted almonds really make it.
What! You’ve never toasted almonds?
It is quite easy. Add sliced (slivered works too) almonds to a dry pan over medium-low heat. After a couple minutes when the almonds are warmed up, stir every 30 seconds until they start to get golden brown. Do not walk away- I guarantee they will burn if you do. It’s like a law of physics or something. Pour them into a dish and out of the pan as soon as they are done or they will keep cooking and might burn. I use a ceramic-kinda-non-stick pan for this, but any pan will do.
Oh! One more thing- I don’t mind thawing frozen berries and using them on this salad…they aren’t as firm as fresh, but they kind of meld in nicely.
Feel free to double or quadruple this recipe- which is what I always do. This recipe will make enough for a big side salad for four people-ish, depending on how much dressing you like.
- 2 Tbs real maple syrup
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs mayo (preferably homemade)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp white wine or apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- Put everything in a mason jar (I use half pint) and shake.
- If the other ingredients are all really cold, it might cause the oil to solidify a little bit and not blend...if this happens, just warm the dressing.
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