Fact: wine comes from grapes.
Fact: balsamic vinegar comes from grapes.
Fact: mulled wine is delicious.
ERGO, megafact: mulled balsamic vinegar–and therefore, mulled balsamic vinaigrette–is also super, super scrumptious. It won’t get you nice and toasty (in more ways than one) like warm spiced wine, but it’s so, so perfect for your fall salad. Wine later, salad now.
Such as this one! Look. Roasted pumpkin wedges with toasted hazelnuts and greens. We like, yes? Let’s top it all with a tangy, spiced dressing. Eat your delightful fall meal, live happily ever after (not that I would ever tell you what to do).
Also, I won’t lie: my favorite way to enjoy this is by dipping a chunk of good, crusty bread into it. That’s only because bread > salad, though. The vinaigrette is not to blame for the unparalleled splendor of carbs.
It’d make a nice, low-fuss hostess gift too. You know: the kind you see all over Pinterest. Painfully cute bottle/jar, painfully cute label, painfully cute bow, and there you go: you have (painlessly) won the holiday season, my friends!
Sidenote: I’m pretty sure I haven’t mentioned the “h” word around these parts until now. Way to hold out until November, D.
So in food blogger terms, I am months late, but it’s a good thing this is so very easy. Simmer, steep, whisk, and there you go: magic. Check. You. Out. How does it feel to be a wizard, anyway?
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 pods star anise
- Zest of 1 orange (or orange peel with pith removed)
- 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
- 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Combine the first seven ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer 1-2 minutes, until slightly thickened.
- Remove from heat and let steep for 3 hours.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve--you should have about 1/4 cup of mulled vinegar (which you can use as is, or go on to make the vinaigrette).
- To make the vinaigrette, slowly whisk in the olive oil until well emulsified, then season to taste with salt and pepper.