You Should Start Adding Campari To Your Salads

Nothing beats a homemade vinaigrette to top your favorite bed of greens for a more complex, fruity, and tart mouthful. It typically has three main components: fat, acid, and aromatic, giving room for plenty of deviation from the standard olive oil, vinegar, and herb combination. 

While balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and white wine vinegar all make excellent acidic complements for the leafy bitterness of endives, cabbage, and arugula, adding unconventional ingredients can make surprisingly good dressings. From the salty richness of a fish sauce (via Tried and True Recipe) to the bright zest of a liqueur, there is almost nothing you can't mix in.

Speaking of liqueurs, Campari is a well-known Italian type recognized for its distinctive bitter taste and vibrant red color. It is often enjoyed as an aperitif or mixed in cocktails, such as the classic Negroni or Americano, per A Couple Cooks. And although a Campari-dressed salad seems unheard of, it makes a lot of sense when considering its flavor profile. 

Campari adds an elevated citrus flavor along with cinnamon, clove, and vanilla

In terms of taste, Campari is often described as an acquired one. According to Departures, it's a cutting mix of "grapefruit, orange, herbs, spices, and bitters." Its bitterness comes from the infusion of sour orange peel, balanced by the sweetness and richness of cinnamon, clove, and even vanilla, per Noms Pedia. The result is complex and stimulating — the perfect element for your fresh mix of crisp lettuce, spinach, and other greens. 

Although it sounds like citrus overload, the bitterness of Campari actually highlights the sweetness of fruits like oranges and grapefruit, making them more full-bodied. So if you're willing to enlighten your tastebuds, try a Negroni vinaigrette on top of salad infused with radishes, oranges, and your choice of nuts (via Cositutti Marketplace). And for a bit of sophistication to your kitchen repertoire, take a crack at broken Campari vinaigrette salad with burrata, beets, and blood oranges, notes Heartwood Provisions

Of course, considering Campari is alcohol, you may want to be gentle with how much you add to your dressing or reduce it by cooking beforehand. And as bitter as this ruby-colored liqueur is, it would still benefit from being mixed with traditional vinegar and shaken with tons of olive oil to cut the acidity, per Queen of My Kitchen