Sweeten Up Salad Dressings With Just A Touch Of Jam

A simple vinaigrette can be just the austere accompaniment that a delicate green salad needs. But there are times when you just want more out of a dressing. There are countless ways to zhuzh up a dressing, but often what is needed is a touch of sweetness, and there's an oft-overlooked ingredient that works great in salad dressings. Locked up in jam jars is a rich vault for flavor that should be appreciated for more than being slathered on pastries and sandwiches. There exists a galaxy of jams that can be used to glaze meats, thicken and augment sauces, and, yes, add complexity to vinaigrettes and other salad dressings.

For a fruity twist on a caprese or even drizzled over a bed of peppery arugula, strawberry jam combined with balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, and olive oil adds a delightful sweetness. Those who like a poppy seed dressing can try adding the flavor of blueberries. Elevating a simple kale salad can be as simple as blending blueberry jam with lemon juice, poppy seeds, shallots, olive oil, and a touch of creamy mayo. The tropical notes of mango jam blend harmoniously with tahini, soy sauce, ginger, lime juice, and a dash of cayenne, creating an unforgettable dressing for a quinoa and black bean salad. And an earthy, crunchy fig jam marries well with walnut oil, red wine vinegar, and Dijon mustard, turning a mixed green salad into a gourmet experience.

Don't toss that jam jar

You've likely heard that making salad dressing is a great way to use up the dregs left in a jar of mustard. Well, the same hack applies to jam. We all know the frustration of almost empty jam jars languishing in our refrigerators. Instead of scraping the remnants out, harness that leftover goodness and craft a divine dressing right in the jar.

Add your vinegar or citrus juice to the jam jar, followed by the oil and other flavor enhancers like minced garlic, chopped herbs, or spices. Place the lid firmly on the jar, ensuring it's tightly closed to prevent dressing mishaps. Now comes the fun part — shake the jam jar vigorously, allowing the ingredients to meld and emulsify. The residual jam will integrate seamlessly. Once the ingredients are well combined, open the lid and taste your dressing. Adjust the flavors by adding more jam for sweetness, extra oil for richness, or a pinch of salt to balance the flavors. Your jar-emulsified jam dressing is ready to be drizzled over your favorite salad. The convenient jar doubles as a storage container, so any leftover dressing can be refrigerated for later use.

This ingenious technique saves you from the plight of nearly empty jam jars and provides a quick and efficient method to create delicious, personalized dressings. Whether crafting a simple side salad or a show-stopping main course, the jar-emulsified jam dressing adds a touch of ingenuity to your culinary endeavors.