Balsamic Vinaigrette and Spring Mix Salad

This is my FAVorite salad dressing. I mean--ever. One of my lifetime best-friends' cousin made this salad dressing at a gathering once (years ago) and I have been obsessed with it ever since. Thankfully she was nice enough to give me the recipe, and why mess with perfection? I just make it as her recipe states, which I now have memorized. I promise that if you make a salad, toss in this dressing, and serve it to guests, they will think you are a hero.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/8 c. honey
2-3 garlic cloves (I always use 3)
1 T. water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 c. olive oil

In a blender pour in all ingredients except olive oil. Blend until smooth. While the blender is running slowly stream in the olive oil. Streaming in the oil while the blender is running will cause the mixture to emulsify, which basically means it will be thick and creamy and not separate. Use this right away or store in the fridge for up to a month. When stored in the fridge, the dressing may be pretty thick when you first pull it out so you can set it on the counter a while before serving, or microwave it for 15 seconds.

Spring Mix Salad

There are no specific measurements for this saladjust make as much as you like!

Spring mix lettuce or spinach
red onion, thinly sliced
dried cranberries or golden raisins
granny smith apple, very thinly sliced
walnuts or pine nuts
feta or goat cheese, crumbled on top

Drizzle the homemade balsamic dressing over the top. YUM. This can be an easy meal with some grilled chicken on top.
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