You don’t always have to use oil in your vinaigrette. This is one of my favorite vinaigrette recipes and one I make up and keep in a small jar with a sealed twist cap and cart around in my purse when I know I’m going out. That way if I end up in a restaurant that does not have a gluten free option for me, I can usually always order a house salad and dump my favorite vinaigrette on it! So far no one has complained about this practice of mine! Remember that if it’s too hot for you, just decrease the chipotle powder.
½ cup + 1 Tblsp orange juice
1.5 Tblsp orange zest
2.5 Tblsp rice vinegar
¼ cup honey
¼ tsp chipotle powder
½ tsp cocoa
If you want to experiment and make your own vinaigrette: remember when using oil to use 3:1 (3 parts oil and 1 part vinegar). The best way to test the flavor of your vinaigrette is to dip a piece of lettuce in, shake off the excess and then take a bite. This will give you a better sense of how your salad will taste than by tasting the vinaigrette straight.
You can use any neutral tasting oil for your vinaigrette but I recommend extra virgin olive oil for flavor and health reasons. Honey is always a nice addition and not just because of the flavor factor but because it is a natural stabilizer for the emulsion of the oil and vinegar. You can choose from many vinegars for your vinaigrette. Apple Cider vinegar and White Wine Vinegar always go good with citrus and berry combinations. You could use red wine vinegary, sherry vinegar, rice vinegar just for a few choices.
Make sure all your ingredients for the vinaigrette are at room temperature before combining so that the oil combines easier with the vinegar. Once you have mixed your ingredients up, let the mixture sit for 1 to 3 hours to allow the flavors to marry.
Enjoy the chocolate journey!