This is my favorite summer vinaigrette, an unusual combination of honey, black pepper, mint and sherry vinegar. It's perfect over fresh tomatoes, grilled shrimp or even a simple green salad. Pasta salad, too!
The recipe is based on one from Sonoma chef and cookbook writer Michele Anna Jordan, from her book The Good Cook's Book of Oil and Vinegar (currently out of print but still fairly easy to get.) The original calls for twice as much honey and pepper, which is delicious, but usually I make as shown below.
Warming the honey helps it to blend with the other ingredients. You can do this for a few seconds on low in a microwave or in a pan over a low flame on the stove. You want the honey to be thin and warm to the touch, not hot.
Honey Pepper Vinaigrette
makes about 1-1/2 cups
1/4 cup sherry vinegar 2 tablespoons honey, warmed 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1 shallot, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 1 cup of olive oil 1/4 cup finely sliced fresh mint leaves
Combine everything in a jar. Cover with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously until well combined and creamy. Can be refrigerated for about a week.