Why You Should Start Using Maple Syrup In Your Salad Dressing

When you think of iconic culinary pairings, pancakes and syrup likely come to mind. Actor Vince Vaughn once said, "I love maple syrup. I love maple syrup on pancakes. I love it on pizza. And I take maple syrup and put a little bit in my hair when I've had a rough week" (via AZquotes). Clearly, maple syrup can be used for more than just covering your pancakes, waffles, and French toast. In fact, it's a much more versatile ingredient that many people may realize.

There are several ways to jazz up your food with a spoonful of the sappy stuff. You can mix a dash of maple syrup into your yogurt or oatmeal for a decadent breakfast, brush it on bacon for a fragrant smokiness, or drizzle it on your favorite vegetables for an extra crispy, tender texture and gorgeous color. But have you ever considered using maple syrup as a salad dressing? If you're ever in the mood to dress up your greens with something other than your go-to ranch or zesty Italian, grab a bottle of autumnal goodness. You're in for a real treat! Here are some ways to make your salads even more awesome, thanks to the multitalented maple syrup.

Maple syrup adds a bold brightness to salads

Because of its natural sweetness, maple syrup creates a beautiful, bright flavor profile when contrasted with more savory ingredients. Pastry chef Gesine Bullock-Prado shared a recipe for a maple-Dijon vinaigrette with Food Network. Her super simple recipe calls for maple syrup, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, and cracked black pepper. Readers have left rave reviews on the unique dressing, including one that says, "Delicious! I love how utterly simple this recipe is; 5 mins and you're done! Served it with an arugula and scotch egg salad." Another user, who made the dressing for "a salad of greens, cranberries, and salad almonds," suggested "adding in a few chopped shallots or dried onion for a variation."

Epicurious recommends incorporating maple syrup into its roasted Brussels sprouts and apple salad recipe. The subtly spicy, umami-packed dressing calls for tahini, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, white miso, and crushed red pepper flakes. If you're wondering if this creation would be overly filling, have no fear. Recipe developer Andrea Bemis describes her dressing as "rich but not heavy; you won't feel weighed down."