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Mar 18, 2005 06:28 PM

Warm Honey-Mustard Dressing for Spinach Salad

  • g

Okay, so years ago, I used to go to this cutting edge(In my naive eyes) restaurant in Westport, in Kansas City...I can't even remember the name, but it started with a "P", and had something to do with a verandah...

Not that that matters, but they did, what was then an amazing, to me salad...Spinach leaves, topped with a warm honey-mustard dressing, and dry-roasted peanuts...The dressing wasn't very heavy, i don't think it had any mayo...I thought there was a recipe in Fanny Farmer, but I was wrong. I've been searching lonline, and I haven't found anything that sounded quite right..Any ideas? Any favorite warm honey-mustard dressing recipes? Bacon is NOT an acceptable addition! ;)

I know I'm asking for something pretty pedestrian here, but I bought some beautiful spinach at the Chinese market today, and I'm having some people over for a pizza party tomorrow nite, so something with no cheese and stuff would contrast beautifully...


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  1. This is my standard dressing for salad : approx. 3 tblsp vinegar (apple cider or red wine), 1.5 tblsp olive oil, 1-1.5 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2-1 tsp lime juice, 1-2 tsp warm honey, pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. I put everything into a screwtop jar (I use an old jam jar) and shake till emulsified.
    I haven't stated precise amounts because I don't measure - I eyeball and taste, which is how I cook a lot of the time. Note that I use a 2:1 ratio of vinegar to oil, which is an inverse of the usual vinaigrette, because I prefer a tarter, less oily dressing. Also, I nuke the honey in its jar in the microwave until it's just warm but not boiling. This probably won't be warm enough for your requirements, but I think you could heat the honey till it's hotter before incorporating. If the dressing's still not warm enough, you could then microwave it on low-medium power.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ju

      Thanks, Ju. Your method sounded so much like my "House" Dressing, (I use a clove of garlic, a T. of mustard, whir with my stick blender with Blasamic vinegar, then add half the amout of EVOO) that I decided to try it, with variations of course! ;)

      I used a t. or so of honey(all I had), some white balsamic(didn't have red wine or cider vinegar), the juice of almost half an orange (dodn't have a lime) and whirred it together with EVOO with the stick blender...I ended up using about a T. or so of the mustard, it was Hot and Sweet Honey Mustard from TJ's....

      The result was delicious, sharp and sweet and spicy,and a good consistancy, BUT, when I nuked it a little, the EVOO broke down, so it was a little thin.. Maybe the original DID have an egg in it, or part of one...Either way, it was great with the peanuts and spinach, every one loved it, and I'd try it again...

      I use the "shaken jar" trick when I'm not at home, but I have to say, I've become totally addicted to using a jar that fits my stick-blender in it, now...(those wide-mouthed kimchi jars are perfect!) It emulsifies the dressing so much better; it gets so thick!


      1. re: galleygirl

        Your version of the dressing sounds delish. Orange juice - now why didn't I think of that? I've often had spinach salads with (canned) mandarin oranges in it and I like that combination. Sorry to hear the oil separated when you heated it.... it's been a while since I made a warm dressing, gotta look up Harold McGee's Food Science for an explanation. Great suggestion re: stick blender; I'm just too lazy to get it out and have to clean it afterward; much easier to use a jar that I can stick in the dishwasher.

    2. I know this is an ancient thread, but I too was a big fan of the baby spinach salad at the Prospect of Westport. I developed the following recipe and I think it's pretty dead-on:

      2 TB each of honey, Dijon (any kind, but Poupon original is the original - I actually like to use whole grain) mustard and olive oil
      A few grinds of black pepper
      One container baby spinach (Organic Girl or whatever)
      1 Fuji apple cored and sliced into small pieces
      1/2 C dry roasted (unsalted) Spanish peanuts

      Mix the dressing ingredients together with the pepper in a small microwaveable dish that can be covered and warm it without the cover (my microwave set to 30 secs works). Cover it and shake it to emulsify, and remove the cover. Combine spinach and apples, toss with dressing in a big bowl, portion on to plates and garnish with peanuts.

      It's that simple.

      1. mustard of your choice- I'd use Dijon
        cider vinegar
        chopped shallot

        Drizzle in evoo

        S+P to taste