Spring is the season for tender, delicate salad greens like the lovely mizuna. Mizuna is a delicate, feathery salad green with a peppery flavor – though not so strong in flavor as arugula. For all its light and delicate shape and texture, it can stand up to a dressing with intense flavor. So, I decided to make a caramelized onion vinaigrette.
Using a mandoline, I sliced two onions as thinly as possible. I heated about 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron skillet and put the onions in to sauté. After they softened, I added 1 tsp of sugar and let it caramelize and blend in to the onions. It was just enough to potentiate the rich sweetness of the onions. I let the onions continue cooking until thoroughly caramelized.
Meanwhile, in my blender (Magic Bullet) I added 1 tsp of oregano, 3 TBSP of balsamic vinegar, 1 TBSP of dijon mustard and 1 TBSP of buckwheat honey (I think it’s not as sweet and much richer in flavor than regular honey, though it is also much, much darker.) I put about half to two-thirds of the onions in with this and pureed until smooth. Scraping it into a bowl, I whisked in about 1 cup of olive oil. I still had the rest of the onions on the stove, getting darker and richer in caramelization. I added the pieces of onion and whisked them in and then added about 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the skillet to deglaze and poured the rich, flavorful vinegar into the salad mix. I whisked it all together and served on the Mizuna.
This makes a sweet and tangy dressing with bright elements from the onions and vinegar and sweetness from the honey and also the onions. The mustard adds some heat. It’s delicious and makes enough for about a dozen salads or so. You can also use it on pork chops, steak or cooked veggies.