Bright, Zingy, Fresh: Happy Gillis’ Orange Vinaigrette is Here to Save the Day

Happy Gillis’ Root Vegetable Salad with Orange Vinaigrette.

Abbey-Jo Eans has a lot on her plate–three kids, a thriving, much-beloved restaurant (Happy Gillis Cafe and Hangout), and now, this multi-purpose citrusy vinaigrette that makes pretty much anything better. 

“I love to use dressings like this on roasted vegetables, like any winter squash and then top them with toasted nuts and herbs,” Eans says. “I also love this dressing on any type of grain or legume in a salad of kale, arugula, or even spinach. Top with a fresh cheese and some dried fruit, like cranberries, and you’ve got a super easy weeknight salad that is sure to impress.”

Versatility is critical for Eans, and creating a recipe that works in many ways is always a win. She says you can use her orange vinaigrette as a marinade or to punch up crunchy salads. Right now, she’s using it to dress the root vegetable salad at Happy Gillis, which is full of ribbons of carrots, beets, turnips, and radishes worshipping at the altar of beluga lentils and feta cheese.

Orange Vinaigrette

  • 3 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 ¼ cups canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Put all ingredients (except the oils) in a blender. Blend till combined. Then, with the blender on medium speed, pour the oils in a slow, steady stream. This should create a creamy-looking dressing known as an emulsification. Once the oil is incorporated, turn the blender off. You don’t want the dressing to get too hot, or the oil will separate. Put dressing in the refrigerator and use it on whatever you like. The dressing should keep for at least two weeks.

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