Let’s rewind to my trip to Costa Rica last month with my grandmother. It was the last day on our group trip, and we arrived at Sibu for our final dinner together. Sibu produces the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted, and they greeted us with rum-spiked, spiced hot chocolate.
I was literally a kid in a candy store all night as they presented a lesson in chocolate history (with wine and chocolate) and moved on to an incredible dinner.
After appetizers, they handed us chopped salads that looked fairly basic at first glance—I remember lettuce, tomato, avocado, feta and dressing. Then I took a bite and forgot about chocolate for a minute. That dressing!
I immediately tracked down the owner of the place to ask about it. He said it was a “honey-Dijon vinaigrette with yogurt base” and I vowed to recreate it at home. I started with the honey-mustard vinaigrette that I made for my cookbook, which I love as written.
I reduced the oil and added plain Greek yogurt until it tasted like the dressing at Sibu. This dressing is essentially a creamy honey-mustard dressing made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. It offers a more luxurious texture than any other honey-mustard dressing I’ve tried.
The only problem with this dressing is that “honey-Dijon vinaigrette with yogurt base” doesn’t do it justice, and “creamy honey-mustard dressing” doesn’t quite capture the tangy deliciousness of the yogurt. I’m usually skeptical of using yogurt in place of mayonnaise or sour cream (mayo and sour cream have their place), but this salad dressing wouldn’t be the same without it.
I dubbed it “Sunshine Salad Dressing” since it brightens up all my salads so much. I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer, so I’m sharing it today for all of your side salad needs. The recipe yields a lot (almost 1 1/2 cups). I don’t think you’ll have any trouble finishing it off. It makes a stellar dip for vegetables, too!
I’ve been keeping a big jar of it in my fridge for the past couple of weeks, and it goes with just about everything. Try fresh greens of any kind, avocado, thinly sliced raw broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, or carrots. It’s also great with apples, bell peppers, goat cheese or feta, sunflower seeds, pecans, or almonds.
I have a few salads lined up using this dressing that I can’t wait to share with you! Please let me know how you like it. If you’re looking for complete salads, I have more salads over here.
Sunshine Salad Dressing
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 ½ cups
- Category: Salad Dressing
This creamy honey-mustard salad dressing recipe is lightened up with Greek yogurt. No mayo here! It’s so easy to whisk this dressing together. Recipe yields almost 1 ½ cups and keeps well for 10 to 14 days.
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (any % fat will do)
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 3 to 4 tablespoons honey, to taste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or more lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 10 twists of freshly ground black pepper
- In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine all of the ingredients as listed. Whisk until blended. Taste, and season with additional pepper if necessary.
- This dressing is intentionally bold, but if it tastes too tart for your liking, whisk in another tablespoon of honey.
- Store leftover salad dressing in the refrigerator, covered, for 10 to 14 days.
Make it dairy free: If you have a favorite unsweetened dairy-free plain yogurt, it should work well here.