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Your Summer Cookout Secret: Raspberry Coffee Vinaigrette

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Besides being a delicious morning beverage, coffee is a bombshell of an ingredient. Its deep taste can easily transform the flavor profile of a dish from bland to spectacular. A simple vinaigrette is one of the many places a small amount of coffee shines. One particularly delicious flavor pairing to elevate dishes is coffee and sweetness. This vinaigrette recipe capitalizes on that divine pairing. 

With cookout season around the corner, everyone needs a simple yet unique recipe to add to their repertoire of cookout classics. This raspberry coffee vinaigrette is the way to go. Playful and bright, the sweetness of the raspberry vinegar and honey in this vinaigrette balances out the acidity of the coffee to produce a funky and delicious dressing for salads. This vinaigrette works great with a strongly flavored green base such as arugula or kale. Topped with tangy cheese and something crunchy like roasted nuts or seeds, a salad with this vinaigrette is sure to be a hit. 

Another genius base for this vinaigrette, especially in the summertime, is some freshly grilled vegetables. Summer squash, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and asparagus are all in season during the summer months, great for grilling, and pair wonderfully with this vinaigrette. Since the star of these salads is the vinaigrette itself, the produce that you use isn’t the most important aspect. Most fresh veggies that you have on hand can easily be a delicious addition to a salad that uses this vinaigrette—raw or grilled.

Another way to use this vinaigrette is as a complex accompaniment to grilled pork, shrimp, or beef. Simply marinate your meat or seafood of choice in this vinaigrette. The key to this working, however, is to use a heartier meat or seafood that will hold up against the bittersweet, bright, acidic notes of this vinaigrette. 

The best part about this vinaigrette is that it can be made up to two days in advance. Simply store your vinaigrette in an airtight container (a mason jar works beautifully) and stash it in the fridge until you’re ready to impress your guests. 

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