How to Make Vinaigrette

How to Make Vinaigrette


The best way to take an ordinary salad and make it an extraordinary salad is with a great dressing. Making vinaigrette dressing is one of quickest and easiest ways to get a delicious homemade salad dressing on the table in minutes. Read on to learn tips for making a variety of tasty vinaigrettes at home and gather some recipe ideas from our collection.

Oil and Vinegar

Quick Tips for Making Vinaigrette

Vinaigrettes at their most basic are oil and vinegar. Most vinaigrettes found in the store or at restaurant today also contain herbs, citrus or other flavorings. In making your own vinaigrette, it's important to remember that the standard ratio of oil to vinegar is 3:1. Knowing this allows you to make as much or as little salad dressing as you need, whether you're simply looking to dress a side salad for dinner or make and store a bottle of dressing for a whole month.

When you're making vinaigrette, select a mild oil that will not overpower your dressing. Olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil and grapeseed oil are all good oils to use. Choosing your vinegar is a great way to ultimately impact the flavor of your dressing. Red wine vinegar, cider vinegar and balsamic vinegar are all common choices, but check your local grocer or specialty food store for blood orange vinegar, fig vinegar or raspberry vinegar. Once you have selected your oil and vinegar, you can think of any additional flavorings you would like to use. For example, you might want to select some fresh garlic, along with oregano and basil for an Italian vinaigrette. Choose herbs that you think will pair with your oil and vinegar, without providing an overwhelming flavor.

When you're ready to create your vinaigrette, it's a good idea to first mix the vinegar (and any other liquids or fruit juice) with your herbs. From there, you can add the oil to emulsify. One approach is to simply whisk your vinegar mixture continuously while slowly streaming the oil in. This is a good option if you are planning to serve or use your dressing immediately. If you are bottling your dressing for later, fill the bottle first with the non-oil ingredients, add the oil, cover and shake vigorously until combined. The oil and vinegar will separate if you store your vinegar in the fridge, so you will have to shake the dressing each time you wish to use it.

Salad dressings, vinaigrettes in particular, are perfect for tradtiional green salads. They are also great for topping warm vegetable side dishes, sandwiches or even to use as meat marinades. Fill a plastic bag with fish, chicken or steak, pour your dressing in, shake the bag and allow the protein to marinate for at least an hour (and up to overnight). Below are a handful of our best quick and easy vinaigrette recipes. Play around and find your favorite or try them all!

Easy Vinaigrette Recipes

Asian Vinaigrette - This tasty salad dressing and low-sodium option is an unexpected surprise from an oil & vinegar salad dressing recipe. So good, you'll think this salad dressing recipe is a restaurant salad dressing recipe.

Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette - Add extra flavors to your salads with this quick and easy low sodium balsamic vinaigrette. Balsamic vinegar recipes are sweet and tangy, and this balsamic vinegar dressing recipe is no exception.

Olive Garden House Dressing - The best part about dinner at the Olive Garden is the complimentary salad and breadsticks. Now you can recreate the delicious Italian dressing in your own home with this quick and easy copycat recipe.

For more easy vinaigrette recipes, as well as other homemade salad dressing ideas, click here.


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I do love tangy dressings, so something with balsamic, lemon juice and some mustard is great for me. Love the information on the oil to vinaigrette ratio, I'll keep that in mind when I'm making my own. I do love the basic balsamic low sodium vinaigrette, super tangy and warm.

The 3:1 oil-to-vinegar ratio may be "classic," but it's by no means mandatory. It's certainly a bad idea for dieters or anyone else who restricts their consumption of fats, and some of us just like our salad dressings a lot more vinegary than oily. In my household, for example, most of our salad dressings are home-made...and always begin with that classic ratio reversed: 1 part of oil to 3 parts of vinegar. Admittedly, this makes for a very "sharp" initial mix. Make it at least one day -- preferably three or four -- before you plan to use it, and those sharp flavors will mellow as they "marry." If you absolutely MUST use it right away, adding a pinch or two of sugar or sugar substitute helps tame the sharpness. Good luck!


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