Easy, flavorful and economical, I make vinaigrette regularly. Though it’s a salad dressing, I brush it on baked fish and drizzle it over roasted vegetables.
Easy, fresh, flavorful and economical, a vinaigrette is a staple in my refrigerator. Even though it’s a salad dressing, I brush it on baked fish and drizzle it over roasted vegetables.
3 + 1 + 1 = vinaigrette
A vinaigrette typically has a ratio of 3 to 5 parts oil (olive, canola, etc.) to 1 part acid (vinegar, lemon juice, orange juice). If you prefer tart flavors, 3:1 is good. What’s so great about it is how easy it is to change it up to meet your taste preferences plus use what you have to complement the food.
The 3 + 1 part: oil and acid
Olive oil and canola oil are what I typically use, but I often replace a tablespoon of those with walnut oil. If I want an Asian flavor, I add a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil. Vinegar is the usual acidic ingredient. From apple cider, white wine, red wine, rice wine, and balsamic, you can mix vinegars to suit your taste. Some are more astringent than others, but also try lemon, orange, or grapefruit juice instead of a vinegar. Don’t waste the citrus zest! The colorful rind is delicious in a vinaigrette.
The +1 part: more flavor
Build more flavors by adding small amounts (depending on how strong the flavor is, from 1/2 teaspoon to a tablespoon):
- citrus zest (this is the zester I use)
- salt and pepper
- chopped shallots, chives, green onions
- minced garlic
- chopped fresh herbs such as basil, chives, parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or tarragon
- honey or jam
When it’s time to serve, whisk it well or shake it vigorously to bring the ingredients together then toss with dry lettuce. If lettuce is wet, the oil slides right off. I use a salad spinner to rinse, freshen and dry salad greens. If I bring the vinaigrette to the table, I like to serve it in a cruet.
Vinaigrette ideas to get you going…
- Orange Cabbage Slaw is orange juice, rice wine vinegar, and a 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil on shredded red cabbage with orange slices.
- Apple cider vinegar and walnut oil on a green salad with chopped apples and walnuts.
- Mix tuna and beans for a Greek Salad.
- Black beans and quinoa salad
- Bulgur (cracked wheat) is the base for tabouli, but you can add much more to this grain. Try nuts, dried fruit, berries, chopped apple, diced cucumber, shredded cabbage, crumbled feta, or mozzarella cubes. Toss with the vinaigrette. Or stuff mini peppers.
- Panzanella Salad with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
- Grapefruit juice and rice wine vinegar with Romaine lettuce, grapefruit and avocado.
Here are more salad dressing recipes
Brussels sprouts salad
Tabbouleh stuffed peppers
Vietnamese noodle bowl
Mango jalapeno dressing
Asparagus with walnuts and lemon vinaigrette
Peanut sesame noodles
Chopped Asian Salad with Peanut Ginger Dressing
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- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Salad dressing
- Cuisine: French, American
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- few grinds of freshly ground pepper
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk and gradually pour in oil.
- Serving Size: 1 tablespoon
- Calories: 95
Keywords: salad dressing