This balsamic vinaigrette recipe is simply perfect! Its combination of tangy balsamic vinegar, rich olive oil, and subtle sweetness creates a wonderful flavor. It’s versatile enough to enhance any salad or dish, making it a go-to dressing. Don’t be afraid to be that person that BYOs their own salad dressing!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- A completely balanced flavor! The homemade salad dressing combines the richness of extra-virgin olive oil with the tanginess of balsamic vinegar, resulting in a delightful flavor. It can even be used on pasta salads or as a chicken or steak marinade.
- Umami on the go. Everything can be made in advance and the addition of Dijon mustard and minced garlic gives the vinaigrette a savory kick that you can add to anything, or take with you anywhere!
- Easily customised. Unlike store-bought dressing, this recipe allows for customization, enabling you to adjust the sweetness, acidity, and seasonings to suit your personal preferences.
What is balsamic vinaigrette made of?
- Balsamic vinegar. The star of the show, balsamic vinegar provides the tangy and slightly sweet flavor that gives the vinaigrette its distinct taste.
- Extra-virgin olive oil. Olive oil adds richness and a smooth texture to the vinaigrette, helping to balance the acidity of the vinegar and create a well-rounded dressing.
- Dijon mustard. The mustard acts as an emulsifier, helping to bind the oil and vinegar together, creating a creamy and stable vinaigrette.
- Garlic. Garlic contributes a savory and aromatic element, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the dressing.
- Maple syrup (optional). Natural sweeteners can be added to balance the acidity of the vinegar and provide a touch of sweetness, if desired.
- Salt and black pepper. To taste.
How to make balsamic vinaigrette
Step 1 – Mix the ingredients. In a small bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and honey (if using). Whisk or shake vigorously to combine the ingredients.
Step 2 – Add the olive oil. Slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil while continuing to whisk or shake the mixture. This helps emulsify the dressing and create a smooth consistency. Keep whisking or shaking until the dressing is well combined and slightly thickened.
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Step 3 – Taste test. Taste the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper according to your preference. Adjust the sweetness or acidity by adding more honey or balsamic vinegar if desired.
Step 4 – Chill and serve! If time allows, refrigerate the dressing for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Chilling the vinaigrette helps the flavors meld together and enhances the taste. Just before serving, give the vinaigrette a final shake to make sure it’s well-mixed. Enjoy!
Tips to make the best recipe
- Quality Ingredients. Use high-quality balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil as this will impact the overall flavor of the vinaigrette. Look for balsamic vinegar that is aged and has a rich, syrupy consistency, and opt for a good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, such as California Olive Ranch or Colavita, to ensure a robust and smooth taste.
- Emulsification technique. Properly emulsifying the vinaigrette is essential for achieving a smooth and well-blended consistency. It’s important to slowly drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk vigorously or shake the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Adjust seasonings to taste. Taste the vinaigrette before serving and adjust the seasonings according to your preference. You can adjust the sweetness with maple syrup, or even incorporate additional herbs or spices for added depth. Don’t be afraid to experiment and customize the vinaigrette to suit your personal taste.
To store: Store the balsamic vinaigrette in a sealed container in the fridge. The cold temperature helps preserve the freshness and quality of the dressing for up to a week. Before using the vinaigrette, give it a good shake.
- Old jars. Recycle some old sauce or condiment jars to store the vinaigrette. The air tight seal will come in handy!
Other salad dressing recipes to try
- Ginger salad dressing
- Roasted cauliflower and sweet potato salad with cumin sumac dressing
- Tahini sauce
Frequently asked questions
Balsamic vinegar has a unique, sweet and tangy taste that adds depth to the vinaigrette. Using a different vinegar will completely alter the overall flavor of the dressing.
Homemade balsamic vinaigrette can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. However, it’s essential to check for any changes in taste or texture before using it.
Yes, balsamic vinaigrette can be used as a marinade for various meats, vegetables, and even tofu. Its tangy and savory flavors can add depth to the marinade and infuse the ingredients with delicious taste. However, it’s important to note that the acidity in the vinaigrette may affect the texture of certain ingredients.
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- In a small bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and honey (if using). Whisk or shake vigorously to combine the ingredients.
- Slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil while continuing to whisk or shake the mixture. This helps emulsify the dressing and create a smooth consistency. Keep whisking or shaking until the dressing is well combined and slightly thickened.
- Taste the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper according to your preference. Adjust the sweetness or acidity by adding more honey or balsamic vinegar if desired.
- If time allows, refrigerate the dressing for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Chilling the vinaigrette helps the flavors meld together and enhances the taste.
- Just before serving, give the vinaigrette a final whisk or shake to make sure it's well-mixed. Pour it over your favorite salad or use it as a marinade for grilled vegetables. Enjoy!