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How To Make A Basic Vinaigrette

May 18, 2015

Some of the tastiest salad dressings out there fall in the category of “vinaigrettes.” A vinaigrette is any salad dressing that includes a mix of wine vinegar, oil, and seasoning. There are dozens of vinaigrette recipes in the world, but they all start with the same essential steps. In the guide below, you’ll learn how to make a basic vinaigrette so you can start playing around with your favorite ingredients.

The Basic Formula Of Vinaigrette Dressing

Every vinaigrette dressing starts with this simple formula:

  • One Part Vinegar
  • Three Parts Oil
  • Salt, Pepper, And Other Seasonings To Taste

Whisk these ingredients together in a bowl, and boom! You have a homemade vinaigrette dressing. Most dressings are completed in under a minute, and they can be customized to suit your taste buds. How cool is that?

Playing Around With Vinaigrette Dressings

This is the fun part, mixing in different vinaigrette ingredients to get the perfect flavor for whatever you’re eating. It could be a salad, or it could be a dipping sauce for bread, appetizers, and more. Here are some different ideas for vinaigrette dressing ingredients:

  • Oils: Most people choose extra virgin olive oil for their vinaigrette dressings, but other options include canola oil, vegetable oil, nut-based oils (hazelnut, walnut, etc.), and grapeseed oil.
  • Vinegar: There are so many vinegars to choose from, depending on your personal tastes. Of course, balsamic vinegar is a classic salad dressing ingredient, but you could also use apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, sherry vinegar, and more. You could also substitute lemon juice for the vinegar, or add citrus fruit juices to the mix to enhance the flavor of your dressing.
  • Seasonings: You can’t go wrong with simple salt and pepper, but you could highlight the other flavors in your salad with fresh dill, basil, mint, thyme, parsley, garlic, shallots, onions, Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, and more.

Don’t be afraid to try different combinations of vinegars and seasonings to see what best complements your food choices. With a recipe as easy as this, there is no reason not to test out your options!

Think Outside The Salad Bowl

Who says your vinaigrette has to go on top of a salad? You could add your custom concoction to just about anything you eat! Test it out on side dishes, like vegetable medleys and toasted breads. You could use the vinaigrette as a flavor additive for a healthy sandwich to enhance the flavors of the other ingredients. You could grill meat with it, or you could use it in a marinade. You could even use a sweet option, like balsamic vinaigrette, in a special dessert! Play around with all of these unique ideas and unleash the awesome power of your homemade salad dressing.

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