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This is the simplest and best balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It only requires a few basic ingredients and takes less than ten minutes to make!
Featured with this recipe
- Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients
- How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing at Home
- The Ratio of Olive Oil to Balsamic Vinegar
- Picking the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Choosing Which Balsamic Vinegar to Use
- Keep Your Vinaigrette from Separating
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- Balsamic Vinaigrette Tastes Great on These Salads
- How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe
Nothing beats the fresh taste of a homemade dressing. You won’t regret spending an extra minute to make this homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing instead of settling for a store-bought one that has been sitting in your fridge for ages. The difference is astounding!
Get creative with how you use this delicious balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Drizzle it over a refreshing spinach salad, use it as a flavorful marinade for chicken or steak, or add it to your favorite pasta salad. It perfectly complements the sweetness of pears, apples, and berries, while also enhancing the savory flavors of feta cheese, tomatoes, and mozzarella. The options are endless, so let your culinary imagination run wild!
Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients
You probably already have everything you need for this dressing on hand in your pantry! As far as homemade salad dressings go, this is surely one of the easiest and most versatile. It is a quick and simple dressing recipe that will be a show-stopper for any salad that comes your way!
- Extra virgin olive oil – I like using EVOO because it’s light and fresh and the taste isn’t too strong. There are several oils to choose from and so many reasons for each one.
- Balsamic vinegar – Rich, balsamic vinegar gives this dressing a deep, delicious flavor! Vinaigrette recipes need to have a type or blend of vinegar and this darkens and gives this homemade dressing life.
- Honey – This is completely optional, but if you like things slightly sweeter you can add a tablespoon or so until it tastes just right to you. Maple syrup will also work for this ingredient substitution.
- Garlic – Crush your fresh garlic clove and add it to the vinaigrette mixture.
- Dijon mustard – Creamy Dijon mustard is a savory and slightly sweet mustard that pairs well with salads. You can also substitute ½ teaspoon of dry mustard powder.
- Salt and black pepper – This adds taste and balances out the combination of ingredients for this balsamic vinaigrette recipe.
How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing at Home
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing is a simple dressing to mix together. You can either shake the combination in a jar, simply whisk all the ingredients in a bowl, or blend together in a blender and place in a jar or airtight container. Blending in a blender or food processor will emulsify the oil better, but shaking is also effective. Either way, these three ways will have the best turnout for this homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing!
- Combine – Place all the ingredients in a glass canning jar after shaking, whisking, blending, or using a food processor.
- Mix together – Place lid on tightly and shake vigorously for 30 seconds or until emulsified.
- Serve or drizzle – Serve immediately over salad or fresh vegetables.
The Ratio of Olive Oil to Balsamic Vinegar
The typical ratio of oil to vinegar in a vinaigrette is two parts oil to one part vinegar. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. It is merely a guideline. If you want a richer, stronger vinaigrette, you can go heavier on the balsamic vinegar. If you like a more mild dressing, cut back on the vinegar. Adjust the ratios to your liking and enjoy!
Picking the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Okay, this is kind of a trick question and it’s not an easy one to answer. I’m sure I could write an entire post dedicated exclusively to olive oils. The simple answer is: the one you like best. If you don’t know what kind of EVOO you like, this is where it can get complicated.
To try to keep this simple, usually for salads, people like a more robust flavor. Ninety-nine out of one hundred times I will tell you imported ingredients from Italy are your best bet. Including extra virgin olive oil. However, when it comes to EVOO for salad dressings, I actually prefer olive oil made with 100% California olives. Because California is a drier climate than Italy, you will get a richer flavor.
Another thing to note: the higher quality your olive oil, the more likely it is to solidify in the refrigerator. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you will just have to bring it to room temperature before serving after storing. More on this below.
Choosing Which Balsamic Vinegar to Use
This also depends on your preference. I always buy balsamic vinaigrette with the D.O.P. (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta or Protected Designation of Origin) label from Italy. That way I know it is the best of the best. This is like Italy’s highest stamp of approval so you can rest assured you are getting high-quality vinegar. Balsamic vinegars can have varying notes of fruitiness so try a few before you decide which you like best.
Keep Your Vinaigrette from Separating
If your balsamic dressing sits for too long, it is bound to separate. The mustard or mustard powder in the recipe will help slow the separating process but doesn’t eliminate it altogether. Emulsifying your dressing in the blender will also help so it doesn’t separate as quickly. Simply store it in a jar and give it a shake every time before dressing your salads.
“I love this dressing! So easy to make and tasted perfect on my salads.”-Justine
Frequently Asked Questions
Balsamic vinegar is an ingredient used to make balsamic vinaigrette. It is has a robust flavor and can be overpowering if put directly on a salad on its own. A balsamic vinaigrette is more balanced and is more pleasing on a salad. The balsamic vinegar is combined with olive oil and creates a light vinaigrette dressing that is more palatable.
Balsamic vinegar has no fat and is low in sugar, and has been proven to help lower cholesterol and stabalize blood pressure, so it’s a great thing to add into your diet, in moderation, of course.
If you’ve refrigerated your balsamic vinaigrette and noticed that the oil has solidified, don’t worry! This actually indicates that you used high-quality olive oil. To fix it, simply let the dressing come to room temperature and give it a good shake. That’s all you need to do.
If you prefer to avoid the solidification issue altogether, you can make just enough dressing for your immediate needs. This way, you won’t have to worry about storing it. This recipe is quite flexible, so you can easily adjust it to make smaller servings if desired. Plus, it takes less than a couple of minutes to prepare, allowing you to whip it up whenever you need it.
Yes, after you make the dressing, it should be kept in the refrigerator. The dressing will solidify in the fridge, but this is a good sign. It shows you used quality olive oil for the dressing. Let the dressing sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before serving and then shake it vigorously to blend the ingredients.
Alternatively, if you’re using balsamic vinegar for salads and like them chilled, they can be refrigerated. If you’re using them for sauces, marinades, and reductions, store them in a cool, dry place, like a cabinet.
How to Store Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
To store your homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing, use an airtight jar with a tight-fitting lid. You don’t need anything fancy; a basic canning jar works perfectly fine. Pop it in the fridge, and it will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. Just remember to give it a good shake before serving to ensure the flavors are well-mixed.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Tastes Great on These Salads
Now let’s use your homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing on all your favorite salads and more! Make each of these salads and drizzle overtop this delicious dressing you just made. It is the perfect combination!
How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- 1 Pint (or quart) size canning jar
- Combine all ingredients in a glass canning jar.
- Place lid on tightly and shake vigorously for 30 seconds or until emulsified.
- Serve immediately over salad or fresh vegetables.
- Note: Alternatively, you can whisk all the ingredients in a bowl or blend together in a blender and then place in a jar.
- Simply allow the dressing to come to room temperature and give it a shake. That’s all it needs.
- If you really don’t want to deal with your vinaigrette solidifying, only make enough dressing to last the meal. That way you can avoid storing altogether.
- This recipe is really easy to adjust down to just a few servings if needed. It takes less than a couple minutes to make so you can totally just make it on an as-needed basis.
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