When you think of must-have recipes Classic Vinaigrette is one of them!
Making a great vinaigrette is a basic cooking skill that you will use over and over again. Learn to make a great vinaigrette and you will never buy salad dressing at the market again!
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Ingredients for Classic Vinaigrette:
- An acid: such as balsamic vinegar, Champagne vinegar, red wine vinegar, white vinegar (or any citrus juice)
- An oil: use your best quality olive oil, safflower oil or nut oil
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and Pepper
- Garlic (optional)
The classic vinaigrette ratio is 1 part acid to 3 parts oil
How to make a Classic Vinaigrette:
Whisk, whisk, and whisk some more!
Every great vinaigrette dressing begins with whisking! You have to whisk together the oil and the acid (vinegar or citrus juice) until smooth. In scientific terms, this is called an “emulsion” and as we all know, oil and water (or in this case acid) don’t mix naturally.
- Always begin by adding all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a bowl or jar.
- Slowly whisk in the olive oil to combine everything together.
- By whisking in slowly you allow the vinegar to accept the oil little by little.
- Adding everything to a jar with a lid works well because you will need to shake the dressing each time you use it. Unlike a store brought dressing, a homemade dressing will separate.
Using a food processor to make a quick vinaigrette:
Vinaigrettes can be made quickly using a small food processor. This works especially well if you want a super smooth dressing. Small processors make quick work of the emulsion process for you. Here is a link to my favorite mini processor. This one is my favorite because you can put all the pieces in the top rack of the dishwasher!
Personalize your vinaigrette dressings
It’s so easy to make classic vinaigrettes in any flavor that sounds good to you and matches the salad you are making. Almost any oil and acid will work!
Here are a few ingredient ideas to try:
What are the best types of oil for vinaigrette?
- Neutral Oils: olive, canola, safflower, grapeseed, sunflower
- Flavored Nut Oils: sesame, hazelnut, walnut, almond, pecan, pistachio
- Vegetable Based Oils: pumpkin, avocado
Best types of acids for vinaigrette:
- Vinegar: white wine, red wine, balsamic, Champagne, apple cider
- Fruit Juices: lime, orange, grapefruit, cherry, or here is a link to our Classic Lemon Vinaigrette
A freshly made vinaigrette can be stored, sealed, in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks. Be sure to shake well before using.
We love to pair this Champagne Vinaigrette with our Brussel Sprout Pomegranate Salad
Classic Vinaigrette Recipe – Champagne and Balsamic
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar or Champagne vinegar, See NOTE below
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp shallot, minced
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Combine the vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, salt, and black pepper together in a glass jar with a lid. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and whisk until well combined. Alternately: Add the lid to the jar and shake vigorously until completely combined, or blend in everything in a small food processor.
- Shake well again before serving. Refrigerate if not using immediately.