Vinaigrettes are one of the most basic sauces in French cooking and can be used for salads, vegetables dips, marinades, or to add flavor to many types of dishes. They’re incredibly simple to make and are cheaper and taste better than the salad dressings and marinades that you can buy in the store. This post is an abbreviated version of the one posted previously on Chef in Residency, but I’ve included the throw-back video from 2009 for educational (and likely entertainment) value. In the video, I show how to make a vinaigrette by whisking ingredients together in a bowl. You can do the same thing by combining all ingredients in a jar and shaking.
How to make a basic vinaigrette
The most basic vinaigrette is made by whisking a slow stream of oil into an acidic ingredient, tasting and adjusting for acidity, and seasoning with a small amount of salt and pepper. You can add flavor by using herbs, other seasonings, and condiments to your liking.
For more great vinaigrette and salad dressing recipes, check out the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Culinary Medicine Workshop post.Print
Basic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
- Yield: 8 servings
- ¼ cup vinegar, citrus juice, or unsweetened fruit juice
- ¾ cup oil
- Other flavoring ingredients, optional*
- A couple pinches of salt and pepper
- Measure all ingredients into a jar (make sure you have a fitted lid) or bowl and shake or whisk until combined.
- Taste the vinaigrette. You want it to be a little sour or it won’t taste right when you put it on food. If it is too sour, add another tablespoon or two of oil. If it’s not sour enough, add another tablespoon of vinegar.
- Store covered in the refrigerator. If you make this with vinegar and oil only, it will keep for months. If fresh ingredients are used, such as fruit juice, garlic or herbs, the dressing should be used within 7 days.
- The oil may solidify in the refrigerator because of the cool temperature—the dressing is still good. Just remove the dressing from the refrigerator a few minutes before using or run some warm water over the outside of the jar to melt the oil.
- *Other flavoring ingredient options: a tablespoon of chopped herbs; 1/2 clove chopped garlic; 1 teaspoons Dijon mustard; 1/2 teaspoon honey or agave; 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger; ; chopped hot peppers; chopped sundried tomatoes; 1-1/2 teaspoons flavoring oil (such as walnut, hazelnut, or toasted sesame); chopped lemon, lime or orange zest…use your imagination!
Nutritional Info (per 2 tablespoon serving): Calories 180, Total Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 2.8g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 73mg, Total Carbohydrate 0g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 0g, Protein 0g, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 0%, Iron 1%