living a well tended life... at any age

101: vinaigrette

This is for Sammi……….

Why anyone would buy bottled dressing is beyond me. Making a delicious homemade vinaigrette couldn’t be easier, and you cannot compare the two. Even the fancy expensive dressings often have added chemicals and stabilizers.

Xanthan gum?

Autolyzed yeast extract?

No thank you.

This is all you need to remember when making a vinaigrette:

Keep the ration of oil to acid 3:1. Of course this can vary (as you’ll see in the recipes below), but you’ll never go wrong if you remember this formula. And it can be as simple as 3 tablespoons of olive oil to 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.

Wanna get fancier? The sky’s the limit. Swap the vinegar for lemon juice, or the olive oil for safflower. Add a little honey, a minced garlic clove or some grainy mustard. And don’t forget salt and lots of freshly cracked pepper.

Emulsify. Oil and water don’t mix, right? Well neither do oil and vinegar – unless you emulsify. Which is less scary than it sounds. The key to emulsifying is to slowly and continually whisk in the oil after all of the other ingredients have been combined. It should almost be a “dribble” at first, increasing slowly and steadily. You’ll see that the oil blends in beautifully, with a perfectly mixed dressing as a result.

Here are two of my favorite vinaigrettes – one basic and one a little fancier (but just as simple to execute – promise!).

Basic Vinaigrette
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
¼ c. olive oil

Cider Vinegar and Honey Vinaigrette
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. minced shallot
1 T. honey
3 T. olive oil

In a small bowl whisk all ingredients except the olive oil. Slowly, and a little bit at a time, add the olive oil, whisking continuously. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(print this recipe)


This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver
http://sherisilver.com/2012/09/24/cooking-101-vinaigrette/

Easy, right?

salad, vinaigrette

And look at these gorgeous greens – do they deserve anything less?

What’s your favorite vinaigrette?

17 Comments

  1. Lindsey (Cafe Johnsonia) on September 24, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I was just thinking of posting this same thing. Vinaigrette is sooo easy to make and so much less expensive, not to mention all those additives. 🙂

    Love it. Pinned!

    • sherisilver on September 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      Great minds! And thank you! xo

  2. Jesse @ Buckhouse on September 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I have been making the basic vinaigrette since I was probably 8 or 9. My dad taught me. It is simple, it is delicious, and it never gets old. Plus it’s super French 😉

    • sherisilver on September 24, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      What a cool dad! How’s France – LOVING your posts!!!

      • Jesse @ Buckhouse on September 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm

        Fabulous but at times maddening. It’s always an adjustment, no matter how wonderful the change is. Thanks!

        • sherisilver on September 26, 2012 at 9:28 am

          I’m sure – eagerly awaiting the next ‘installment’! xo

  3. Elisabeth on September 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I add lemon and when I’m feeling wicked, mayo. 🙂

    • sherisilver on September 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      Mayo. Yes, please. 🙂

  4. maddy on September 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Looking forward to making the vinaigrette. How long will it last in the refrigerator ?

    • sherisilver on September 24, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      Two weeks – let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  5. Marti on September 27, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Whaow!! This is so much easier than I ever imagined with such a busy schedule there’s no reason not to create one. Look forward to trying
    Cider Vinegar and Honey Vinaigrette first.
    Thanks for sharing
    Marti

    • sherisilver on September 28, 2012 at 6:59 am

      Yes – SO easy! Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  6. Carrie on October 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    This is so great! Linking several of my niece’s friends to this post. They are always asking me for a recipe, but I don’t use one. I keep telling them, some of this, some of that and a pinch of the other… then taste it and adjust.

    I tend to like mine a bit more vinegary so I do add a lot more vinegar and add more herbs. My favorite right now is to add “Mural of Flavor” from Penzey’s spices.

    I usually keep a large jar of dressing in the fridge and use small jars for taking a week’s worth of dressing to work.

    • sherisilver on October 9, 2012 at 6:41 am

      Thanks for your comment! I’ve never heard of “Mural of Flavor” – will definitely check it out! 🙂

      • Carrie on October 10, 2012 at 12:52 am

        Penzey’s in general has the best, freshest spices I’ve found. Their chinese cinnamon is soooo flavorful and fragrant.

        I like the Mural for general purpose use. 🙂

        • sherisilver on October 10, 2012 at 7:09 am

          I just went on their web site – I think I’m about to do some serious damage!

    • sherisilver on October 9, 2012 at 6:43 am

      Thanks so much!

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