10 Vinaigrettes to Make Your Salad Amazing

If you have pasta, some veggies and a nice vinaigrette you have a meal. You probably noticed some of these elements in yesterday's Salads without Lettuce article. It can be that simple. In my interview with Jesse Miner, he mentioned a basic balsamic vinaigrette that he always prepares for salads. When it comes to salad dressings and vinaigrettes it really is cheaper and healthier to make your own. All you need is a jar to shake everything up or a whisk and a bowl and you're in business. According to Kevin Weeks,

Basic vinaigrettes are easy: some oil, some acid, some flavorings, and something to work as an emulsifier.

Emulsifiers keep the oil and vinegar from separating.

Check out these 10 vinaigrettes that you can use as marinades, salad dressings or anything else you think of. Feel free to reduce the amount of oil in any of these. Chow suggests using a 1:2 ratio of vinegar to oil or even 1:1.

If you want to make it even simpler, just pour a little vinegar and oil on your salad and add salt and pepper!

1. Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette

Source: The Creative Salad

Yield: Makes 3/4 cup

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced (we use 2 small garlic cloves instead)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl or a small bell jar; set aside.

2. Simple Vinaigrette

Source: Serious Eats

Yield: 1 cup

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
4 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup neutral oil (such as canola)
1/4 cup flavored oil (such as extra-virgin olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in small container or squeeze bottle.
  2. Seal container and shake vigorously until emulsified.

Shake again before each use.

3. Pear Vinaigrette

Source: AllRecipes.com

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

1 ripe pear - peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil

  1. Blend the pear, white wine, garlic, Dijon mustard, white balsamic vinegar, black pepper, and sea salt in a blender until well combined
  2. Drizzle the olive oil into the mixture in a thin, steady stream while continuing to blend.
  3. Blend a few seconds longer until the salad dressing is thick and creamy.

4. Berry Dressing

Source: Gluten-Free Goddess

Serves: 4

1/2 cup fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, washed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon raw agave nectar
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

  1. Place the strawberries, raspberries, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and agave nectar into a blender container.
  2. Cover and blend on high until the berries are pureed.
  3. Season with a grind of fresh black pepper, to taste.

5. Roasted Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Source: Closet Cooking

Yield: 1 cup

1 cup strawberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  1. Place the strawberries in a single layer on a baking pan lined with foil folded up on the sides to capture the juices.
  2. Roast the strawberries in a preheated 425F oven until they start to caramelize, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Puree everything in a food processor until smooth.

6. Balsamic Vinaigrette

Source: Martha Stewart

Yield: 3/4 cup

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and lemon juice.
  2. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until combined.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Lemon Vinaigrette

Source: Martha Stewart

Yield: 1/2 cup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Combine mustard, lemon zest, and juice in a jar; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add some of the oil, then cover and shake to combine.
  3. Continue adding more oil and shaking until all the oil is incorporated and mixture is thickened and uniform in color.
  4. Serve immediately.

8. Raspberry Vinaigrette

Source: Giada de Laurentiis (adapted)

Yield: 4-6 servings

1/2 cup unsweetened frozen raspberries, thawed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Place the raspberries, olive oil, lemon juice, and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

9. Zesty Italian Dressing

Source: Penniless Parenting

1 cup of the vinegar (any type is fine, whether ACV, wine vinegar, rice vinegar, etc...)
1 1/3 cup of olive oil or other oil (I usually do half olive oil, half cheaper oil)
2 tablespoons of water
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon honey, white sugar, or sucanat
1 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoons salt

  1. Pour the dry ingredients into a glass jar or bottle with a cover.
  2. Add the liquids.
  3. Cover and shake well.

Use, or refrigerate for up to 90 days.

10. Basil Vinaigrette

Source: Simply Recipes

Yield: A little more than 1 cup

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil

  1. Place the salt, sugar, mustard, shallot and basil in a blender or food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Scrape the sides of the blender down with a spatula.
  2. Add the vinegar and pulse again.
  3. Turn the blender on low and take off the cap in the center of the blender’s lid. Slowly pour in the olive oil. It may sputter a little out of the open cap, so hold you hand over it to minimize splashing.
  4. When the olive oil is incorporated, turn off the blender and scrape the sides down one more time. Cover and purée everything for 1-2 minutes.

Store covered in the fridge for up to a week.