Thursday, March 6, 2014

Balsamic vinaigrette

I debated even posting this because olive oil + vinegar is not revolutionary and you probably already do it in a bowl with a fork but fully emulsifying it makes it a million times better and adding some garlic and basil is weeknight dinner next level.

balsamic vinaigrette
{balsamic vinaigrette}

I don't have a hard and fast recipe (read - I don't measure) and it always comes out fine. The blender* emulsifies it beautifully and with no effort on my part, which is the real secret. I still love the mayo/yogurt based Mexican-ish Caesar dressing, but for everyday I tend to make this one, or one that is basically identical but uses lemon juice instead of vinegar and has a smidge of anchovy paste and a couple cloves of garlic.

Super simple balsamic vinaigrette (makes enough for a couple salads, scale as necessary)
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil (adjust to your preference. I'm somewhere in between)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste (about 1/2 tsp salt, a few grinds of pepper)

Optional (but highly recommended) add ins: 
Toss in a clove or two of garlic
Add a few leaves of basil
A heaping teaspoon of good mustard

It holds up for a few days in the fridge although it might need to get shaken up before you use it.

* You guys, I know I mention the tiny blender all the time. It's just that when I registered for it I had no idea how much I would use it and now I'm a tiny blender evangelist. I have no stock in Tribest, I swear. I think any small blender would serve exactly the same function. Just make sure you get one that has lids for the blending cups and you'll be set. I haven't purchased salad dressing in years and I don't mean that in a superior way, it's literally just that making it is easier than remembering to buy it.


  1. The tiny blender! I think I need one.

  2. Love that awesome blender! I bought mine because of your post a while back. Keep up the recommendations! xo

    1. Yay! I'm so glad you like it too - that makes me feel slightly less self conscious about how often I manage to bring it up. : )

  3. The tiny blender seems more convenient than this ancient mini food processor I am using! And I cannot wait to try the Mexican-ish Caesar dressing. I have been making a creamy balsamic, adding dijon mustard and honey for a sweeter taste.

  4. Out of laziness the other day, I threw everything into the blender. I am now obsessed with blending + the recipe I used. (Oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, a chipotle + adobo, Dijon, honey, salt, & pepper.) It made such a tasty marinade that I have wanted it as dressing on everything ever since.

    Also - I am seriously considering getting a mini blender *just* so I can have easy storage for blended vinaigrettes. I may have a problem.

    1. Dude, once you start there is no going back. I like the personal blender because I can advance prep multiple sauces and dressings for the week and the only thing I have to rinse out between each one is the blade. No transferring to jars, no cleaning out a giant blender. I know I sound crazy, but it makes such a big difference in the kitchen, if you are someone who wants homemade dressings and such.

  5. Thank you for posting this! I can NEVER find a store bought one I like and, for some reason, am always intimidated about making my own. Crazy.

  6. OMGosh. Thank you for posting this. My husband and I will be trying to eat more salads and eat less of the store bought dressings so this is perfect.

    ps. now I want a tiny blender!

  7. If there is anyone out there who likes eating salad and likes making homemade dressing but HATES vinegar like I do, then I'd recommend buying some verjus (verjuice). It's basically a very tart, non-alcoholic grape juice combined with crab apples and other sour goodies. I mix it with olive oil and a little thyme and it makes for a perfect, refreshing dressing. Just slightly more refined and tasty than the olive oil + lemon combo.

  8. I feel that way about my immersion blender! I need to start making larger batches of vinaigrette. For salads, I just toss greens with oil and vinegar, but I made an actual vinaigrette for steamed vegetables. It gets old having to make it every night. There is no room for a full-sized blender, though I might look into this option.


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