Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

Hey, look.  Yet another salad dressing recipe.  (Here's one and another and another and another and another and three more.)  But the thing is, I eat a lot of salad.  For a while there, I was packing some kind of huge salad in my lunch every day.  So you can bet that I quickly grow tired of the same ingredients and the same dressings.  Add to that the fact that bought salad dressing is so iffy on flavor, and buying a whole bottle of something new is an expensive taste-test.

Enter homemade dressing.  It's actually very quick to make, uses stuff you probably already have in your pantry, and tastes just so, so good.  It easily cost me less than two dollars to make this recipe below, and it's dang good.  The same bottle would have cost me at least $5 in the grocery store, especially if I were reading labels to avoid weird chemicals.

And this balsamic is my absolute favorite.  I modified the recipe below to cut back on the oil and to increase the balsamic vinegar.  If it's got too much bite for you, definitely whisk in more oil.  I can't bring myself to make a dressing recipe with way more oil than vinegar, so I'm down with the bit of tang that the vinegar brings to the party.  Also - when you get to the step of whisking in the oil, the slower you drizzle in the oil (as you constantly whisk), the better it emulsifies and the better the dressing stays mixed and doesn't separate.  You can make this in your blender (again, slowly drizzling in the oil as your last step), but I hate washing my blender, so I just used a glass bowl and a whisk.

So let's all raise our salad forks in solidarity!  Here, here for jazzed up salad!  No more monotony!

(I'm Trying Really Hard to Pretend This Salad is Cake,)*

* cuz I wouldn't lie to ya.

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Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
adapted from Chinese Grandma

2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl, whisk honey, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper until combined. Then, whisk in balsamic vinegar. Gradually drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly to emulsify. Store in a glass jar with lid. Keeps indefinitely in the fridge. Makes approximately 12 oz.

         Click here for a printable version of this recipe

Whoa.  This photo was purely accidental.
I don't think I could have captured that drip if I were trying :)

Salad Toppings:
cucumbers, mushrooms, bell peppers, pears, dried blueberries, pecans, and grilled steak.


  1. So my big question is.....how do you refrigerate a dressing like this without having it turn into an un-emulsified chunk of oil and vinegar?

    1. This one refrigerates a-ok without the oil turning into a chunk; it's an oil that's liquid even when cold. (So, this def wouldn't work with coconut oil.)

      It stays fairly mixed in the fridge, but not completely because we don't have any additives for maintaining the emulsification. When I use this, I just give it a little shake and pop open the lid. No different than I do for bought dressings. Are you bumping into oil/vinegar chunk issues?

    2. Sidenote: I never get emails for your comments! Anyone else comments, and I immediately receive an email. Not so for you! Apparently, you're a ninja commenter, stealthily sneaking your words onto my pages.

    3. And now, I feel like a complete idiot. I grabbed my bottle of dressing from the fridge, and it was exactly as you described - chunky oil and separated vinegar. I guess I never noticed before because I'd set the bottle on the table while I was making dinner, and it'd be warm enough to shake up by the time we ate. So sorry I acted like a know-it-all :)

      My hunch is that this dressing doesn't need refrigeration. Especially because we go through the bottle so quickly that nothing would have a chance to go bad.


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