Vinaigrette Basics

Making your own vinaigrette is so much easier than you think and tastes way better than anything you could buy in a bottle from the grocery store. And with some vinaigrette basics knowledge, you’ll be able to add interest to any lowly little green salad and turn it into the star of the show.

Vinaigrette Basics

I think I know what you’re thinking: “but buying a bottle of salad dressing is so much easier than gathering and measuring ingredients and whisking by hand for proper emulsification and other fussy things I don’t want to deal with.” Ok sure, it might be easier than the gather and measuring ingredients part, but there is totally nothing fussy about making your own vinaigrette. All you need is a good jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake it like you mean it. Plus, the flavor is just so darn good when you use fresh ingredients and I love knowing the actual and complete list of ingredients. Because I put them in there. 

Vinaigrette Basics

Salad. I can’t possibly be the only person that craaaaaaaaaves it. I want to eat it all day every day. Salads are like sandwiches. It’s hard to categorize because there are so many ways to make it. Every single salad I make is at least slightly different from the last. How could you get bored of it? Well, unfortunately, people do, and I’m here to help. Once you learn the basics of dressing your own salad from scratch, you can build the same really “boring” green salad at any meal, any day of the week and feel like you’re meeting a new friend every time.

And once you get the hang of it, you won’t have to pull out a singe measuring cup or spoon and you’ll be confident enough to add or subtract ingredients and play around with ratios so you have a unique and pleasant experience with those friendly greens. 

Vinaigrette Basics

Here’s the bare-bones run down:

fat

acid

salt

sweetener

emulsifer (optional but recommended)

aromatics/spices/herbs/extra flavorings

What is an emulsifier? Well, I’m glad you asked. You know how water and oil don’t like to mix? Well, the simple answer is that an emulsifier a molecule that has an oil end and a water end, so when blended with water and oil, it holds both suspended together. At least for a little while longer. There are a lot of emulsifier options, but I like to stick to ones that aren’t usually called by their chemical names and that contribute to the overall flavor. The two I always reach for are mustard and honey. Mustard doesn’t always work in every dish, but honey is a perfect sweetener for pretty much any dressing. Especially since you use so little. (I use a different sweetener for my balsamic vinaigrette, but we have mustard in there to work on that lovely emulsion for us) If you want to make a vegan version and use another sweetener, it’s really not a huge deal. Your oil and vinegar will begin to separate immediately, but just give it a good shake right before pouring, toss the salad well, and you’re good to go.

My favorite ratio of fat:acid is 3:2, but you should tinker with that and figure out how you like it. I like my dressings pretty zippy. I’m going to show you today how to make 4 of my go-to dressing recipes.

Alright, let’s get started.

Raw Apple Cider Vinaigrette
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395 calories
8 g
0 g
41 g
0 g
6 g
85 g
207 g
6 g
0 g
34 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
85g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 395
Calories from Fat 360
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 41g
63%
Saturated Fat 6g
28%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 30g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 207mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 6g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
2%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  3. pinch of salt
  4. freshly ground pepper
  5. 1/2~1 teaspoon honey, preferably local and raw
  6. 1 small shallot, minced
  7. 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a small glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Seal the lid and shake vigorously until combined.* Use immediately.
Notes
  1. *Taste for the right balance of flavor by lightly dipping one of the salad leaves you plan to use into the dressing and shaking off the excess. This will give you a better idea of the finished flavor rather than tasting off of your finger or a spoon.
  2. This dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The oil will solidify in the refrigerator, so place on the counter and let come to room temperature before shaking and pouring over your salad.
beta
calories
395
fat
41g
protein
0g
carbs
8g
more
Scratch Eats http://www.scratch-eats.com/
Lemon Vinaigrette
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396 calories
10 g
0 g
41 g
1 g
6 g
88 g
212 g
7 g
0 g
34 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
88g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 396
Calories from Fat 361
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 41g
63%
Saturated Fat 6g
28%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 30g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 212mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 10g
3%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 7g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
17%
Calcium
2%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  3. 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  4. pinch of salt
  5. freshly ground pepper
  6. 1/2~1 teaspoon honey, preferably local and raw
  7. 1 small clove or 1/2 medium clove garlic, grated
  8. 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard*
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a small glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Seal the lid and shake vigorously until combined.** Use immediately.
Notes
  1. *A couple of my favorite additions to this are: 1 Tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan and 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley.
  2. **Taste for the right balance of flavor by lightly dipping one of the salad leaves you plan to use into the dressing and shaking off the excess. This will give you a better idea of the finished flavor rather than tasting off of your finger or a spoon.
  3. This dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The oil will solidify in the refrigerator, so place on the counter and let come to room temperature before shaking and pouring over your salad.
beta
calories
396
fat
41g
protein
1g
carbs
10g
more
Scratch Eats http://www.scratch-eats.com/
 

Balsamic Vinaigrette
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411 calories
11 g
0 g
41 g
1 g
6 g
84 g
213 g
9 g
0 g
34 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
84g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 411
Calories from Fat 360
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 41g
63%
Saturated Fat 6g
28%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 30g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 213mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 9g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
2%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
  2. 2 tablespoons good quality Balsamic Vinegar
  3. pinch of salt
  4. freshly ground pepper
  5. 1/2~1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar
  6. 1 small clove or 1/2 medium clove garlic, grated
  7. 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a small glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Seal the lid and shake vigorously until combined.* Use immediately.
Notes
  1. *Taste for the right balance of flavor by lightly dipping one of the salad leaves you plan to use into the dressing and shaking off the excess. This will give you a better idea of the finished flavor rather than tasting off of your finger or a spoon.
  2. This dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The oil will solidify in the refrigerator, so place on the counter and let come to room temperature before shaking and pouring over your salad.
beta
calories
411
fat
41g
protein
1g
carbs
11g
more
Scratch Eats http://www.scratch-eats.com/
 Really quick, a trick to mincing green onions:

scallions

Trim off the root end, slice in half lengthwise, then into quarters lengthwise (as best as you can), then slice very thinly crosswise. Then you have a very fine mince.

Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette
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195 calories
12 g
0 g
17 g
2 g
2 g
107 g
966 g
7 g
0 g
13 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
107g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 195
Calories from Fat 146
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g
26%
Saturated Fat 2g
12%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 966mg
40%
Total Carbohydrates 12g
4%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 7g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
11%
Calcium
2%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  2. 1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
  3. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (or rice vinegar)
  4. 1 tablespoon soy sauce, preferably organic and/or non-GMO
  5. 1/2~1 teaspoon honey, preferably local and raw
  6. 1 green onion, minced
  7. 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  8. 1 small clove or 1/2 medium clove garlic, grated
  9. 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Instructions
  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a small glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Seal the lid and shake vigorously until combined.* Use immediately.
Notes
  1. *Taste for the right balance of flavor by lightly dipping one of the salad leaves you plan to use into the dressing and shaking off the excess. This will give you a better idea of the finished flavor rather than tasting off of your finger or a spoon.
  2. This dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The oil will solidify in the refrigerator, so place on the counter and let come to room temperature before shaking and pouring over your salad.
beta
calories
195
fat
17g
protein
2g
carbs
12g
more
Scratch Eats http://www.scratch-eats.com/
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basics, salad | February 5, 2016 | By

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Aly
    February 29, 2016

    Yum! And I have all 4 ingredients at home hetalhy, good and easy I love it! This would be a nice change from the soup or turkey wrap I usually bring to lunch.

    • Leave a Reply

      Lillian
      March 2, 2016

      So glad to hear it! Hooray for happy lunches!

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