When It Comes to Vinaigrette Dressing, A Simple Balsamic Recipe Will Do

When It Comes to Vinaigrette Dressing, A Simple Balsamic Recipe Will Do

I guess you could say I’m a rancher. No, not as in horses and lassos and the Ponderosa. I mean ranch as in Hidden Valley. I can eat this creamy goodness on almost anything. You name it and I have drenched it in ranch dressing or at least considered it strongly. In my opinion no other dressing comes close…but a good Italian Vinaigrette does this ranch girl good every now and again. But recently I tried a balsamic vinaigrette and while I would never every put ranch on the back burner, this new thing has me curious to try more.

A balsamic vinaigrette dressing is not some closely guarded secret made mysterious by a celebrity or gourmet chef. A good tasting vinaigrette is both easy to create, and healthy for you. In fact 0il and vinegar salad dressings also known as vinaigrette recipes can easily be made by those of us who have not attended the culinary institute.

Times have certainly changed since Seven Sea’s Italian Dressing and Wishbone’s Green Goddess sat on every store shelf as salad dressing staples. Remember when we thought “Original Ranch” was a vast improvement for our salad dressing line up, and store bought bacon bits were the bees knees? Then packaged spring mixed greens became available, and pine nuts were considered healthy and… wait; you still buy bottled salad dressings? Who does that??

Our quest for “lighter fare” and “healthy greens” in our diet, has led us down a disheartening path, seeking that oh so elusive ‘healthy salad dressing.’ Low carbs, low cholesterol, and “healthy for all that ails you,” has become a must. So what is it, that we should, (or better yet) ‘are allowed’ to put on top of our salad that’s actually good for us?

Today we walk down the salad dressing aisle in upscale food stores and behold the gourmet condiments from floor to eye level. Organic spreads, sauces, and accoutrements. Wine vinegars, infused oils, and herb flavored vinaigrettes. Some are even endorsed by celebrities. Some are seen on TV. Some claim to be made by celebrities, (yeah, right). Some made on a distant island, in some strange sounding place. (We move on a step further.) We shake our head at Modena consortium, imported Spanish, and California Napa Balsamic vinegars. A huge question mark hovers in our minds as we gaze at Aceto, Traditional, aged, and Special Blends. We wonder “What hath been Wrought here?” Inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, couldn’t have verbalized our incredulous thoughts more accurately.

A simple oil and vinegar salad dressing need not be so exponentially complex as this. A simple vinaigrette dressing recipe can be made easily, from simple ingredients, be healthy for you, and actually taste great.

The key ingredients in a vinaigrette dressing, is a traditional aged balsamic vinegar, and an excellent olive oil. You don’t have to spend a fortune for the balsamic either. Two very good balsamic vinegars that are very reasonably priced, are Caroliva Reserve balsamic and Masserie di Sant’Eramo balsamic. (Those other vinegars that are under $8, …don’t bother).

Your balsamic vinaigrette dressing will be perfect with other dishes besides a salad, too. A balsamic vinaigrette is outstanding with fresh seafood selections, artichokes and asparagus. A balsamic dressing also goes well with fresh sliced tomatoes or steamed vegetables and greens.

A balsamic dressing recipe can be altered to your individual taste. The normal proportions for a balsamic vinaigrette dressing are one part balsamic vinegar to three parts olive oil, with seasoning of salt, pepper and Dijon mustard. A rule of thumb is one teaspoonful of mustard for every half cup of salad dressing. The flavor of balsamic vinegar is rich and intense, and with a delicate olive oil you may want to use proportions of one part vinegar to four or five of olive oil. Other herbs and spices will enhance a balsamic vinaigrette, such as chives and sage. You may be surprised that even a bit of finely grated fresh ginger root will add zest to your dressing. It is all a question of how you want your finished dressing to taste.

Here is a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing Recipe (that you can make yourself)


3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed through a garlic press
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Use a blender to mix the ingredients. It will produce a thicker vinaigrette dressing. One serving will equal 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing. One cup should easily be enough for 6 to 8 servings of mixed green salad. Refrigerate and store in a covered container. Whisk well before serving. Enjoy!


Author: admin