Make A Tasty Vinaigrette With Whatever Is In Your Pantry

lemon vinaigrette
(Last Updated On: May 24, 2022)

If you’re someone who like to eat salads, you may be tired of buying expensive ready-made salad dressings. Or, perhaps, you simply want a better, healthier salad dressing. What better way to achieve all this than to make your own vinaigrette? Read on to learn the basics on vinaigrettes and how to make one with common items in your pantry.

What Is A Vinaigrette?

Vinaigrette is a type of salad dressing, though it may also be used as a marinade. The mixture has vinegar and oil as its base. Other ingredients and spices are added to this mixture to enhance the flavor. There is no limit, really, as to what you can use to make vinaigrette. It will be considered a vinaigrette as long as it is made with vinegar and oil.

Important Elements Of A Vinaigrette

vinaigrette is easier to make than you think
vinaigrette is easier to make than you think

Vinegar-Oil Ratio

Perhaps the most important element that characterizes a vinaigrette is the ratio of vinegar to oil. Traditional vinaigrette recipes maintain a 3:1 ratio of vinegar and oil. Since the vinegar and oil emulsion is the base of your vinaigrette, it’s good to get this correctly. This ratio is a good place to start but you can adjust the ratio to fit your taste in your next batches.

Oil Options

For the recipes here we’re using extra virgin olive oil. However, vinaigrettes do not need to be exclusively made with olive oil. You can use other oils of your choice, such as sunflower oil, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, and so on. We suggest choosing oils that have light tastes so that it doesn’t overpower the subtle flavors of the other ingredients.

Emulsifier

It is a well-known fact that water (vinegar or lemon juice in this case) and oil do not mix. In order to do this, you will need an emulsifier. An emulsifier is a chemical or ingredient that helps the particles of water and oil to bond and stay together. This is an important element so your vinaigrette stays unified. Typical emulsifiers for vinaigrettes are Dijon mustard, honey, egg yolks, and mayonnaise.

Shelf Life

Homemade vinaigrettes don’t contain preservatives, so they can’t last that long. If you’re making a simple vinaigrette with no fresh herbs or fruits, you may be able to store it in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. However, if you incorporated fresh ingredients, your vinaigrette may only last up to 3 days.

ingredients for salad dressing
Ingredients for the preparation summer salad: tomatoes, parsley, basil, oil, vinegar, salt, selective focus
Vinaigrette Recipes You Can Make Anytime At Home

Now onto the much-anticipated vinaigrette recipes.
Basic Vinaigrette
The basic vinaigrette is actually simple to make—all the ingredients will surely be available in your kitchen.
Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced or grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard (or emulsifier of choice)
½ tsp fine salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Steps:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or mason jar. If in a bowl, whisk all ingredients; in a mason jar, screw the lid and shake vigorously. Mix the ingredients until everything is combined.

Lemon Vinaigrette
If you happened to have lemon, this is a great substitute for vinegar.
Ingredients:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp honey
½ tsp fine salt
Pinch of freshly cracked black pepper

Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Make your vinaigrette healthier with an apple cider vinegar.
Ingredients:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Creamy Vinaigrette
Some days you want a creamy salad dressing that does not cancel out your efforts to eat clean. This recipe produces a rich, tangy dressing.
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
1 tbsp mayonnaise or sour cream
½ tsp grated garlic
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of Italian seasoning

Balsamic Vinaigrette
Perhaps this is not that common, but if you love cooking, we believe there’s a high chance you have balsamic vinegar in your pantry. Balsamic vinegar adds a distinct tanginess to vinaigrette.
Ingredients:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp ground mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Basil Vinaigrette
Basil adds a fresh, herby taste that complements salads well.
Ingredients:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
½ shallot, roughly chopped
4 basil leaves (stems removed)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp fine salt
Steps:
To get the full essence of basil, it’s best to use a blender for this recipe. Put together all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute or until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Italian Vinaigrette
This vinaigrette recipe is perfect for days when you’re craving earthy flavors with your salad.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp garlic, minced
¼ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp red pepper flakes

Citrusy Vinaigrette
Do you have a bunch of citrus fruits about to go bad? Turn them into a vinaigrette!
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp fresh orange juice or lime juice
¼ tsp finely grated lemon zest
Pinch of salt and pepper

Worcestershire Vinaigrette
Worcestershire sauce adds a tangy, salty element to dishes. Give your traditional vinaigrette a twist with this classic sauce.
Ingredients:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp honey
½ shallot, roughly chopped

Parmesan Vinaigrette
Everything is better with a bit of parmesan cheese, even salads. So, we thought you may want to try this recipe.
Ingredients:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
Pinch of salt and pepper

Now you know ten more ways to make your salad more interesting. Which one of Eat Café’s vinaigrette recipes will you try first? If you like this article check out other great recipes here…

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