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Balsamic Vinaigrette

balsamicvinaigrette

It’s surprisingly easy to make salad dressing, to the point where I tend to wonder why I ever thought it was intimidating.  Not only is the flavor better, but since it has no preservatives and you are in control of the ultimate ingredients it’s so much healthier for you too!  The easiest way to do it involves a food processor, but if you don’t have one or don’t want to use one whisking by hand, hand mixer, or stand mixer works just as well.  The trick is in letting your vinegar rest with the other ingredients for a spell (giving it time to extract flavors), and when it’s time to add your oil, drizzling it as slowly as possible as you have your machine running (or you whisking).  Even if your emulsion separates, you can shake it up for a quick fix or try whisk it up again right before serving.

This particular recipe is one I threw together on the fly.  There’s quite a few recipes out there for Balsamic dressing, and each one adds a little something to the table.  Get out there and try them all, or be daring and see what you can come up with.  Do you like things spicy?  Maybe throw in some red pepper flakes?  Got a lot of fresh herbs in your garden make up your own spice blend for dressings!  Play with your sweeteners, try brown sugar, agave nectar, or white sugar.  Whatever meets your cravings or needs, can get you eating fresh greens with a delicious dressing in no time flat!

Ingredients:
1/3 cup of Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Honey
1 (or two) minced Cloves of Garlic
1/2 teaspoon (or whatever suits your fancy) of Kosher Salt (or sea salt!)
1/2 teaspoon (or whatever suits your fancy) of cracked black (or coarse) pepper
1 teaspoon of assorted Italian herbs (I use a blend of marjoram, basil, thyme, and oregano)
Almost a full cup of Olive oil (or whatever oil suits your palate if Olive oil’s flavor is not your favorite.)

Directions:
1.  Put all ingredients but oil in your work bowl and mix (either by whisking, pulsing in a processor, or beating with a stand or hand mixer with whisk attachment).

2. Let rest for five to ten minutes to allow flavors to spread through the vinegar.

3.  Whisk/start food processor and keep it going while you slowly (this is really important) add the oil in a thin but constant drizzle until your dressing becomes emulsified.  (You may have some oil left, you want it looking thickened and opaque when you stop.)

4.  Serve on your favorite bed of greens or other application!  I hope you enjoyed this recipe, and find it as delicious as I do!

Jenny

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