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The Easy Upgrade: Using Flavored Olive Oils and Vinegar to Make Delicious Homemade Vinaigrette

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

There are few things more satisfying than a delicious, homemade vinaigrette. By using flavored olive oils and vinegar, you can elevate the taste of your salads with minimal effort. From the bright, zesty flavor of Sicilian Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the crisp, sweet notes of Anjou Pear Balsamic Vinegar, these ingredients offer a wealth of sensory experiences that can elevate even the simplest dish.


This simple vinaigrette recipe by Michael Ruhlman comes from his book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. A must read for anyone looking to become a more intuitive and creative cook, this is a great resource for learning about the basic ratios of ingredients used in cooking, which can help you improvise and create your own recipes.


Simple Vinaigrette


Ingredients:

  • 3 parts oil

  • 1 part vinegar

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine the oil and vinegar in a jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid.

  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Shake the jar vigorously to emulsify the dressing.

  4. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning as needed.

  5. Store any leftover vinaigrette in the refrigerator for up to one week.

You can also experiment with adding other ingredients, such as mustard, garlic, or herbs, to create different variations of the vinaigrette.


Here are some of our favorite flavor combinations and ideas for creating healthy and flavorful salads.


Meyer Lemon & Caramelized Garlic Vinaigrette


Bright and bursting with citrus flavor, Meyer Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar adds a fresh and zesty kick to Caramelized Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

  • Greek Salad: Combine chopped romaine lettuce with sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese. Dress the salad with the Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette for a zesty and flavorful twist on a classic Greek salad.

  • Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken: Toss fresh spinach leaves with sliced grilled chicken breast, diced avocado, cherry tomatoes, and sliced red onion. Drizzle the Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette over the salad for a bright and tangy flavor.

  • Arugula Salad with Prosciutto and Mozzarella: Combine peppery arugula leaves with thinly sliced prosciutto, diced fresh mozzarella, and sliced cherry tomatoes. Dress the salad with the Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette for a delicious and satisfying meal.

  • Tomato and Cucumber Salad: Slice fresh tomatoes and cucumbers and arrange them on a bed of greens. Drizzle the Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette over the salad and top with chopped fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley.


Blood Orange & Anjou Pear Vinaigrette


Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil combines the bright and tangy taste of blood oranges with the rich smoothness of high quality extra virgin olive oil. The sweetness of the Crisp Anjou Pear Vinegar is perfectly balanced with the tangy and slightly acidic taste of balsamic vinegar creating a pleasant depth and complexity that lends itself to creating a variety of satisfying salads.

  • Arugula Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese: Toss arugula with sliced pears, crumbled blue cheese, and chopped walnuts, and dress with the Blood Orange Pear Vinaigrette for a flavorful and satisfying salad.

  • Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese and Candied Pecans: Combine fresh spinach with crumbled goat cheese, candied pecans, and sliced pears, and drizzle the Blood Orange Pear Vinaigrette on top for a sweet and tangy salad.

  • Mixed Greens Salad with Feta and Pistachios: Combine mixed greens with crumbled feta cheese, chopped pistachios, and sliced pears, and dress with the Blood Orange Pear Vinaigrette for a refreshing and flavorful salad.

  • Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad: Roast beets and slice them into rounds, then arrange them on a bed of greens with crumbled goat cheese and sliced pears. Drizzle the Blood Orange Pear Vinaigrette on top for a colorful and flavorful salad.


Tuscan Peach Vinaigrette

Reminiscent of freshly picked herbs from a garden on a warm summer day, the herbaceous aroma of Tuscan Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a well balanced symphony of basil, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon. It is a delicious compliment to the fruity and fragrant Summer Peach White Balsamic Vinegar bursting with the aroma and taste of fresh peaches.

  • Arugula Salad with Peach and Goat Cheese: Combine arugula with slices of fresh peach, crumbled goat cheese, and toasted pine nuts. Toss with Tuscan Peach Vinaigrette and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Peppery arugula is a nice contrast to the sweet peaches and tangy goat cheese. Toasted pine nuts add crunchy texture, while the vinaigrette ties all the flavors together in herbal and fruity perfection.

  • Grilled Chicken Salad with Peaches: Combine grilled chicken, mixed greens, sliced peaches, red onion, and cubed mozzarella in a large bowl. Drizzle the Tuscan Peach vinaigrette over the top and toss to combine.

  • Spinach Salad with Peaches and Walnuts: Toss together fresh spinach, sliced peaches, chopped walnuts, and crumbled blue cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle the Tuscan Peach Vinaigrette over the top and toss to combine.


Toasted Sesame, Black Garlic & Tamari Vinaigrette


Black Garlic Tamari Balsamic, an award-winning vinegar, boasts a complex flavor profile that perfectly balances savory and sweet notes. The blend features a prominent garlic aroma complemented by the umami undertones of tamari, all rounded off by the luscious sweetness of aged balsamic vinegar. Robust and savory, the nuttiness of Toasted Sesame Oil has a deeply satisfying taste that creates the perfect combination with a depth and complexity that belies its simple preparation.

  • Asian Slaw Salad: Shredded cabbage, carrots, and peppers tossed with the vinaigrette and topped with chopped peanuts and sesame seeds.

  • Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Salad: Grilled chicken and vegetables (such as bell peppers, zucchini, and onions) over a bed of greens, all tossed with the vinaigrette.

  • Soba Noodle Salad: Cooked soba noodles mixed with shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, chopped scallions, dressed with the vinaigrette

  • Sesame Ginger Chicken Salad: Grilled chicken on a bed of mixed greens, topped with mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, and dressed with the vinaigrette.

 

A vinaigrette made with fresh ingredients and no preservatives will last for about 1 week when stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It's important to note that homemade vinaigrette may separate over time. It can be easily re-emulsified by shaking or whisking before use. Go ahead and make a big batch to enjoy throughout the week on more than just salads.


Other delicious uses:

  1. Marinade: A homemade vinaigrette can double as a flavorful marinade for meats, tofu, and vegetables. Simply pour the vinaigrette over the food, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, and then cook as desired.

  2. Dip: Use a homemade vinaigrette as a delicious dip for vegetables or bread. It can be served on its own or mixed with Greek yogurt or sour cream for a creamy version.

  3. Grain salad: Use a homemade vinaigrette to dress a grain salad. It adds a burst of flavor and can help to balance the flavors of the other ingredients. Try it on quinoa, bulgur, or couscous salads for a tasty twist.


Ready to elevate your salads and add some delicious flavors to your meals? Head to our Olive Oil and Vinegar Collection for ingredients to create a vinaigrette that will make your next salad sing with flavor!


There's so much more to explore!




With culinary love and inspiration,



References

Ruhlman, Michael. Vinaigrette. Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, 2009, p. 31.






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