Fact: greens aren’t worth eating without good dressing. Depending on the season, we have variations we make throughout the year, but this classic balsamic vinaigrette is our salad’s life partner. Not a week goes by that we don’t make a jar and keep it in the fridge for near-daily use. We toss this vinaigrette with greens, drizzle it over Steam-Sauteed Vegetables and Roasted Cauliflower Steaks, or use it to coat a bowl of hastily assembled greens and grains.
Anytime I served this to friends people always ask me, “What is this dressing?!” or “How did you make this?” And I’m delighted to tell them – if you have four ingredients and five minutes, you too can enjoy this balsamic vinaigrette on the regular. It’s sweet, tangy, and the Dijon mustard which emulsifies it, makes it almost creamy.
What you need
When I said four ingredients and five minutes, I meant it. You just need:
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Olive oil
….and of course, salt and pepper, too!
Then, simply whisk the minced garlic, vinegar, mustard, a big pinch of salt, and several grinds of pepper in a medium bowl or a 1-quart liquid measuring cup. Slowly whisk in the oil (I frequently pull out my hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment) first in droplets, then in a steady stream to make thick vinaigrette. Pour into a jar and refrigerate! This vinaigrette is truly one of those things where you wonder “How could four simple ingredients transform into something that tastes so good?”
When to make it
You can make this balsamic vinaigrette when you need it, but we have found that we eat more (and better) salads and veggies when we’ve got a jar of this on hand. Make this when you’ve got five free minutes on a Sunday afternoon. You will never regret having it. It will also keep for at least a few weeks in the fridge.
What to put balsamic vinaigrette on
Because it’s sweet, this is the perfect vinaigrette for any salad that’s got fresh or dried fruit or sweeter vegetables like carrot, butternut squash, or sweet potato. But it’s equally good on freshly Steam-Sauteed Vegetables, a Pan of Roasted Vegetables, or just about anything you want to add flavor to.
Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced (or substitute 1 small shallot for every 2 garlic cloves)
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Whisk the garlic, vinegar, mustard, a big pinch of salt, and several grinds of pepper in a medium bowl or a 1-quart liquid measuring cup.
- Slowly whisk in the oil (I frequently pull out my hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment) first in droplets, then in a steady stream to make thick vinaigrette. Pour into a jar and refrigerate.