Here’s one tip I’ve learned that helps to make your vinaigrette dressings even easier: I call it the “twisting whisk trick” (not really – I just made that up, I don’t really call it anything, ha!).
After adding all your ingredients into a 1 or 2-cup glass measuring cup, center a whisk between your two hands and then roll it back and forth quickly to create a fast whisking motion. Voila! Perfectly emulsified dressing in seconds that will not separate immediately – without having to use any type of blender.
So basically if you’ve got vinegar and oil, you can make a dressing at home. All the other ingredients are interchangeable and flexible (if you’re wondering, the Dijon mustard provides substance as well as flavor, you can make it without, of course, but you’ll then see it’s better with it). Add a little honey or maple syrup (especially if your family is used to overly sweet store dressings), some garlic and herbs and it’s perfection- good, real food at it’s simplest.
Go forth and make your own vinaigrette salad dressings!
- Basic Vinaigrette:
- ⅓ c. apple cider or red wine vinegar
- 2 T. Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¾ c. olive oil
- optional: 1-2 tsp. honey or maple syrup to taste
- Balsamic variation changes instead of ⅓ c. vinegar:
- 2 TB aged Balsamic
- ¼ c. cider or red wine vinegar
- Lemon-Herb variation changes/additions:
- ⅓ c. lemon juice (replace all of vinegar with this)
- 1-2 tsp. dried herbs of choice OR 1 TB. fresh (thyme + basil, Italian, oregano, etc.)
- Asian variation changes/additions:
- ⅓ c. rice vinegar (replaces regular vinegar)
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. sriracha sauce, or to taste
- Add all the ingredients you're using together in a 1 or 2-cup measuring glass (or add straight to a bottle to shake and store).
- Whisk by holding the whisk handle between your hands and rotating back-and-forth quickly until the ingredients are completely combined (it's quicker to make it straight in the bottle, but it doesn't mix and stay combined as thoroughly as when whisked).
*Add other herbs: change it up by adding only one type of herb and call it "basil-red wine vinaigrette" (or whatever herb you like), or use a blend like Italian or Herbs de Provence.
*Add a little hot sauce to make it southwest style and use over a salad of lettuce, onions, beans, tomatoes, olives and cheese.
*Add a little pureed fruit and it becomes Raspberry Vinaigrette! Try other berries, too - blueberries, blackberries, or cranberries.
Click the arrow to go back to page 1 if you missed the photos of all the varieties.
Note: Our pantry basic homemade vinaigrette recipe was originally published in 2010 – it has been rewritten to include the variations and all new photos.
Other homemade salad dressings you may like: