I grew up on Good Seasons Italian salad dressing packets that my mom mixed with oil and vinegar. Years later, vinaigrettes are still my favorite way to dress a salad. Though I’ve tried lots of bottled kinds over the years, there’s no doubt that homemade vinaigrettes truly do taste best–and a batch takes just a minute or two to mix together. Here are my four favorites:
This one is our everyday salad dressing. It’s also the one that gets the most compliments from dinner guests. Make this recipe for a dinner party or backyard BBQ and I can almost guarantee someone will ask for the recipe. But here’s the critical part: You MUST use white balsamic vinegar! It’s not the same without it, trust me. If you’ve never used it before, white balsamic is lighter in flavor and color than regular balsamic. (At our grocery store, they’re stocked right alongside each other.)
Get the recipe for Everyone Loves This Vinaigrette.
There are tons of recipes for berry vinaigrettes out there–but not too many for apple vinaigrettes, which I discovered when I set out to develop this recipe for Stemilt Growers. I went through many, many test batches until I found just the right combination. I LOVE this dressing (and so does my former veggie-phobic husband). Just toss everything together in the blender to make a batch.
Get the recipe for Creamy Apple Vinaigrette.
I love lemon vinaigrette on both green salads and cold quinoa salads. My basic recipe: 1/2 cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice + salt and pepper to taste + pinch of lemon zest. You can also whisk in a dab of mustard or a couple drops of honey.
I went off the rails trying to replicate the sweet Shallot Vinaigrette from the Cosi restaurant chain’s Signature Salad. I finally discovered one that comes awfully close.
Get the recipe for Shallot Vinaigrette.
What’s YOUR favorite salad dressing?
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