Best Vinaigrette Stir-Ins
Vinaigrettes are a good base salad dressing to master. Then let your creativity take over. You can add almost anything to customize a vinaigrette and make it your own. Our Salad Dressing topic is brought to you by Stonyfield Organic. Oh, how we love rich and creamy yogurt!
There’s absolutely, positively no reason to buy a vinaigrette from the store. Ever. They’re so easy to make and customize. All you need is an easy basic recipe (and we have you covered) and some creativity. From there, you can create endless combinations and make your own salad dressing.
So how much of an ingredient do you add? Start with 1/2 teaspoon of your stir-in ingredient per 1/3 cup of oil. Add until it meets your flavor preferences. If you add too much of an ingredient, add more oil to balance the flavor.
Here are some flavor combinations to get you started. Who’s a rock star chef now?
Herbs: Any fresh herbs (garden season is almost here). I always add fresh basil and oregano for an Italian vinaigrette. I’ve also tried lemon juice and fresh dill. Yum. Yum. Yum. Dried herbs work too. A pinch of dried thyme leaves is fantastic on a dressing for a hearty salad and a pinch of dried oregano is just the thing for a Greek feta vinaigrette.
Garlic and minced sweet onions. OK, I have an unhealthy obsession with garlic. More than once, my husband has asked what I’ve got cooking only to realize that the garlic smell was coming from my pores. Ewww. He certainly doesn’t complain though. If he did, I wouldn’t make him my garlic and onion vinaigrette. Just mince the garlic and onions really fine and add to any vinaigrette. Start with less and do let it sit for awhile after making so that the flavors infuse.
Horseradish. I first tried this vinaigrette at a horseradish party. Yes, it’s a real thing in west central Minnesota. People have horseradish canning parties. Some grandma added a touch of horseradish to her vinaigrette and served it with basic greens. It was incredible. I almost lost it though as I watched another party goer add heaps of horseradish to his salad. Just give me an industrial-sized bottle of Tums.
Honey. This is another go-to. Use with a bit of grapefruit juice for a sweet vinaigrette.
Lime and cilantro. This is perfect for any southwest-inspired salad. I’ve also used it on taco salads with chicken.
Balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Pair this with a strawberry salad.
Champagne vinegar and Dijon mustard: When in doubt make a French vinaigrette. It’s effortless. You can also add chives or tarragon for even more flavor.