You probably already have everything you need to make a homemade vinaigrette. In addition to oil and vinegar, I like to use mustard to help emulsify the dressing and a bit of sugar to cut the acidity of the vinegar. This vinaigrette adds just the right touch to a simple spinach salad with cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan. It tastes better, is much less expensive and doesn't contain any strange ingredients to prolong shelf life that you might find in store bought dressing. Go ahead - check your pantry. I'll bet you have what you need to make it.
Once you are comfortable with the basic technique, you can vary the vinegar, oil and/or sweetener to change the flavor. If I am making a salad with goat cheese, berries and nuts, I might use raspberry vinegar instead of white wine. To complement the bright taste of the fruit vinegar, use equal parts vegetable and extra virgin olive oil. Another good combination is apple cider vinegar with honey (delicious on chicken and apple spinach salad).
Mixing the dressing in a small lidded glass prep bowl is convenient. I like the ones from Pampered Chef that have the measurements marked on the side. It makes it easy to estimate the amount of vinegar and oil needed; once the dressing has been emulsified, you can store it in the same little container. The vinaigrette will keep for about a week in the refrigerator. Because oil can solidify when chilled, bring to room temperature before using. For more recipes, please visit my blog www.carrotandcupcake.com.
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Several grinds of fresh black pepper (about ¼ teaspoon)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Whisk vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking until dressing is emulsified. Taste and adjust mustard, sugar and seasonings to your tastes. Store in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.