Everyone should have a simple balsamic vinaigrette into their repertoire. Sure, it’s pretty easy to grab a store bought dressing, but sometimes you run out, sometimes you don’t have the right kind, and sometimes (most of the time for me) homemade just tastes better.
Here is a quick recipe for an easy balsamic vinaigrette. But pay attention to the technique. You can easily swap out different vinegars (like red wine, champagne, fig, apple cider) and different oils (walnut, lemon, herb) for a different twist on essentially the same recipe.
Ingredients for Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Balsamic vinegar – 1 tablespoon
- Olive oil – 3 – 4 tablespoons
- Dijon Mustard – Third to half a teaspoon
- Honey – Drizzel
- Ketchup – Third to half a teaspoon
- Diced Shallot – half tablespoon
- Salt and pepper
Recipe Overview & Keys to Success
There are just a couple things you really need to pay attention to make a good vinaigrette:
- Use a little mustard. Even if you don’t love mustard, I’d suggest you use a little. Mustard helps the oil and vinegar combine into an emulsification as you whisk it together. Without the mustard, this becomes much harder.
- When you add the oil, drizzle it in very slowly. A slow pace helps to emulsify the liquids. As the vinaigrette takes shape you speed up the drizzle.
- Finally, what the balance. You’re looking for harmony between the ingredients, so taste as you go. The vinaigrette should be tangy, sweet, and have a good mouth feel. Fortunately, it’s easy to add ingredients as you go, so don’t be shy about testing and adjusting.
To make balsamic vinaigrette
- Combine all the ingredient except for the oil into a mixing bowl and stir to combine
- Start to drizzle in the olive oil a few drips at a time while simultaneously whisking to combine. The sauce should start to thicken as the oil is combined.
- Add the remaining oil until it is fully combined or the desired consistency is reached
- Taste and adjust
- Note – if at any time it looks like the oil is not longer getting absorbed, stop adding the oil and whisk until what is in the bowl is combined.