This classic homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette is silky smooth and tangy-sweet yet perfectly balanced, delicious when drizzled over salads, roasted veggies, or used as a marinade!
With years of blogging under my belt, I can say with certainty that some of the most popular recipes on my site are the ones for homemade salad dressings!
But you know what's been missing from my Assortment of Tasty Homemade Salad Dressings? Today's silky, delectable, perfect Balsamic Vinaigrette!
I mean, who doesn't love a good Balsamic Vinaigrette? Its tangy-sweet flavor and glossy consistency are obviously delectable on salads. But it's also amazing drizzled over sliced ripe tomatoes, roasted vegetables, or even pizzas and wraps. And it's equally amazing as a marinade for beef, chicken, or pork!
There are lots of Balsamic Vinaigrette recipes out there. But I've found that many of them are just too something. Too tangy. Or too sweet. Too oily. Or too vinegar-y. I knew that I wanted my version to be tasty and balanced, above all else.
And after some trial and error, I think I achieved my goal!
Balsamic Vinaigrette Ingredients
The key to this Balsamic Vinaigrette -- and quite frankly, the key to any good Balsamic Vinaigrette -- is using high-quality ingredients.
- Extra-virgin olive oil. Something with a nice, light flavor works well.
- Balsamic vinegar. I recommend using one that is aged. The balsamic vinegar you use is going to constitute the primary flavor of your dressing. So make sure it tastes good!
- Dijon mustard. Dijon not only adds depth of flavor to this vinaigrette, but it also helps to emulsify it.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic is potent, so one small, finely minced clove goes a long way. This dressing just wouldn't be the same without it, though.
- Honey. This ingredient is optional and may be added to taste. A nice, aged balsamic vinegar is going to be naturally mild and sweet. So if you're using an aged vinegar, you likely won't need any additional sweetener for a balanced vinaigrette. That being said, if your vinegar is of a more "average" quality and your dressing ends up tasting too acidic, do not despair! Adding a small amount of honey will balance the tang.
- Salt. I prefer sea salt.
- Pepper. Freshly-ground, please!
How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette
This dressing will emulsify nicely using one of three methods:
- Whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl except for the extra-virgin olive oil. Then stream in the oil, while continuing to vigorously whisk.
- Measure the ingredients into a jar, screw on the lid, and shake, shake, shake!
- Whiz the ingredients together in a blender or mini food processor.
How to Store It
I recommend storing your Balsamic Vinaigrette in a tightly sealed jar or bottle in the refrigerator. It will keep for a month or so...though mine never lasts that long!
Keep in mind that olive oil can thicken or solidify when chilled. So always take the dressing out of the fridge when you start preparing your meal and allow it to come to room temperature. Then, just before serving, give it a good shake!
So who's ready to add this classic homemade salad dressing to your repertoire? It's easy to whip up, it's made with quality ingredients, and it's bursting with flavor. You'll never want store-bought again!
More Homemade Salad Dressings
- Homemade French & Catalina Salad Dressings
- Cilantro Lime ~ Mexican Vinaigrette
- Creamy Italian Dressing
- Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, aged/good-quality recommended
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 to 3 teaspoons honey, OPTIONAL
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, Dijon, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. While continuously whisking, slowly and steadily stream in the oil. Whisk until glossy and emulsified. Taste and, if the vinaigrette is too acidic, whisk in 1 to 3 teaspoons of honey (how much is needed will depend on the sweetness and acidity of the vinegar).
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month; allow to come to room temperature and shake well before serving.
- Measure the ingredients into a jar, screw on the lid, and vigorously shake.
- Blend the ingredients together in a blender or mini food processor.