Vinnagraittes are easy to make and a great alternative to your regular salad dressing. They can add an extra zing or sweetness to any salad and are generally lower in calories. Bring some homemade dressing to a potluck or barbeque and everyone will be impressed. This is a recipe I came up with, but you can easily create your own too. Simply mix equal parts vinegar (any kind that you like) and oil together with a little dijon mustard or fruit juice, and your favorite seasonings and viola!
Recipe: Balsamic Vinaigrette with Shallots
Makes: 1 1/4 cups
Preparation Time: Less than 10 minutes
1 1/2 tbs finely chopped shallot (this is fine without the shallots if you don’t have any, or you could also use garlic, but I would reduce the amount to just 1 or 2 small cloves)
2 tbs Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (whatever brand you like. My favorite is: Trader Joe’s Gold Quality Balsamic Vinegar of Modena)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp sugar
In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together sugar and salt with the vinegar until dissolved, then whisk in all other ingredients except for the olive oil. After all ingredients are well blended, slowly drizzle in the oil with one hand while whisking with the other until oil is well incorporated. Drizzle over salad and toss.
This can be stored in the refrigerator up to a week.
Note: If refrigerating, the oil might harden, if this happens just pull out of the fridge about a half an hour before using or simply microwave for 10-15 seconds then shake or whisk to ensure all ingredients are well blended again.