Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette


One Minute; Makes Enough for Several Salads

Summer. Salad Season.

This classic vinaigrette is phenomenally straightforward and positively delectable. Because great greens deserve delicious dressings. It’s shelf-stable at room temperature and rivals store-bought dressings for convenience. If you don’t want to whip out the measuring cups, just estimate a 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar right into your dressing jar--isn’t the principle of separation by density handy?

The Goods:

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

A large pinch of salt

A few grinds of black pepper

The Process:

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the ingredients and shake until emulsified. Dip a leaf into the dressing and taste, adjusting as necessary. Shake vigorously again, before each consecutive use.

That’s it!


From here, the possibilities are as endless as summer salads are satisfying. Besides tweaking your oil and vinegar ratios, consider the following:

  • Mince in some fresh or roasted garlic, shallots, scallions, or herbs.

  • Substitute the balsamic with another vinegar or lemon juice.

  • Spoon in a dollop of mustard.

  • Add a drizzle of honey.

  • Grind in your favorite spices.

* Note that if you do add fresh ingredients, any leftover dressing will have to be refrigerated for safe future consumption. Just take the dressing out of the fridge thirty or so minutes before using so that the olive oil can re-liquify.


Geoffrey Van