Are you an unabashedly salad-lover? Been thinking about cooking more at home, to save money and to keep an eye on the healthy aspects of all your ingredients? Then you should learn how to make a balsamic vinaigrette. This will bring even more flavor to your dishes!
For my family, while I was growing up, a salad meant unequivocally some sliced and diced tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumber, perhaps 1-2 lettuce leaves. My mom would pour some apple vinegar and some vegetable oil on the veggies and put the bowl on the table. She didn’t have that much time for cooking, so she made the most out of it!
I guess that’s why I didn’t discover herbs until a later date and this whole new world of flavors and palate experiences opened up to me. One of the new things I started to do was make my own vinaigrettes instead of pouring oil and vinegar over the veggies.
There are many combos, but there is a basic, pretty simple way of making a balsamic vinaigrette, which you can embellish according to your own tastes and favorites!
How to make balsamic vinaigrette: the simplest way
1. Choose your ingredients
When it comes to vinaigrettes, I love using extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. But if you don’t have any handy, you can choose another oil or type or vinegar. It depends on your likes, dislikes, and possibilities.
2. Know your proportions
If you’re just starting out, then use these golden proportions for the vinegar and oil: three parts oil and one part vinegar will ensure that your vinaigrette has a balanced flavor.
But you can change that balance if you have different preferences. More oil in the mix means a richer flavor, while more vinegar brings it that extra sour edge.
3. Mix them up!
Pour the vinegar and oil in a sealable container and mix them up by shaking that sealed container! The vinegar and oil separate after a few minutes, because of the difference in density, but all you have to do is shake the container again to get the vinaigrette on the right path.
4. Add salt and pepper
Sprinkle salt and pepper in the mix, to taste.
5. Test with some lettuce
Find out if you have what you’re looking for in terms of taste! Pour a few drops of vinaigrette on a lettuce leaf, or stick the leaf in the container – as you like it. Let your senses process it, try to find out if it’s missing something.
6. Try some add-ons
There are a lot of ways you can work on a vinaigrette. You can add some freshly chopped herbs, or even dried ones if that’s all you have in the kitchen.
You can add some freshly squeezed lemon juice, garlic, mustard, honey, or spices you like. Experiment!
But don’t restrict the vinaigrette to a simple salad dressing. It can be so much more! You can use it to bring an acidic touch to chicken thighs, serve it as a finishing sauce for fish, or add it to some grilled veggies. There are a lot of great combos out there, waiting to be discovered.