For a super picky salad dressing person like myself, the only way to go is to take a few minutes and make your own salad dressing. Yes, I realize the grocery store shelves are lined with a grillion options to choose from. I've tried many of the options that exist and regretted most of them. Which is why knowing how to make a basic vinaigrette (and this summer basil vinaigrette in particular) is essential to home cooking.
Summer Basil Vinaigrette is Easy Once You Master the Basics
Ultimately, you will combine oil, vinegar and some kind of thickening ingredient (commonly mustard or honey). Vinaigrettes are really that simple. There are only a few ingredients and you can pretty much add whatever you want to it. For my summer basil vinaigrette, fresh basil is the star of the dressing. I first made this dressing for my Jonah Crab & Asparagus Salad with Basil Vinaigrette back in the Spring - which I highly recommend you try!
For the best outcome, you will need a mini food processor to make this vinaigrette. Mine is on the fritz so I did rough chop my ingredients before adding them to the food processor.
I love this vinaigrette for salads because I am absolutely in love with fresh basil. I do tend to use more basil in the summer months when I can get it fresh from a local farm. But you can really make this any time of year with fresh basil from the grocery store. When fresh herbs are added to a salad I am in my happy place. It's such a nice pop of extra goodness. And I realize that can get a little expensive, but to me it's worth the splurge. I also recently purchased cute, little bottles for my dressings and I store them in the fridge for all my salad needs.
My Big Pitch to Making Your Own Salad Dressing
As mentioned above, why spend the money on store-bought dressings when you most likely have at least the basic vinaigrette ingredients right in your pantry? And does anyone ever finish an entire bottle of salad dressing from the store? Kudos if you do, but to me they seem to linger and rot after a while and a lot of it ends up wasted. You can stop the waste now and start making easy salad dressings right in your own kitchen. Am I starting to sound like an infomercial?
In short, making a vinaigrette is very easy and involves fresh ingredients. You get to control the ingredients and flavors. Once you get in the habit of whipping up your own salad dressing, it will be hard to go back to the bottled stuff. So I highly recommend you give it a try!
Looking for More Salad-y Things? No problem!
- Hearty Summer Salad
- Johan Crab & Asparagus Salad w/Basil Vinaigrette
- Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts & Dried Cherries
- How to Make Homemade Croutons
- Thai Lettuce Wraps with Rotisserie Chicken
- Sweet & Tangy Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Tasty Summer Basil Vinaigrette
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
This tangy summer basil vinaigrette is the perfect topping for any number of salads. Easy to make and ready in no time.
- 2 cups basil leaves
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ½ clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon shallot (or other onion)
- zest from ½ a lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Put the basil in your food processor.
- Rough chop garlic and add to food processor.
- Rough chop shallot and add to food processor.
- Add lemon zest, lemon juice, Dijon mustard.
- Add olive oil and white wine vinegar.
- Blend well then taste. Since there is Dijon mustard in the dressing and that is already a bit salty I usually don’t add any additional salt here. If you think it needs a pinch of salt, then go for it.
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