How to Make Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing

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Oil-and-vinegar dressing takes a simple plate of fresh salad greens to the next dimension of delightful. Oil-and-vinegar dressing, or vinaigrette, is a basic culinary emulsion, similar to mayonnaise but without the egg. And, like all emulsions, vinaigrette requires an exact proportion of fat and acid to hold together. In vinaigrette, the ratio is three parts fat to one part vinegar; flavoring ingredients, such as seasonings, spices and herbs, are up to you -- just add them to taste.

Things You'll Need

  • Flavored vinegar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Add 1 part flavored vinegar to a stainless-steel, plastic or glass mixing bowl. White wine, balsamic, apple cider and rice vinegar are classic, but any flavored vinegar or citrus juice works.

  • Add kosher salt to the vinegar and let it melt, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt for every tablespoon of vinegar to start; you can adjust later if needed.

  • Slowly drizzle in 3 parts oil while whisking vigorously. You can use any vegetable oil for vinaigrette, but olive oil adds an extra note of flavor that goes with any vinegar. Set the mixing bowl on a moist paper towel to hold it in place if it slips.

  • Whisk the vinaigrette until emulsified, about 1 minute, then taste. Season the vinaigrette to taste with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

  • Store the vinaigrette in a lidded glass jar in the refrigerator. Simply shake the jar vigorously before serving to emulsify the dressing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add flavoring ingredients, such as fresh herbs and spices, or pungent ingredients, such as garlic or shallots, after mixing the vinaigrette. Let the vinaigrette sit at room temperature for 2 or 3 hours to marry the flavors, then store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container up to two days.
  • If you're making about 1 cup or less of vinaigrette, simple add the ingredients to a small glass jar and shake it vigorously for about 1 minute.

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References

  • The Professional Chef 9th ed.; The Culinary Institute of America
  • Photo Credit Daniel Täger/iStock/Getty Images
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