The best salad dressing you'll come to know by heart. Learn how to make a classic balsamic vinaigrette with garlic and herbs and you have just gained some space in your refrigerator. This easy vinaigrette can also be a chicken marinade or a formula for so many other balsamic salad dressing variations.
Homemade vinaigrette is better
You know I'm a big proponent of learning how to make homemade salad dressing. And you know what I'm not a big proponent of? Having a ton of half-full, almost expired bottles of salad dressing taking up precious refrigerator door space.
That's why I'm sharing this beyond dreamy garlic and herb balsamic vinaigrette with you: to help you to look forward to eating fresh, big salads every night while saving you some space in your fridge.
And you'll love how this easy balsamic dressing brings out the best in crispy, fresh greens.
⇢ Other easy recipes like this you'll ♥️: Italian chopped salad, easy arugula salad, and quick veggie sandwich. Or give my fresh panzanella salad a try along with this amazing crispy chicken breasts...so good!
Balsamic vinaigrette ratio
Don't be fooled. Making a homemade balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing is simple but you do have to know some basic math. As in ratios. And I'm not a math girl, but I make a really amazing garlic and herb balsamic vinaigrette. I'm going to share all that math know-how with you...right here...right now.
As far as I'm concerned, for the base the ratio is 1:1. One part oil to one part balsamic vinegar. Too little vinegar and you taste a lot of oil. Too much vinegar and you'll be wincing.
Vinaigrette Oil to Balsamic Vinegar Ratio
1 part oil : 1 part balsamic vinegar-Josie + Nina
Ingredients for classic balsamic vinaigrette
⇢ You can find the full ingredient list + measurements in the recipe card directly below.
Ingredient Spotlight: balsamic vinegar
The Best Balsamic Vinegar
Three things to know about authentic balsamic vinegar:
- Read the label. The best balsamic vinegar comes from the city of Modena, which is part of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy (a major producer of famous Italian food ingredients).
- Balsamic made with the traditional methods in Modena will be labeled "Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale".
- Age matters. The older the balsamic vinegar is the better (also the more expensive it is!).
- Balsamic vinegar should coat a spoon. The thicker and more syrupy a balsamic is usually indicates it is the most aged.
Two steps to make herb balsamic vinaigrette
As fast as it takes to read this section, you can made a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Here's how it's done:
- In a medium measuring cup or bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, mustard and seasonings.
- Slowly pour in the olive oil, rapidly whisking the whole time until the dressing has emulsified.
Best tools to make homemade salad dressing
Making your own salad dressing is easy...especially with the right tools. Here are some of my favorite:
- Whisks: A classic French whisk and a glass measuring cup is the tried and true method for emulsifying salad dressing really well. I also love using this mini whisk too.
- Blender. A high speed blender is also a great way to mix salad dressing. And buying a renewed Vitamix blender is a great way to score a great deal!
- Jars/Containers: Use either a mason jar (I love Weck canning jars) or a salad dressing mixer container to shake up your favorite homemade dressing recipe! And your vinaigrette dressing will stay emulsified longer too!
Top Tips for Success, Storage, FAQ's...everything you need to know!
Storage / Make ahead. Most homemade dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (if it lasts that long!). For more info, see below and consult the recipe card.
Freezing. See below for freezer suggestions.
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Classic Garlic and Herb Balsamic Vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar, the best you can afford
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic, from 1-2 cloves, freshly minced
- ½ teaspoon oregano, dried
- ¼ small shallot, about 1 Tablespoon, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt, to start
- ¼ teaspoon pepper, ground
- ⅓ cup olive oil, your favorite brand
- pinch of crushed red pepper, optional
- Whisk together the balsamic, Dijon mustard, garlic, shallot, herbs and seasoning in a glass measuring cup.⅓ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon garlic, ½ teaspoon oregano, ¼ small shallot, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Slowly pour the oil in a steady stream while whisking continuously whisking. Taste and correct for seasoning. Add crushed red pepper for a bit of heat, if so moved.⅓ cup olive oil, pinch of crushed red pepper
- If you have a hard time whisking, hold the whisk between the palm of both hands and swish back and forth (like you're washing your hands) while keeping the whisk at the bottom of the measuring cup the whole time.
- Follow the recipe but place the ingredients in a jelly or canning jar. Shake vigorously to incorporate and mix the dressing.