One cannot talk about balsamic vinegar without the conversation turning to balsamic vinaigrette. Not too long ago this versatile dressing was mainly available at white cloth establishments, the darling of chefs who either trained in Europe or dreamt of it. Thankfully, balsamic vinaigrette is a staple now at restaurants ranging from fine dining to fast casual.
Often I wonder why we purchase so many pre-made salad dressings when the ingredients for making them are already in our cupboards. Before you go thinking that I am super haughty for chastising you for buying pre-made… wait. I put myself in the same boat! If you have made green goddess, authentic ranch, or thousand island, you know that most ordinary salad dressing takes a bit of time and effort.
Balsamic vinaigrette is not your ordinary salad dressing.
You basically need olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Of course, you can add additional ingredients if you so desire but it isn’t necessary.
The process isn’t complicated at all. Knowing how to make basic balsamic vinaigrette is one of the simplest skills you can acquire and add to your repertoire. Just keep this basic rule of thumb in mind.
1 Part Vinegar + 3 Parts Olive Oil
That is it!
This simple ratio can be teased up or down. For example, if you are dining by yourself, grab a coffee mug, a tablespoon, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the mug and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper, stir with a fork, spoon, or small whisk and viola! You just made yourself balsamic vinaigrette.
Want to make enough to have on hand for a dinner or two? Here is a recipe to get you started with just a hint of Dijon to give it some depth.