There are few things that I like more than a really good vinaigrette recipe. Balsamic vinaigrette, red white vinaigrette or sherry vinaigrette – I like them all. Of these, my favorite is balsamic vinaigrette. The simplicity is amazing and the impact on everything from a regular salad to a quinoa salad is spectacular. It has been years since I have even thought about buying prepared dressings. Making my own balsamic vinaigrette is so simple and it tastes so much better than what you buy at the store. It is great with everything from regular salad to quinoa salad. I even use it for steamed broccoli recipes!
Today I thought I would share my balsamic vinaigrette dressing recipe with you. It is great to use if you want to experiment with making your own quinoa recipes. I use it every morning on a green salad, which my 4 and 5 year old boys have affectionately dubbed mom’s “sticky salad” because they can’t stand the smell of vinegar. I keep telling them they will grow into it but they both are convinced that they won’t! (Mom knows better – one day they will love this balsamic vinegarette recipe.)
If you are going to make vinaigrette dressing regularly, you might want to think about getting a salad dressing mixer. I use the BonJour Salad Chef Salad Dressing Mixer.
It makes it easy to prepare and is convenient for storing. Of course, it is not necessary! Just make sure you don’t keep it in plastic that you plan on using for another purpose. The vinegar and garlic can really get into the plastic! (Glass will clean up just fine.)
One thing to keep in mind is that your balsamic vinaigrette dressing is only going to be as good as the ingredients that you put into it. Now, I’m not saying that you need to go spend $25 on balsamic vinegar – unless, of course, you want to – but you shouldn’t by the cheapest thing that you can get either. The same goes for the olive oil. I use one olive oil for cooking and another higher quality to put in salad dressings. I can tell a difference in my balsamic vinegar dressing recipe when I use better ingredients.
I use a touch of Dijon mustard in my balsamic vinaigrette recipe, because it really helps the emulsification process to go quicker. I also like to add in garlic and shallots. I tend to be heavy on the garlic but you can adjust as needed. I have provided mixing instructions assuming that you don’t have a salad dressing mixer, so if you do you can just ignore them and throw everything in together.
2 T shallots, minced
4 large cloves of garlic, minced (more or less to your taste)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
mineral sea salt, to taste
1. Place minced shallots and garlic in a small bowl and combine with Dijon mustard.
2. Add balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
3. Slowly pour in olive oil to the mixture mixing as you go. You almost want to go drop by drop. The goal is to create a creamy emulsified dressing.
4. Enjoy! The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for at least four days.
Quinoa and balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite combinations. Do you have favorite vinaigrette dressing recipes or favorite dressing recipes? Or quinoa recipes? If so I would love to hear from you!