|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
When you need an easy vegan salad dressing you can whip up in a jiffy, turn to a basic balsamic vinaigrette. It's quick, easy, tasty, and made with vegan and gluten-free ingredients. This is the easiest and quickest vinaigrette recipe you'll ever find.
If your usual homemade salad dressings seem to be lacking something, this dressing uses the complex flavor of balsamic vinegar and the snap of Dijon mustard. For flavor variations, add chopped fresh herbs. Just about any kind will do in a vinaigrette, including thyme, dill, or rosemary.
True balsamic vinegar differs from regular vinegar in that it is made from fermented grape juice (not wine) that is reduced to a thick syrup and aged in wooden barrels. This results in an intricate, fruity, and sweet flavor. Look for the word "tradizionale" and an origin in Italy. Because this is a long process, true balsamic vinegar is expensive. When you see less expensive offerings they are often made with a blend of balsamic and red wine vinegar boosted with caramel and other flavorings. Unfortunately, sometimes gelatin is added, which makes this a non-vegan product. Be sure to check the ingredients when buying less expensive balsamic vinegar.
Whisk together the vinegar and mustard.
Slowly combine in oil until dressing is well mixed and smooth.
Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
Storing Balsamic Vinaigrette
This dressing is best made in small batches and used the day it is prepared. The simple ingredients in this vinaigrette make it suitable for storing at room temperature in an airtight container, so long as you use it within a week or so. You will need to mix it well before using it. However, if you decide to add any herbs to the mixture you should refrigerate any leftover vinaigrette as the herbs can carry fungi and bacteria. If you store balsamic vinaigrette in the refrigerator the olive oil will solidify and you will need to warm it before mixing it and using it.
Using Balsamic Vinaigrette
Balsamic vinaigrette is wonderful on any green salad. Your taste buds will dance and it will play well with many types of vegetables and fruits in your fresh bowl.
But don't stop with just serving it with salad. Balsamic vinaigrette is wonderful on roasted vegetables such as roasted asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, or sweet potatoes.
Before you get bored of making your salad dressings this way, branch out with different kinds of vinegar and oil. Macadamia nut oil and champagne vinegar, avocado oil and raspberry vinegar, and truffle oil and white wine vinegar are all great combinations.