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Create a Delicious Late-Summer Vinaigrette Using Fresh Ingredients

Making salad dressing can feel daunting for many of us. We either fear it a little, and keep hitting the bottle (bottled dressing, of course), or if we do make our own, we get stuck in that one-dressing rut.

But if you take a couple of minutes to play with some different oils and vinegars, you’ll quickly see how easy it is to make a homemade vinaigrette, and to keep changing it up so your salads sparkle all year long.

The word vinaigrette may sound a bit fancy, but it simply means oil and vinegar. At its most basic, you can make a vinaigrette in two minutes. Then the sky’s the limit, and becoming a salad dressing master is one of the easiest and most consistently useful skills to have in the kitchen.

The most common ratio of oil to vinegar is 3:1.

The Oil

For most vinaigrettes, extra virgin olive oil is the preferred choice. Olive oils range widely in flavor, from spicy to fruity, mild to robust. It’s a good idea to taste your olive oil and find one that you enjoy. For some oil and vinegar dressings, you might want a more neutrally flavored oil, like safflower or grapeseed.

The Vinegar

There are many vinegars to choose from, such as white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, black rice vinegar, Champagne vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. You can also explore fruit vinegars, herbed vinegars, or spiced vinegars for different flavor profiles.

Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:

Make Your Own Vinaigrette


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vinegar(s) of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher flaky sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot (optional)


Put everything into a container with a lid. Cover and shake. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator. Give it a good shake before using.

Vinaigrettes are not only great for salads but also for drizzling over vegetables or using in potato salad. They’re a fun way to experiment in the kitchen and get your kids involved. So, enjoy the remaining salad days of summer with your homemade vinaigrette!

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