There’s Nothing Like Homemade Salad Dressing

I have made salad dressing from scratch many times, but only recently have I found the secret to really good balsamic vinaigrette.  The secret ingredient?  Really good balsamic vinegar!  Seems like a no-brainer, now that I think about it.

My sister-in-law gave us a beautiful little cruet of the good stuff for Christmas, and it has jazzed up my cooking in many ways.  I sprinkle it on roasted vegetables, splash a little on fish, add it to sauces . . . but mostly I make balsamic vinaigrette for our salads with it.

Is it really different enough to make it worth spending $10+ on?  Try it and see.  I find that I only need a small amount and I actually like it best when combined with the cheaper grocery store brands when making my dressing.  It is aged and has a rich, sweet flavor – mmmm!  The brand I have is Guiseppi Giusti, but you can also find interesting options at specialty gourmet stores.

If you have a chance, stop in The Oilerie in Brookfield.  It has a wide variety of top quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  The best part about the experience is they allow you to sample them!

Here is my simple recipe for a basic salad dressing:

Balsamic Vinarigrette

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. inexpensive balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. gourmet aged balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together with a wire whisk or put into a jar with a cover and shake well.  Pour over your favorite green salad.  Also delicious on roasted vegetables.

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