Make a Simple Italian Vinaigrette

Make a Simple Italian Vinaigrette

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Vinaigrettes are so versatile and are better substitutes than bottled salad dressings.

I’m not one that usually tries something right away, in fact I take a long time to try new things. With computer software for instance, I don’t usually upgrade to the next operating system until maybe three or four years after the initial release and I’m even more cautious with my tummy.

Part of the reason is that I have a very sensitive stomach so I have to be careful how I feed it. And, I hadn’t always been gentle with my diet when I was younger. So, what I normally do when trying new dishes is using staple ingredients from my pantry.

So…I collected several recipes for making vinaigrettes but I was nervous and I must say a little intimidated to try any of them.

Finally, about a year ago I think I began experimenting with making my own vinaigrettes. I love herbs and use them often in all my cooking. I was concerned about the vinegar but I decided to use apple cider vinegar and a good extra virgin olive oil and that worked just fine for me. It also tasted good over the pasta dish I used it on. Apple cider vinegar is so good for other things too, in fact it cured my extreme acid reflux disease that I suffered with for years.

Basil leaves

Basil is one of my favorite herbs, but I’ve also tried others like: fresh parsley, oregano and even dry herbs like Italian seasonings, dill, although with dry herbs you have to add a little more to match the flavor of the fresh herbs. The sky’s the limit, but instead of using the red tomato sauces with pasta dishes, simple vinaigrettes keep the dish lighter, adds flavor, and texture. It works great as a salad dressing and it’s much more healthier than the bottle salad dressings.

Balsamic vinaigrettes are made by adding olive oil and other seasonings, including chopped onion, into balsamic vinegar. Other popular vinaigrettes in French cuisine include: anchovies, lemons, truffles and raspberries as the main ingredients. It takes less than three minutes and it uses ingredients most of us keep in our own kitchens.

So…to make a simple vinaigrette just requires three components: extra virgin olive oil (a good one) at room temperature to 1 part of vinegar or citrus juice until it emulsifies into a smooth sauce, and seasonings (salt, mustard). Simple, right? And you only need a blender, a whisk, and a bowl. Let’s get to how to make a simple Italian vinaigrette!

Make a Simple Italian Vinaigrette

Course: Ordinary Recipes Made Gourmet


  • 1/3 c. good extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

  • 1 lg. clove garlic, crushed

  • 4 tbsp. finely minced basil; if you have only dry basil, you’ll need
    1-1/2 cup of it

  • Kosher salt

  • Lemon pepper


  • In a blender, mix ingredients. 
  • Pour into bowl and continuing whisking until completely blended. (You can chill for 1/2 hour if you’ll be using it later.)
  • Pour over your favorite salad, or veggies. Tastes best over fresh summer tomatoes. Even better on a mixed fruit salad.

Another Note

I really emphasize to choose a very good olive oil. The price point can be expensive but believe me not any old olive oil will do. You want a good one that has a nice taste to it. You can always ask your grocer which one they recommend. There are tons on the market.

I also like to mix the olive oil with apple cider vinegar, because of the fruitiness of the combination. Then, I choose my desired herbs and use kosher salt and lemon pepper with a touch of Dijon mustard. It balances the sweetness of the apple taste in the vinegar and once blended, it smells so good and tastes even better.

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Kim McDougal

Kim is the founder and creator of Growing Up in Grace. By day, she's the Director of Interactive Communications for the Hispanic chamber located in Jax, FL. Kim also owns "Kim's Studio Art" where she creates and sells Wall Art Printables and "Kim's Handcrafted Cards" on eBay where she creates and sells handmade greeting cards.