3 Easy Everyday Salad Vinaigrettes

3 Easy Everyday Salad Vinaigrettes

Let’s talk salads.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to eat a lot more salads. Actually, let me re-phrase that.

One of my New Year’s resolution is to eat a lot more interesting salads. There, that’s better. I’ve definitely gotten better at this over the last year (example 1, example 2), but I get into salad ruts all the time. My everyday salads, which usually accompany our dinner every night, generally contain the exact same ingredients…day in and day out.

And let’s be honest, I am usually dressing them with the exact same homemade dressing as well. So, yeah, my salads could definitely use some work.

3 Easy Everyday Salad Vinaigrettes
Why are salads one of my New Year’s resolutions exactly?

Well, salads sort of come with the territory when you’re less than two months away from your first wedding dress fitting (and you literally signed a contract saying that you would not GET BIGGER. Um, yeah, that happened).

But really, regardless of whether I had a wedding coming up or not, salads are on my agenda this year. Interesting salads that I can rotate and eat as a filling lunch, and use to mix up our dinner routines.

3 Easy Everyday Salad Vinaigrettes

And since we’re talking salads, we might as well be talking about salad vinaigrette’s–because they are a crucial part of the equation.

The foundation of any salad, at least to me, is the vinaigrette. It determines what types of salad greens you want to throw in the mix (bitter, sweet, you name it) and pulls it all together. It can make or break a salad.

On that note, I must say that I am a HUGE proponent of making your own salad dressing at home. In fact, I haven’t met many bottled dressings that I’ve actually liked. Ever. I know, I know. I’m a pain in the butt.

3 Easy Everyday Salad Vinaigrettes

I’m all for shortcuts every now and again in the kitchen, but salad vinaigrette’s don’t fit into that category–especially when you experience just how easy they are to make or customize to your liking right at home in your kitchen.

So, on that note, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite three easy, everyday homemade salad vinaigrette’s that you can make with very few ingredients and in less than a few minutes. Really, I promise.

  • A basic Greek Vinaigrette (you can easily leave out the oregano to make it a basic Italian vinaigrette as well).
  • Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette (made a bit more interesting with a touch of fresh orange juice)Perfect with more bitter greens, such as radicchio, escarole, or endive!
  • Sesame-Miso Asian Vinaigrette, great on salads with crushed peanuts, as well as side dishes, such as roasted asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or green beans.

You can choose to make these dressings two different ways. The super-fast method is to literally combine all of the ingredients in a small leakproof (this part is important) glass jar and shake extremely well (and again, before using). Or you can use a blender or food processor, which takes a few more minutes and a bit more clean-up, but produces an extra creamy, thicker version of each of these dressings. I’ve included both methods in the recipe instructions for each!

3 Easy Everyday Salad Vinaigrettes

Each of the following salad vinaigrette recipes makes more than a cup of dressing, and they can all be stored at either room temperature or in the fridge (check the individual recipe for storing instructions) for a very long time. Depending on how much salad you eat, this amount could last you as long as a few weeks!

When I worked at an office, I would bring half of a dressing batch to the office and store it in the refrigerator, which made packing salad lunches much more time friendly (and I avoided having to use those small tiny containers that have a tendency to leak).

Bonus points! You can avoid all of those strange ingredients that you always see on the back of practically any bottled salad dressing. (And save a lot of money in the process!).

3 Easy Everyday Salad Vinaigrettes

3 Easy Everyday Salad Vinaigrettes

Ingredients:

Greek Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • roughly 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup (good quality) aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • roughly 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, smashed (optional)

Sesame-Miso Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons white miso paste
  • roughly 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup safflower or other neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

Greek Vinaigrette:

  1. Jar Method: Combine all ingredients in a small glass leakproof container and shake well for 20 to 30 seconds. Shake dressing before serving. Can be stored at room temperature for up to three weeks.
  2. Extra Creamy Method: Combine red wine vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor, and turn on high speed. Slowly pour the oil in a very thin stream into the blender or food processor, allowing it to emulsify with the other ingredients. Store in container and stir in the fresh oregano leaves.

Orange-Balsamic Dressing: 

  1. Jar Method: Combine all ingredients in a small glass leakproof container and shake well for 20 to 30 seconds. Shake dressing before serving. Store in refrigerator.
  2. Extra Creamy Method: Combine balsamic, orange juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor, and turn on high speed. Slowly pour the oil in a very thin stream into the blender or food processor, allowing it to emulsify with the other ingredients. Store in container and add the smashed garlic clove (*remember to remove before dressing salad).

Sesame-Miso Vinaigrette: 

  1. Jar Method: Combine all ingredients in a small glass leakproof container and shake well for 20 to 30 seconds. Shake dressing before serving. Store in refrigerator.
  2. Extra Creamy Method: Combine rice vinegar, miso paste, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor, and turn on high speed. Slowly pour the sesame oil in a very thin stream into the blender or food processor, followed by the safflower oil, allowing it to emulsify with the other ingredients. Store in container and stir in the toasted sesame seeds.

 

 

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