Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Homemade balsamic vinaigrette isn’t as sickening sweet as store-bought salad dressing and is really easy to make yourself.


I no longer buy salad dressing for myself because I’m making my own. I have three in my rotation: thousand island, northern Italian and this balsamic vinaigrette.

You can find hundreds of recipes for balsamic vinaigrette online. I developed this one after many tweaks. Many recipes add sugar but I really don’t think you need any additional sugar since balsamic vinegar is sweet enough in its own way.

Sugar, not fat or salt, is the ingredient I try most to avoid. Most processed food seems to include it whether it’s needed or not. Now I notice how sickening sweet some foods are compared to their healthier counterparts. For example, if you eat only plain yogurt, a big brand flavored yogurt tastes like a candy bar. Where’s the tang?

I’m not against sweets, I just don’t like excessive sugar in foods where it doesn’t belong. Luckily for you I don’t remember enough about the science to get up on a soap box. So I’ll stop my ranting about sugar.

The next dressing on my list: this maple sherry vinaigrette from Healthy Seasonal Recipes with two of my favorite ingredients, maple syrup and sherry vinegar.

Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe | Grabbing the Gusto

Balsamic Vinaigrette | Grabbing the Gusto

Balsamic Vinaigrette

You’ll need an immersion blender with cup or a small bowl and whisk.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic—degerm the garlic first since you’re serving it raw
  • 1/4 teaspoon each dried basil, thyme and oregano
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

If you have an immersion blender, add all the ingredients to the blender cup. Blend until thoroughly emulsified. Season with salt and pepper and adjust the amounts to your taste.

Or, if you don’t have an immersion blender, in a small bowl, mix together the vinegar, water, mustard, shallot, garlic and herbs. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2 thoughts on “Balsamic Vinaigrette

  1. LFFL says:

    I love a good vinaigrette. Makes a salad taste wonderful.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      And this one’s especially good with some gorgonzola, goat or feta cheese crumbles. 🙂

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