Basic Vinaigrette for Salads

If there is one thing I love to eat in the summers, it is a delicious fresh salad. Making homemade salad dressing is easier than you think and this basic vinaigrette is the recipe I rely upon for dressing all of my salads. The best part about making your own salad dressing is that you can control the quality of the ingredients that go into it and how much sodium is in your dressing.

I prepare all of my dressings in a mason jar that I keep in my pantry for my salad dressing. Just a quick measure of ingredients, putting the lid back on, and giving the jar a shake will yield a perfect dressing every single time. No need to mix it in a bowl with a whisk, the shaking helps pull the dressing together quickly and easily, with minimal effort.

How long your dressings will last depends simply upon the ingredients that are used in your dressing. This dressing has vinegar and oil in it as its main components. This dressing can last for up to three months easily. A dressing that incorporates mayonnaise (like my Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad) though will last, at most, just three days in your fridge. Since this dressing lasts forever, I always use this one as my go-to and switch it up with different vinegar choices to personalize it for my salads.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Tomorrow I am sharing a great way to make salads part of your summer eating routine, that I think you will really love!

Basic Vinaigrette for Salads
Author: Amy Clark
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Once you know the secrets to making your own dressing, you will never buy the bottled stuff again!
  • 1/4 cup good vinegar (you can use sherry, balsamic, red, or white wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper & salt to taste
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a mason jar.
  2. Shake, shake, shake
  3. Taste to adjust salt and add more oil or vinegar if needed.
  4. Store in the fridge
  5. Bring back to room temperature before using.

Want to make this for a salad for one? Combine 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon mustard, and 3 to 4 tablespoons oil.  Add pepper, then taste and add more vinegar, salt, or oil as necessary.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman (this is an affiliate link).

Have a favorite homemade recipe? Feel free to share your recipe or a link to one on your own blogs that you love to use on your summer salads?

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Published June 11, 2012 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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