I always have a little jar or two of homemade salad dressing in my fridge – Balsamic Vinaigrette and Red Wine Vinaigrette. Nothing fancy, and nothing could be easier ~ make them right in a jar and just shake it! The basic vinaigrette ratio is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar; I like the vinegar taste and to make it even simpler I just do equal parts, eyeball it. So you start your jars with the seasonings, then fill half way with your vinegar of choice, and the rest of the way with olive oil, and shake shake shake!
When you always have a jar of vinaigrette in the door of your fridge, adding a quick salad to dinner is easy. Making a hearty salad for lunch is fairly quick, and a simple potato or pasta salad dressing is ready to go. They last in the fridge a long time, easily a month or so, and you know exactly what’s in them, unlike their store-bought versions.
With the balsamic vinaigrette, I often do a “fruit ~ nut” salad. That is, any lettuce greens (arugula, spinach, spring mix), any fruit (dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds, chopped apples, berries), any nut, toasted is the best (walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, pecans) and cheese (shaved Parmesan, goat cheese, feta, blue cheese). I always have some combination in the cupboard or fridge.
With the red wine I usually use whatever veggies I have and one of the same cheeses. Jarred peppers or olives are handy too. A salad is an easy side when you just need something green and healthy, and if your dressing is already made and ready, you can throw it together in a few minutes.
When your jar of dijon is almost gone, don’t scrape out every last bit…make salad dressing right in the jar!
Easy Vinaigrette in a Jar
- 1 T dijon
- 2 t honey
- ½ t kosher salt
- 10 grinds fresh black pepper
- ⅓ c vinegar (Balsamic OR Red wine)
- ⅓ c olive oil
- Put all ingredients in a small jar (measurements don't have to be exact-vinegar and oil should each be about half the jar) put the lid on and shake. Store in the fridge for a month or more
- To use, set out 15 minutes or so until the oil comes to room temperature, shake again and toss with your favorite salad