Looking to serve a quick green salad side dish with dinner? There’s nothing better than whipping up a simple homemade dressing to go with it. It’s so easy to do, and recipes like this one require so few ingredients there’s no excuse not to!
Even better is that you can easily double the dressing and have a homemade balsamic vinaigrette on hand throughout the week for easy lunches. Win, win, win!
What is White Balsamic?
Let’s start with balsamic vinegar: an intensely flavored vinegar that’s made from grape must (freshly crushed fruit juice with skins, seeds, and all). It originates from Modena, Italy. It’s known for its bold, complex flavors and is aged in barrels — for years if it’s the good stuff.
White balsamic is made the same way as balsamic vinegar with grape must. It’s white in color because it has been bowled at a low enough temperature so that the sugars do not get hot enough to caramelize and turn dark in color.
White balsamic vinegar has a sweet, mild flavor and a light color; it’s great for when you need a lighter vinegar with less complex flavors, or when preparing lighter-colored sauces, dressings, and foods, that you may not want to use traditional balsamic vinegar in due to the dark color.
What is a Vinaigrette?
A vinaigrette is a salad dressing, made with oil and an acid, usually vinegar or lemon juice. It can have added spices and herbs for a variety of flavors. It’s usually made with a 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar so that the result is a stable emulsion (i.e. it doesn’t separate), but a variety of ratios can be used.
This recipe is another one of our simple ingredients, simple steps homemade dressings for when you need a quick, easy dressing fix!
- White Balsamic Vinegar: the star of the show! I recommend checking out a specialty vinegar and oil shop to find a balsamic vinegar with the BEST flavor.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: again, try to use the best olive oil you can find when making homemade dressings, because there are so few ingredients, the flavor really shines through.
- Garlic Powder: for ease, we’re going with the powder, but you can absolutely mince or press fresh garlic into the dressing, too.
- Salt and Pepper: to taste, a must for enhancing flavor.
How to Make White Balsamic Dressing
Making homemade dressing is so easy, and with just 5 minutes, it’s definitely doable for a quick weeknight dinner veggie fix.
If you want to get technical with it, whisk together all the ingredients except for the olive oil, then slowly drizzle in the oil while continuing to whisk. This process helps ensure the oil is fully incorporated into the vinaigrette.
But you’ll often find me taking an even quicker shortcut and adding all the ingredients to a jar and shaking until they’re combined. So that’s one way to do things.
Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
This recipe is a simple base for a white balsamic dressing, but it can easily be customized! Whisk in finely chopped shallot for extra onion flavor, or add in fresh or dried herbs for more interest.
You can also add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard to enhance the emulsification; it shouldn’t taste overly like mustard, it simply enhances the texture.
And if you want it sweeter, add a teaspoon of honey.
Ways to Use on a Salad
There are so many ways to use homemade dressing! The most obvious is on a simple salad, then add all the toppings your heart desires:
- poached egg
- homemade croutons
- nuts like walnuts, pecans, or pistachios
- seeds like pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- dried fruit
- extra veggies
- red onion slices
You can also drizzle it across chopped veggies, also known as crudités, for a simple, flavorful appetizer. It really jazzes up those raw veggies! Or go ahead and toss it on roasted veggies. I also like to use it as a simple dipping sauce for bread when I’m in a pinch.
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Get the Recipe 2-Minute White Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Whisk together all ingredients except for the oil; then, while whisking, drizzle in the oil until combined. Alternatively, add all the ingredients to a jar and shake really well until emulsified. Be sure to taste test for salt levels, and enjoy!
- Toss on a salad immediately before serving. Store leftover dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.