radish*rose’s balsamic mustard vinaigrette

Make a lot, use a little!  I make a batch and keep it in a squirt bottle devoted to this purpose, which I drew lines on for the correct proportions every time.  This stays good for several weeks in the fridge… I’m not exactly sure how long, because I have never ever had a batch go bad… it gets used up!  This recipe lasts 2-3 salads in our household, and it’s useful for sandwiches, wraps, or to drizzle over a rice, bean & veg bowl, as well.

If you have leftovers, you will want to remove it from the fridge 15-20 minutes before you want to use it, to allow it to come up to room temperature (olive oil solidifies when chilled).  You can also run the bottle under some warm tap water, if you forgot to take it out.  Shake well and use!

The basic proportion for most salad dressings is two parts oil to one part vinegar.  The mustard serves as an emulsifier to keep the oil & vinegar bound together.  You can use other thick things as an emulsifier, like mayo.  And now that you know this,  you need never ever buy salad dressing again, nor must you fret over strange and unpronounceable ingredients therein.  You’re welcome.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 T. coarse Dijon mustard (use more or less to taste)

Large pinch or two of flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Several grinds of black pepper

2-3 T. water (optional)

Method:

Place all except water in a container with a tight-fitting lid (like a jelly jar) and shake it.  Taste for seasoning (use a lettuce leaf) and add more salt & pepper if needed.  Does it seem too thick?  Add a little water and shake some more until it’s the consistency you like.  That’s it!

Variations:

You can add…

  • A finely minced shallot.  This is really good.
  • A pressed garlic clove or ½ tsp. granulated garlic.  This is also really good.

You can substitute….

  • Any kind of European vinegar you like – sherry, white wine, red wine, champagne, etc.  I’ll do a separate post on Asian dressings.
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of vinegar.
  • Other kinds of mustard besides coarse Dijon.  Champagne mustard is really nice if you use lemon juice instead of vinegar.
  • Not a fan of mustard whatsoever?  Use 1 T. of mayonnaise instead and increase the salt & pepper a bit.
  • Fan of neither mustard nor mayo?  You can just leave it out altogether, add a little extra salt & pepper, and shake it, shake it, shake it before you use it (it won’t stay emulsified together, but if you put it on your salad right away it doesn’t matter much).

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