Every awesome salad deserves a kick-ass salad dressing! I shared with you guys How to Make a Cranberry Chicken Salad and now it’s only fair that I teach you guys how to make the salad dressing that I used. To start, Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette pairs with any and all salads. Whether you make the Cranberry Chicken Salad or even a caprese salad, this Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette is top notch. It’s easy to make and tastes better than anything you buy at the supermarket—trust me on this.
Making a salad dressing is really simple. You just have to follow a few cardinal rules… but if you break them, it’s really not the end of the world. But if you do follow, know that you will end up with a spectacular salad dressing that will elevate any salad that you eat!
Cardinal Rule #1: Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar
To start, you want to use a good quality vinegar and you can tell you have a good quality balsamic vinegar by its weight, thickness, and color. A good quality balsamic vinegar actually weighs quite a bit. I personally was surprised to learn just how heavy balsamic vinegar can get. I like to think it weighs more because it packs a bigger flavor punch! Balsamic vinegar is also meant to be slightly thick. If you can get your hands on some thick balsamic vinegar that doesn’t break the bank, then hold onto it for dear life! If you can’t, no worries you’ll live. It’s actually quite hard to find an affordable good quality balsamic vinegar that taste like it came straight from Modena Italy. Nonetheless, your grocery store will have some really good options. My point is to get the best quality balsamic vinegar you can that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Cardinal Rule #2: Oil to Vinegar Ratio
Aside from the quality of your ingredients, I will say that your oil to vinegar ratio is the 2nd most important rule to making a salad dressing. You typically want to have a 1:2 ratio of vinegar to extra virgin olive oil. You essentially want to use double the amount of oil vs. vinegar. Now, this is one of those rules that you can bend at your wish. If you like a more tart vinaigrette like my boyfriend, then feel free to use a 1:1 ratio. Regardless of the ratio that you use, just be sure to use extra virgin olive oil so that you get the most amount of flavor from your vinaigrette.
Cardinal Rule #3: Emulsifier
Rule #3 is one of those rules that most people overlook. Why? I’m not really sure but I rarely ever skip this rule because including an emulsifier in your dressing makes your vinaigrette smooth & decadent. It keeps the oil and vinegar from separating. Your vinaigrette comes out smooth and thick. Now my favorite emulsifier to use is dijon mustard because it packs the right amount of flavor punch. And no– your dressing will not taste like straight up mustard unless you’re making a mustard vinaigrette. When you pair dijon mustard with balsamic vinegar, it balances the vinegar the same way brown sugar does. There are a ton of different emulsifiers that you can us;, dijon is simply my favorite. Now let’s say you want to make a creamy vinaigrette– sour cream or greek yogurt would act as your emulsifier
Now on to making this Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette
Feel free to use this dressing on your favorite salads! If you would like a step-by-step demonstration on how to make this recipe simply visit my YouTube Channel: Made to Order and watch How to Make a Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette.
I hope you enjoy! Buen Provecho!
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic or ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 1 tbs dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
- Start by adding your balsamic vinegar into a mixing bowl
- Then add the rest of your ingredients EXCEPT the extra virgin olive oil
- Give everything a good whisk until everything is well combined. More importantly, you want to make sure that the brown sugar is dissolve
- Now whisk your balsamic vinegar again while you slowly add in the extra virgin olive oil. This will cause your vinaigrette to thicken and emulsify...aka… magic will happen!
- Store in a glass container and keep it in the fridge. Your dressing should last anywhere from 1-2 weeks. If you used fresh garlic, your dressing will last about a week or 10 days if you’re lucky