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Kitchen Tip: How to Make a Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette Dressing

Recipe, video and photography provided by Heinen’s partner, Chef Billy Parisi.

Whether you’re dressing a salad or marinading protein, it’s always a good idea to have a vinaigrette on-hand.

Heinen’s offers an incredible assortment of vinaigrette-style dressings, including a fig balsamic and garlic caprese vinaigrette under their own Two Brothers brand. Both are extremely high quality and affordable options to keep in your fridge when working with particular flavor profiles, but if you’re looking for something classic, nothing beats a homemade vinaigrette.

Whisked together in a matter of minutes using fresh ingredients from Heinen’s, here are a few simple tips for making balsamic vinaigrette at home!

Ratios

If you like a classic balsamic vinaigrette, a good rule of thumb is to use one part vinegar to three parts oil. If you like a more pungent vinaigrette, use one part vinegar to two parts oil.

Prepping the Fresh Ingredients

The best thing about making a vinaigrette at home is that it requires minimal ingredients. In terms of fresh ingredients, this recipe calls for fresh shallot and basil. Simply mince both and set them aside in a bowl until you’re ready to assemble the dressing and feel free to get creative with the herbs. Thyme, chives, chervil and even parsley are all great options.

Adding the Emulsifiers

Here’s a quick science lesson, although oil and vinegar are the key components of a vinaigrette, they do not naturally mix, so an additional ingredient is required to help them emulsify. This recipe uses Heinen’s savory Dijon mustard as the emulsifier. Simply add a squeeze or two to the bowl with the fresh shallot and herbs.

Honey or agave nectar are also great emulsifiers that can be added to help sweeten a vinaigrette.

Homemade Vinaigrette

Whisking the Oil and Vinegar

Once the shallot, herbs and mustard are in a bowl, it’s time to add the vinegar. This recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, but red wine vinegar or white vinegar are equally delicious options.

Simply add the vinegar to the bowl with with the other ingredients, followed by a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Then, grab a whisk in one hand and the oil in the other and slowly add the olive oil to the bowl while whisking. This step ensures that the vinaigrette becomes creamy and emulsified.

Once the vinaigrette is thoroughly whisked, it can be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container and stored in the fridge. Just be sure to give it a good shake before using it, as the oil and vinegar will separate as it sits.

Using the Vinaigrette

A vinaigrette is a great for so many different applications. Salads are an obvious choice, but as you experiment with new recipes, consider using it for pasta salads, potato salads and protein marinades, too!

Chef Billy Parisi headshot
By Chef Billy Parisi
Chef Billy Parisi is a culinary school grad who spent 15 years in the restaurant industry as a line cook, sous chef and executive chef. Now he develops, photographs and films simple and delicious recipes that will make everyone feel like a chef in their own kitchen.

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