DIY Italian Vinaigrette

Hey guys!  Today in this recipe, I'm going the savory route for a change and I hope to be doing that more in the future.

Salad dressing is one of those condiments that we often take for granted.  But really, it's the crux of a good salad as it adds so much flavor and moisture.  Unfortunately, some of the salad dressings from the store are expensive, salty, sugary, and fatty.  Today's dressing is different.

That being said, a vinaigrette is one of the simplest condiments to make at home.  But before you get started, here are a few key elements of vinaigrettes that make them so tasty.

1.  The Fat
A good vinaigrette has got to have some kind of fat.  If you've ever looked at the ingredients of one from a store, it might contain canola oil.  In today's vinaigrette, I use good EVOO (extra virgin olive oil.)  This gives the dressing body and cuts the acidity of the vinaigrette.  It also adds some heart healthy fat to whatever you choose to use the vinaigrette on.

2.  The Acid
No vinaigrette is complete without acid.  Without an acidic, vinaigrettes are oily, fatty, and bland.  The acid in this vinagrette, red wine vinegar, brightens the dressing and makes it go farther.

3.  Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice
You COULD make a vinaigrette just out of oil and vinegar and it would be good, but spice amps up the flavor and makes your vinaigrette cuisine specific.  In today's recipe, Italian seasoning and garlic powder add earthy, herbacious, and peppery flare to the otherwise flat vinaigrette.  With all that acid, oil and spice, the vinaigrette is pretty intense.  While some store-bought vinaigrettes have corn syrup or other refined-sugar, today's vinaigrette is sweetened naturally with a bit of honey.  This doesn't make the vinaigrette sweet, rather it adds balance and keeps the dressing zesty but not overwhelming.

This vinaigrette can be used for way more than dressing salads.  Marinate chicken with it, top slices of mozzarella cheese with it, or dip chunks of crusty bread in it.  You could even drizzle it atop Italian-style zucchini .  As you can tell, this vinaigrette is versatile and delicious.

Italian Vinaigrette 
·        ½ cup + 1 T. olive oil (not light tasting)
·        ½ cup red wine vinegar
·        1 tsp. Italian seasoning
·        ½ tsp. garlic powder
·        2 tsp. honey
·        Salt and pepper to taste

1.       Mix all the ingredients thoroughly together.
2.       Enjoy for up to one week, storing in the refrigerator.


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