Creamy, punchy, and guaranteed to wake up even the most boring salad, this is the sort of dressing you’ll find in many a French bistro.

It works not only on regular green leafy salads but also tastes delicious drizzled over roasted or cooked vegetables such as green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, beets, etc.

Why would you make your dressing when there are hundreds to choose from at the supermarket? Well, for one it’s made with that uber-Mediterranean ingredient, extra virgin olive oil, which boasts a wide range of healthful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, unlike the industrially refined seed oils (like soybean, canola, sunflower, etc.) that most store-bought dressings are made with.

Moreover, it’s endlessly versatile! I usually keep a 1-pint mason jar of this vinaigrette in my fridge that I call my “base dressing.” It contains all the usual ingredients: oil and vinegar (in the classic French proportions of 3:1), mustard, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Just the thing when you want to dress a few greens for a quick weeknight meal.

But if you’re in the mood to have a bit of fun with your food, you can vary this dressing endlessly by siphoning off some base dressing and blending it with herbs, lemon, fruits, etc., resulting in an exciting array of aromas and colors. (See notes below.)

Mediterranean vinaigrette

Keyword: 15 Minutes Max., Dairy-Free (or can be), Dips, Sauces & Dressings, Gluten-Free (or can be), Salads, Vegan (or can be), Vegetarian (or can be)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10 (approx 1 cup)
Calories: 150kcal
Creamy yet punchy and delicious drizzled over salads and raw & cooked vegetables
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • blender Ideally, a high-powered blender (like Blendtec or Vitamix), but an immersion blender will work, too

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup vinegar I typically use white balsamic vinegar, but red or white wine vinegar work great, too; sometimes I replace half the vinegar with lemon juice for a fresher flavor
  • 1 tsp whole-grain mustard
  • 1 clove garlic crushed or grated on a Microplane zester
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • ¾ cups extra virgin olive oil if you find the taste of extra virgin olive oil too assertive, replace some of it with avocado oil
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum optional; xanthan gum is a natural emulsifier that prevents the dressing from splitting and thickens it slightly.
  • 1 tbsp water optional; if the dressing is too thick, adding a splash of water can help to improve the consistency

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a high-powered blender and process until perfectly smooth (about 1 minute). Adjust consistency by adding a little water, if desired; it should have the texture of heavy cream -- thick yet pourable.
  • Transfer to a clean glass bottle or jar and store in a cool, dark place.

Notes

Variations
If you want to mix things up a little, why not add flavorings? For each ½ cup of base dressing, use one of the following: 
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • 4-5 ripe & fragrant grape tomatoes
  • fresh basil *and* tomatoes
  • ¼ cup fresh raspberries or strawberries (and a smidgen of honey or sugar if too tart)
  • ¼ cup roasted red pepper strips
  • 3-4 orange or grapefruit segments
  • ½ tsp lemon zest, 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice & 1-2 tsp honey (for a Scandinavian flavor, add ¼ cup fresh dill)
Pour ½ cup base dressing and flavoring(s) into a blender (e.g. Blendtec, Vitaminx, Nutri Bullet, Ninja) and process into a smooth, creamy emulsion. The base dressing keeps for several weeks, but once you have added fresh flavorings, store it in the fridge and use it within 3 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5tbsp | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 10mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.2mg