Mix up a little deliciousness in this Balsamic Vinaigrette. This homemade balsamic salad dressing recipe is packed with flavor and couldn’t be easier to prepare.
I’ve always been a salad fiend. I would rather eat salad than dessert sometimes. My college roommate could not understand it. I don’t think I ever saw her eat anything green. Poor thing.
There are so many delicious salad combinations, you never have to be bored. Ahem… Let me count the ways.
Salads to use with your homemade balsamic salad dressing
- Orchard Chicken Salad
- Mediterranean Steak Salad
- Harvest Salad with Chicken, Apples, and Cheddar
- Pesto and Feta Pasta Salad with Cranberries
- Buffalo Chicken Salad
- Tossed Salad with Peperoncinis and Feta
- Easy Greek Pasta Salad
I could go on….
But the real point of this post is to convey the necessity of making your own salad dressings.
More salad dressing recipes
Over the years I’ve developed some standard dressings that serve as my go-to dressings: Buttermilk Ranch dressing, Basic Vinaigrette, Dijon Vinaigrette, and Blue Cheese. So many salad dressings, so little time.
It was sometime in college when I realized that salad dressing was just as easy to make from scratch as it was to open a bottle of commercially made salad dressing. That discovery opened a whole world of flavors and tastes. Especially since I love salads.
Ingredients to make this tarragon balsamic salad dressing recipe
The best part about making your own homemade salad dressing is what limited ingredients you need and may already have on hand!
One flavor combination that is absolutely delicious is balsamic and tarragon. The herb and the sweetish vinegar combine well. Stir in a little Dijon mustard for a little bite and you’ve got a dressing or marinade to wow even the snobbiest of foodies.
I particularly love this dressing on simple composed salads. If blue cheese is involved, so much the better.
- balsamic vinegar – You can really use any balsamic vinegar that you love to use. Aged balsamic vinegar will have a sweeter milder taste.
- dijon mustard – This gives some tang and also brings out the flavor of the balsamic.
- tarragon – This herb pairs beautifully with balsamic!
- seasoning/spices: garlic, salt and pepper – You can season this dressing to taste.
- olive oil – You can also use avocado oil or any other neutral light tasting oil that you prefer.
How to make this simple balsamic salad dressing
Are you ready for this? Two steps and you are done!
In a small bowl or glass combine the vinegar, mustard, tarragon, garlic, and salt and pepper. Blend well. You can whisk it together. Or if your jar has a lid then just pop it on and give it a shake.
Stir in the olive oil in a thin stream, mixing constantly.
Basic salad dressing ingredients to keep on hand
Stock your cupboard with some basic salad dressing ingredients and you can whip up some tasty dressings in just a manner of minutes. Consider keeping these items on hand:
- vinegar: red wine, rice, white wine, balsamic, apple cider
- mustard: dry and Dijon
- oil: sunflower, avocado, olive
- jams: strawberry, apricot, or raspberry
- herbs and spices
You can mix and match these in an array of combos for great dressings that will never bore you. Head here if you need a formula.
Pro tip: salad dressings make great meat marinades!
Storing your homemade balsamic vinaigrette
The best part about making your own homemade dressing is that it will keep covered in your refrigerator for a few weeks.
No wasted grocery store trips or dollars spent on that expensive store-bought dressing that are chock full of weird ingredients!
HOW TO MAKE THIS GOOD AND CHEAP:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this balsamic salad dressing more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. Instead of paying full price, buy more than you need when you see it on sale. Then you always have it when you want it. This is one way of 13 that I use to save a $100 a month on groceries.
- Speaking of which, shop the stores that have the best prices. When I did my big grocery store showdown, I learned that ALDI and Costco have the best prices for a lot of the things I buy. You will naturally save money if you shop the best store for the items YOU buy. This may not be ALDI or Costco, so you’ll need to do your own price comparisons. The time investment as your research it is super valuable!
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
- 1 clove garlic minced
- black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- In a small bowl or glass combine the vinegar, mustard, tarragon, garlic, and salt and pepper. Blend well.
- Stir in the olive oil in a thin stream, mixing constantly.
- Use as a salad dressing or marinade for fish, chicken, or beef.
Nutritional values are approximate and based on 1 tablespoon.
Originally published October 26, 2011. Updated April 22, 2017.