By now, my regular readers should all know that I love batch cooking and Sunday meal prep. It not only sets me up for success during the week, but I also end my Sunday with a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Win-win!
One of my favorite things to make weekly is a basic vinaigrette. It's really very easy once you master the method - coming together in mere minutes. The trick is knowing ratios and keeping a variety of different oils and vinegars on hand. As always, a well stocked pantry is your best friend.
While there are some decent store brands, the majority of them are laden with sugars, emulsifiers, and other additives to preserve shelf-life. Homemade dressings keep in the fridge for a good week, so you can whip them up on Sunday and have them at the ready for easy weekday meals.
The standard ratio for a vinaigrette is 3:1 (oil to acid), but I prefer a slightly more tart dressing, which amps up the flavor and cuts down on calories. My preferred ratio is closer to 2:1 - I always start with 1/3 cup oil to 1/4 cup acid. Then, I taste and add more of one or the other depending on my mood.
The best thing about making dressings at home is you can easily customize them to your taste and the recipe at hand. Instead of vinegar try lemon juice. Add finely chopped shallots or grated garlic. Swap out the honey for maple syrup. Incorporate fresh or dried herbs. You really can't go wrong!
Below is my standard house vinaigrette. I make a variation every week to keep on hand for salads and tossing with roasted veggies.
Yields 2/3 cup (approximately 6 servings, but can easily be doubled)
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 rounded tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small pinches sea salt
10 grinds black pepper
Combine ingredients together in a measuring cup or mason jar. Whisk or shake until oil is emulsified and vinaigrette looks creamy. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking.
Store vinaigrette in a well sealed container in the refrigerator for about a week. Shake or whisk if oil begins to separate.