- Prep time 5 minutes
- makes 1½ cups
At its core, balsamic vinaigrette is olive oil plus balsamic vinegar. My recipe adds just a few other ingredients to make a version you’ll want in your fridge at all times: mustard, shallot, and honey. It’s so good. This is the perfect time to use that fancy olive oil in your pantry before it goes bad. Don’t substitute another oil, like vegetable or canola. Olive oil’s fresh, grassy notes are a must here. Will this work with cheaper balsamic vinegar? Yes. Will a “good” balsamic vinegar make a difference? Also yes. To balance those strong flavors, a little sweetener goes a long way. Honey brings more than just sweetness. Depending on its source, honey can add floral, smoky, woody, or fruity notes. If you’re looking for a vegan alternative, opt for maple syrup, granulated sugar, or even agave nectar. Thanks to help from a blender, which emulsifies vinaigrette with the press of a button, you can have this ready in a matter of minutes. Put it toward a salad, of course: Chill romaine lettuce in an ice bath for a few minutes until crisp, then top with balsamic vinaigrette, freshly grated sharp cheese, and lots of black pepper. But this dressing can be so much more than just salad: Use it as a marinade for salmon, chicken, and other proteins. Use it as a dip for warm bread or crunchy vegetables. Use it as a garnish for a creamy bean soup. The options are endless. —Carolina Gelen
medium shallot, chopped
honey, maple syrup, or granulated sugar
Diamond Crystal kosher salt
extra-virgin olive oil
- Add the shallot, vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth, scraping down as needed. While blending, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to emulsify. Taste and adjust if you'd like (say, more mustard for more spice). Sealed in a jar, this keeps well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.