This lemon basil vinaigrette is easy to make with just a few ingredients and adds a wonderful bright flavor to anything you use it with. It's perfect for various salads, drizzled on fish and more.
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Salad dressings and vinaigrettes are all too easily overlooked. I know some people can't really bring themselves to make them and instead keep a jar or two in the fridge. But really, you are missing out if you do.
Homemade dressings are much better for you (no added preservatives and likely lower salt and sugar, too), plus the flavor is so much brighter and fresher. And they really take next to no time to make.
What's the typical vinaigrette ratio?
Traditionally, a vinaigrette uses an oil to acid ration of 3 to 1. So for every one tablespoon of vinegar you use three tablespoons of oil. The most typical base is olive oil and white wine vinegar, then you add a little salt and pepper. But from this base, you can adapt and add a range of ingredients.
However personally, for me it depends what the acid is when it comes to the ratio. With a sharper flavor like wine vinegar, I would tend to agree, but for lemon where there's other bright flavors going on, I often use closer to 2 to 1.
Some depends what else you add in the mix. If you add a touch of sugar or honey to balance out the acidic component, then it means it's easier to increase the amount of acid used without it being too harsh. You may not want to, of course, but it will help the flavor come through more.
As well as switching the acidic component to a different vinegar or citrus (in whole or in part) and gently sweetening, you can make other additions such as mustard, garlic and/or herbs. Using Dijon mustard is classic in a French vinaigrette not just for flavor, but also to help emulsify the oil and vinegar.
This vinaigrette uses a 2:1 ratio, so you get plenty lemon flavor, then a little Dijon to help emulsify and add flavor. The touch of honey helps balance the acidity and garlic adds a bit more aromatic flavor.
While for many dressings I shake in a small jar, here I used a small food processor. You can also whisk by hand or use a blender. To use a blender/processor, you may need a double batch (or more) for this to work well. Just be aware the honey can sink so you may need to help it to mix through.
How can you use this vinaigrette?
The most obvious use is in salads, but this works in a really broad range. It's great with some simple greens or a chopped salad. It pairs well with things like a Caprese salad as well as fruits like peaches, avocado and melon (you might just want a little extra honey). I use it (along with some additional herbs) on my Israeli couscous salad with grilled vegetables.
This is also just a slightly more elaborate version of what I use for grilled marinated zucchini, so if you have any leftover you could use it for that (so good!). It would also be perfect drizzled over fish, shrimp and grilled chicken.
This lemon basil vinaigrette is easy to make and adds such a bright, delicious flavor to whatever you use it with. It's a true taste of summer, and
Try these other tasty salad dressings:
- Raspberry vinaigrette (such a great bright color and flavor!)
- The lemon feta dressing on my grilled chicken and blueberry salad is another citrusy dressing with creamy feta added in
- The maple vinaigrette on my beet apple salad is a wonderful sweet-tart combination
- Plus get more sauces and condiment recipes in the archives.
Lemon basil vinaigrette
- ¼ oz basil leaves 7g, approx ¼ cup
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 4tbsp/60ml
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon garlic crushed/finely grated
- ¼ teaspoon honey
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- Place all of the ingredients in a small food processor or blender and pulse to combine (though you may need to double/triple amount depending on what you have). Alternatively, you can finely chop the basil then whisk everything together in a bowl, or shake in a small jar. Watch that the honey hasn't fallen to the bottom, it may need an extra stir to combine.
- Use immediately or store in the fridge for a few days - you will need to shake/whisk to recombine before using.
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