During these hot summer months nothing sounds better to me than a fresh salad bursting with flavor from fresh produce from the farmers market and drizzled with a bright and tangy vinaigrette. Mason jars (or any jar you have on hand that has a lid that can hold 2 cups of liquid) make it very easy to make vinaigrettes with no whisking, almost no clean up, and you can store them in the refrigerator in the same container you made it in! Can you tell I don’t like doing dishes? I don’t.... at all. I always have a jar of my own vinaigrette in my refrigerator for an easy lunch or dinner and my friends rave about it every time I serve it.
This recipe has a few simple principles and classic ingredients that can be applied to making any vinaigrette, use what you like and experiment with new ingredients. First, you must have an acidic ingredient like vinegar or citrus juice. Then aromatics like shallots, garlic, anchovies, or herbs can be chopped and added. Dijon mustard adds great flavor and helps emulsify the dressing too. Salt and pepper seasons everything and brings out the different flavors. Then lastly, the olive oil.
I add the acids to the mason jar first, here I used lemon juice and white vinegar, I then add the shallots, honey, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and stir or shake to dissolve the salt and bring all of the different flavors together. I then add the oil and shake vigorously to emulsify the dressing and let it sit for a few minutes so the flavors mellow out and come together. Shake well before pouring on your salad.
Remember to use what you like and taste as you go! Knowing how to make your own dressings is an essential skill that will help you avoid all of those grocery store dressings that are loaded with preservatives, refined sugar, chemicals, dyes, and industrial vegetable oils like canola which is in pretty much all store bought salad dressings and is GMO unless labeled organic/non GMO, yuck! Start making your own and trying different vinegars, olive oils, and spices so you can find one that you and your family like the most.
Health tip: be sure to buy pure olive oil because many of the olive oils at the supermarket are cut with cheap vegetable oils to keep the cost down. Here is an article that tells you how to tell if your olive oil is fake, what brands are the worst, and what brands are the best. We like Bragg’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, California Olive Ranch, and Kirkland Organic Olive Oil.
Here is an article about Canola Oil that goes over the unsavory ways it is processed and how it is unhealthy for us to be consuming. Stick to olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, and grass fed butter for your cooking. If you need a replacement for canola’s neutral flavor we use Avocado oil and love it!
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup good quality white or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons very finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons raw honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup pure olive oil
Makes about 2 cups
Add all ingredients except the olive oil to a jar and stir or shake well to combine, let sit for 5 minutes. Add olive oil and shake vigorously to combine. Let sit for t least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and then shake before pouring over your salad. Serve immediately. This vinaigrette will last 2 weeks if sealed in the refrigerator.