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This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend (who shall remain nameless) a few days ago. This friend was telling me about a salad she had at a local restaurant which was, according to her, the best salad in the world. I was obviously intrigued. She told me the salad consisted of roasted vegetables atop baby spinach with balsamic dressing and feta cheese. Immediately I’m thinking, “mmmm, that would be even better with goat cheese. Wait, no, pan fried, breaded goat cheese…”. I digress. But I’ll be posting THAT recipe shortly.

Anyhow, she said she tried to make the same salad at home but it wasn’t as good because she had to use bottled dressing. I said, “oh, you could have made your own. It’s easy”. Her eyes widened and she said, “oh, I know but this dressing is really special. The owner told me she makes it herself with barely any sugar!”. Convinced this argument was futile, I agreed, “oh, that is special!”

It occurred to me that maybe not everyone knows how easy it is to whip up your own dressing. Balsamic dressing is especially forgiving. The following is a basic recipe. You can increase or decrease the vinegar depending on the level of tartness you prefer. Frankly, I hardly ever measure, but it goes something like this ~


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (I use Gulden’s spicy brown mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • salt and pepper

You can whisk all the ingredients together really well or put them in a bottle and shake the heck out of them. I actually blend everything in my 2-cup food processor and it stays nice and emulsified. The choice is yours. This dressing will keep longer than it will remain in your fridge.

balsamic vinaigrette

Friends don't let friends buy bottled balsamic dressing.