Best Balsamic Dressing

A delicious and simple salad dressing. Everyone has variations on this basic idea but here is mine! Make it in a small jar, as it mixes best when shaken vigorously and is never the same if you just stir it in a cup.

  • 3 tablespoons of good quality balsamic vinegar*
  • 3 tablespoons of your best olive oil*
  • 1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • Lots of freshly ground pepper
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional, but it does make the dressing sharper and give a ‘zing’)

Put the balsamic, mustard, salt and pepper and sugar in the small jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake it vigorously until it is all combined (when you mix it in the balsamic first the ingredients dissolve and disperse evenly before adding the oil.) Now add the olive oil and shake it again.

* I use three different grades of Olive Oil at home. The very best (and most expensive) one I only use for salad dressing or drizzling over food and would never heat it. The other two are different types of olive oils each with a distinctive flavor that I use in cooking. Same principal goes for my balsamic, I use the best one for salads and drizzles and the cheaper one for adding to sauces that I cook.

Variations on this recipe are:

  1. Add some fresh, finely chopped herbs (or a few pinches of dried herbs works too, but rub them between your fingers first to break open the flavor)
  2. For a sweeter salad dressing use hazelnut oil, or half and half hazelnut & olive oil.
  3. Walnut oil gives a distinct flavor and if you have cheese in your salad is delicious.
  4. Add a glove of crushed garlic.
  5. Try replacing the balsamic with Japanese Rice Wine Vinegar (not sushi vinegar, it is different).
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