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Feb 10, 2004 01:40 PM

balsamic vinagrette dressing recipe?

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the previous thread on favorite store bought dressings reminded me - i've been searching for a really good balsamic vinagrette recipe. not a thin, vinegary kind, but a little thicker and complex tasting, with garlic, shallots, dijon (?)... the kind they have at some of the nicer salad places in SF financial district if you're familiar with that area... i hope you can figure out what kind i mean.

i adore bvd - i could eat it everyday! Thanks!!

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  1. BVD is the one dressing I make all the time. I've found that adding mustard, and shaking it in a small jar is what makes it thick and viscous. Below is a recipe I use, with optional extras. I never measure, so I hope you don't mind my guesses at the amounts. You can experiment & change the amounts to your liking.

    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
    1 tsp. dijon mustard
    1 tsp. sugar
    1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
    1/4 tsp. pepper (or to taste)
    1 teaspoon dried herbs, or 2-3 teaspoons fresh herbs (herbes de provence, tarragon, thyme are some choices)
    1 sm. clove garlic, minced (optional, see note)
    1 shallot or red onion, sliced paper thin or minced (optional)

    Shake in a small jar. Keeps for a while in the fridge too.

    Note: if you don't want the taste of raw garlic, fill a jar of balsamic vinegar with some smashed garlic cloves; the vinegar will have the garlic taste after a few days.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Alice Ringer

      Thanks for posting the recipe. I'm curious as to why the proportion of oil to vinegar is 3:4. I've normally made vinegrettes with the oil to vinegar ratio closer to 1:4. Is it due to the vinegar being balsamic or to the dijon mustard? I'd appreciate any insights!

      1. re: elise h

        Vinegar being balsamic. Not sure you need the sugar though.

        1. re: elise h

          I'm sorry, my 3:4 ratio was probably wrong. I think my ratio is more like 3:4.5 (that's 1:1.5). Or maybe it's almost 1:2 (vinegar to oil). But yes, that is far from the 1:4 ratio. I've found that with balsamic vin I like more vin and less oil than with other vinegars, and it makes it more like the "thick, strong restaurant-y" balsamic vinaigrette.

          And I found the bit of sugar cuts the acidity of having higher vinegar in my ratio, or gives it more depth. Maybe with a really expensive bv I won't add sugar. All personal preference so the important thing is to taste as you make it and keep fixing things until you like it. Hence I'm not sure what my usual recipe really is. :-0.

        2. re: Alice Ringer
          frustrated mom

          I like to add roasted garlic

        3. i make the same dressing all the time- and sometimes i add a little honey to change it up...

          1. This is a great recipe and a bit different.

            Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette
            4 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
            3 Tbsp. maple syrup
            1 clove garlic, minced
            1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
            2 Tbsp. water
            Pepper to taste
            1 cup good olive oil

            Whisk oil into other ingredients. This needs to come to room temperature to use; shake before serving. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

            1. Any updates to this? There's a play date coming over tomorrow, and the request was crab or chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, croutons, egg, avocado, and BVD! From a 10 year old! She's celebrating her birthday, and it's a playdate at our house. I'm making her a crab louie w/o the louie dressing :-) I'm boiling eggs right now.

              2 Replies
              1. re: boltnut55

                I make mine all the time, but I don't really have specific measurements... I just eyeball it and taste until it makes my jaws pucker a little. : )

                good quality extra virgin olive oil (equal parts to the bv)
                balsamic vinegar (equal parts to the oil)
                grey poupon mustard
                freshly ground smoked sea salt
                freshly ground black pepper
                garlic juice (I use Garlic Valley Farms garlic juice)

                toss it all in a jar, put the lid on and shake until blended.

                what a pretentious 10 year old, I'd make her a hot dog just out of spite. :P

                1. re: TarheelYankee

                  I think its cute that she knows what she likes and has good taste :o) Of course this is coming from someone who (age around 10) ordered shrimp for lunch... which was NOT on the lunch menu. Being that I was polite and cute, the chef was happy to accomodate me!

              2. I vary the basic basamic vinegar/olive oil/salt combination with different mustards. A good honey mustard make a different dressing than a stone gound one. They add the complexity you refer to without a lot of fuss - something I appreciate since I am making the dressing every night. Mustard collections are a must for any cook!