The history of vinaigrette dates back to ancient civilisations, where vinegar was first produced. The Babylonians were said to have used vinegar as a condiment as early as 5000 BCE, and the ancient Greeks and Romans used it as a preservative for food and medicine.
The word “vinaigrette” comes from the French word “vinaigre,” which means vinegar. In France, vinaigrette was initially used as a simple dressing for salads and vegetables. The basic recipe consisted of vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper, often flavoured with herbs or spices.
During the 19th century, vinaigrette became a popular condiment in England, used to dress cold meats, fish, and salads. English vinaigrettes were often made with malt vinegar, which has a more robust flavour than wine vinegar.
However, in the United States, vinaigrette was introduced in the early 20th century as a lighter alternative to heavy, creamy dressings. The basic recipe for American vinaigrette included oil, vinegar, mustard, and seasoning, and it was often served with mixed greens or steamed vegetables.
Today, vinaigrette is a popular dressing for salads and vegetables, and it is available in a wide range of flavours and varieties. You can make it with different types of vinegar, including red wine, white wine, apple cider, and balsamic, and it can be flavoured with herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables. Vinaigrette is also used as a marinade for meats and as a dipping sauce for bread and vegetables.
Here is a super easy vinaigrette recipe:
- 60ml of extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of honey (optional)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Firstly, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey (if using), and garlic (if using).
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and whisk until well combined.
- Lastly, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Note: This recipe is very flexible, so feel free to adjust the quantities and ingredients to suit your taste preferences.
You can also experiment with different types of vinegar, such as balsamic or white wine vinegar, and add herbs, spices, or other flavourings as desired.
Super Easy Vinaigrette Recipe Variations
If you want to make variations to the recipe, here are some ideas:
- Lemon vinaigrette: Replace the vinegar with fresh lemon juice and add 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest for extra flavour.
- Herb vinaigrette: Add 1-2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, or thyme, to the basic vinaigrette.
- Spicy vinaigrette: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a teaspoon of hot sauce to the vinaigrette for some heat.
- Sweet vinaigrette: Increase the honey to 2-3 teaspoons or add a tablespoon of maple syrup or brown sugar for a sweeter flavour.
Oil and vinegar dressing ratio
The classic ratio for oil and vinegar dressing is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.
However, this ratio can be adjusted to suit your taste preferences. Some people prefer a more acidic dressing and a 2:1 ratio. Whilst others prefer a milder dressing and a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio.
It’s best to start with the classic 3:1 ratio and adjust to your taste by adding more oil or vinegar as needed. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper.
Vinaigrette can be used as a salad dressing, but it can also be used as a marinade for meat, poultry, or fish. Just pour the vinaigrette over the meat and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cooking. Consequently, the acidity of the vinaigrette will help tenderise the meat and add flavour.