AJ’s Simple + Delicious Vinaigrette

Most salad dressings on the shelf are full of things we have no business eating, like thickeners, preservatives and canola oil, which do not create health.

Making your own salad dressing is so easy and it’s a great way to cut out a lot of chemicals and less than ideal ingredients. Try this simple vinaigrette at home. You’ll love it! It’s also easy to modify and add ingredients for new flavors. A few suggestions are listed below.


1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4-1/3 Cup Cider Vinegar

2 Tbsp Shallot

2 tsp Dijon Mustard

Salt + Fresh Ground Pepper

2-3 Tbsp Thyme, Tarragon or Dill {or add all 3}

Optional: 1 tsp honey or pure maple syrup


Put all ingredients into a blender and blend on low to medium speed for 15-20 seconds

Taste the vinaigrette and check for the right amount of vinegar to oil ratio. It should be slightly acidic without being overwhelming. Add oil or vinegar to reach the balance you like

Adjust shallot, herbs and salt + pepper, as desired

Traditionally, this vinaigrette does not have any sweetener in it, but sometimes cider vinegar can be very strong. Using just a bit of honey or maple syrup will cut the acidity just enough.

This is easy to make ahead of time, and it will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Just remember to bring it up to room temperature before serving, so the olive oil becomes liquid again.


This is an easy vinaigrette to use as a base for so many things. Over the years I have added a lot of flavors to it to adapt to different menus. Start with the first 5 ingredients above, and make these additions instead:

*Roasted Red Peppers + Basil

*Sundried Tomato + Garlic

*Cilantro + Cumin + Orange Juice + Orange Peel {use organic oranges}

*Dill + Lemon {cut back on vinegar or completely substitute lemon juice for vinegar instead}

*Honey + Lime + Cilantro

*Kalamata Olive + Garlic

*Fresh Tomato + Basil



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