The first official day of summer break for my kids was yesterday. The weather got the memo too because it’s been HOT and HUMID the last two days! Right now I should be weeding my garden buuuut…I think it’s probably best to wait till this evening when the sun chills out and I won’t pass out from the heat (dramatic much?!). What’s this got to do with the recipe you may be asking yourself? If you’re thinking because of garden fresh produce then you win the prize! Hey, don’t get too excited, the prize is just a free, simple recipe!
This recipe is super versatile, can be used in countless ways, is customizable to your liking and the ingredients can be found anywhere. This vinaigrette is so easy to make yet tastes gourmet. If you’ve always wanted to make your own salad dressing but feel intimidated or think it’s too hard then you’ve come to the right place because I’m here to help you out!
Ways to use this Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- As a salad dressing in any kind of salad. *Recipe below for a show-stopping salad.
- A marinade for kebabs. *Check below for another bonus recipe for this!
- A dressing for an Italian Pasta salad. *Toss together cold pasta with the cucumber tomato salad (recipe below), add some uncured sliced salami and olives. Double the dressing recipe for this or make one full recipe and whisk in 1/2 cup mayo.
- Dressing/Dip for all kinds of veggies and vegetable salads. *Recipe below for a cucumber tomato salad with a few more options.
- Mix with mayonnaise for a sandwich spread.
A simple, delicious, versatile salad dressing that’s healthy and Paleo with no crazy ingredients needed!
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. raw honey or real maple syrup
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- Whisk together all ingredients until the olive oil and vinegar emulsifies (fancy word for the oil and vinegar come together and don’t separate). You can also use a mini blender such as a ninja or bullet. This method works better if you add herbs.
- Refrigerate until ready to use. The olive oil will solidify some but once it reaches a warmer temp just give a little stir and it’ll come right back together.
- Add fresh herbs, like 10 leaves of fresh basil or mint.
- Add dried herbs, about ½-1 tsp of choice.
- Use another type of vinegar such as red wine vinegar.
- Add ½ tsp garlic powder or 1 small clove fresh garlic (either mince if you’re whisking or throw in the mini blender).
*Recipe for Peach Avocado and Goat Cheese Salad
- 4 cups greens of choice (arugula is my choice but romaine is always a crowd pleaser too)
- 1 peach, diced
- ½ avocado, diced (feel free to use the whole thing!)
- goat cheese crumbles
- *optional: add grilled chicken or salmon to make this a full meal
- *optional: chopped pecans or candied pecans/walnuts
- ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette
Toss the lettuce with the dressing. Top with remaining ingredients and serve! Recipe makes 2 side salads or 1 dinner salad.
Above is the side salad with arugula and goat cheese. Below is a dinner salad with chicken thighs and romaine.
*Recipe for Kebabs
- 1 lb. chicken (breasts or thighs)
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 recipe for balsamic vinaigrette
- *optional: fresh peach slices or pineapple chunks
- Cut everything into equal sized pieces, about 1″ in size.
- Place chicken in a bowl to marinate with 1/2 of the dressing. Marinate for 30 minutes or longer.
- When ready to grill, skewer alternating pieces of chicken and vegetables/fruit.
- Grill over medium heat, brushing the remaining dressing over the kebabs as you grill.
*Recipe for Cucumber Tomato Salad
- 1 medium cucumber (seedless work best), diced into small pieces
- ½ pint of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- ½ recipe of balsamic vinaigrette (make the full recipe and save the rest)
- *optional additions: fresh herbs such as mint, basil, or chives. Soft cheeses such as goat cheese, feta cheese or bleu cheese. Very thinly sliced red onion or green onions. Sliced black olives.
Combine all ingredients. Boom, done!