Spring Vinaigrette Recipe

Learn how to make a perfect salad dressing with what’s in season using this vinaigrette recipe.
By Tabitha Alterman
April/May 2010
Add to My MSN

Spring is the season for salads — toss in anything and everything that’s fresh, then mix up our vinaigrette recipe and pour it on top!

Content Tools

Mix up a salad of locally grown fresh greens. Sprinkle in some berries, plus sliced radishes and garden peas. Add a handful of torn fresh herbs, and toss it all in your homemade vinaigrette for just about the freshest raw meal you could possibly make. For a heartier meal, add a little grilled chicken, smoked fish, or toasted nuts. A vinaigrette is basically just good oil (1 to 2 parts) mixed with good vinegar (1 part), plus a little seasoning. Here are guidelines for a successful vinaigrette recipe.

Good oil. Use extra virgin olive oil with a bright, fruity flavor. Often, the darker green the oil is, the better its flavor. Many farmers markets and grocery stores have olive oil tasting stations. Test a few and pick your favorite. If the oil tastes good on plain ole bread, it’ll be great in a vinaigrette dressing.

Good vinegar. As with oils, try a few and pick your favorite. Wine vinegars are classic in vinaigrette dressings, but ciders and balsamics work well, too. Opt for an aged balsamic vinegar if you want a rich, sweet dressing.

Good salt. Sea salt is much more flavorful than table salt, and a coarse grind adds texture to your dressing. Try various flavored or smoked salts for different effects.

Good pepper. Many different kinds of peppercorns are available, but the key to delicious seasoning is freshness. Buy whole peppercorns and use a grinder.

Garlic and herbs. Be generous with seasonally available fresh herbs, and add finely diced garlic according to taste.

Additional seasonings. Play around to find the combo that’s destined to become your signature household recipe. Vinaigrette standbys include mustards, sugar, olives, smashed berries, and various cheeses. Simply add a little of something that entices you, taste and adjust. You might also consider substituting bacon grease for the olive oil or citrus juice for the vinegar.           

See also:
Fresh and Local Spring Recipes

Tabitha Alterman is a Senior Associate Editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS. In spring, she digs making fresh butter, yogurt and cheese with yummy, creamy milk from the cows and goats that thrive on the pastures of the nearby Hudson Valley.

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.