REAL FOOD 101: How to Make a Basic Vinaigrette


Garlic & Herb Vinaigrette

This post is part of a series.  To buy Volume One of the e-book containing several REAL FOOD 101 tutorials, click here: REAL FOOD 101 E-book: Traditional Foods, Traditionally Prepared.

My lovely Basic Vinaigrette is a simple dressing; an excellent recipe to have on hand.  Prepared as written it can go with nearly any green salad, cooked veggie, or anything else that needs a little oil for richness and acid for sharp contrast.  I have even tossed it with rice salads and it’s perfect.

However, I have a particular version of this vinaigrette I use almost 100% of the time due to the predictable freak out that everyone has whenever I use it.  Yes, it’s that good.  Who knew that real food ingredients could make such a difference?  (I know, I knew it already too!)  I call it my Garlic & Herb Dressing, and it’s based on a dressing recipe from here.  Of course I had to double the garlic and mustard, but I think it’s perfect that way.  Every time I make this dressing, people rant and rave about it.

Nothing dresses up a colorful salad more than a crisp and flavorful homemade vinaigrette.  I’ve said it a million times, but I will say it again: real, clean, organic, whole ingredients are what make this recipe truly nourishing and delicious.  A simple vinaigrette is nothing new, and it is not hard.

Some demand to know what in the world I have used to make it?  Crack?  Nope.  Just real food!  I almost feel bewildered now that I am used to good real food.  Doesn’t everyone eat food this tasty?  It’s funny how simple it is to get good food once you are used to it.

I also like that I can drizzle this dressing across my veggies while I adhere to GAPS.  It is recommended that you drizzle olive oil across each meal while on GAPS.  I tend not to do that, but I love to incorporate this dressing onto whatever I can.  The flavors from the spices and sea salt coupled with that bite from apple cider vinegar are something I never tire of!

Equipment Needed:

I have made both versions of this dressing, but I vastly prefer the Garlic & Herb version.  It’s a crowd-pleaser, and the flavors are perfectly balanced.  I like to serve it with a green herb salad and crumbled grass-fed, raw blue cheese.  Amazing!

Directly below you can see that if you use Dijon mustard instead of whole grain, then your resulting dressing will stay emulsified a bit better.  However, I prefer the whole grain mustard, especially because it adds a little crunch and texture to the dressing.  Either way, this dressing is delicious!  And it’s really pretty in this special jar, see?

Garlic & Herb Vinaigrette (made with Dijon)

Basic Vinaigrette

1 cup good quality olive oil, preferably late harvest (buy good olive oil here)
1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar (buy apple cider vinegar here)
1 teaspoon of garlic powder (buy organic spices here)
1 teaspoon of mustard

  1. In a bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and garlic powder together to emulsify.  Alternately, add all ingredients to a jar, cap it tightly, and shake vigorously.  Serve immediately, storing additional dressing in an airtight jar with a storage lid in the refrigerator.

Garlic & Herb Vinaigrette, before shaking: beautiful!

Garlic & Herb Vinaigrette (my favorite!)

1 cup good quality olive oil, preferably late harvest (buy good olive oil here)
1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar (buy apple cider vinegar here)
1 teaspoon onion powder (buy organic spices here)
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard (find whole grain mustard at specialty stores, or here)
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (buy organic spices here)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (buy organic spices here)
1 teaspoon sea salt (buy unrefined sea salt here)

  1. In a quart jar or large glass bowl, pour in the olive oil and apple cider vinegar.  Then, drop in the remaining ingredients: onion powder, mustard, garlic, thyme, basil, and sea salt.

    Garlic & Herb Vinaigrette, unshaken

  2. If using a jar, put a lid on it, tightly, and shake shake shake!!  If using a bowl (so that you can serve it immediately), then whisk together to emulsify.  Store additional dressing in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.  The olive oil will harden in the cold fridge.

    Garlic & Herb Vinaigrette, shaken!

  3. As you let the dressing sit and chill in the fridge, the heavy parts of it (garlic bits and whole grain mustard bits) will sink and the olive oil will harden a bit.  This is normal.  When you pull it out of the fridge to use it, let it sit for 10 minutes at room temperature before shaking it so the olive oil can soften down a bit.  Enjoy!

This post is a part of Sunday School, Weekend Gourmet, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, The Mommy Club, Healthy2day Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Full Plate Thursday, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Friday Food Flicks.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.
Print Friendly


Get Notified Of New Posts

Add your email address here to receive email updates each time I publish a new post or recipe. This makes life a lot easier when you don’t have time to look me up. I’ll deliver my latest to your inbox, so you won’t miss a thing!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


  1. I realized that I was becoming a real foodie when I couldn’t tolerate commercial dressings anymore. This looks delightfully easy, and I’ve been lucky enough to know from experience that it’s delicious!

  2. I make a dressing similar to this and we LOVE it! We also use it when we make lettuce wraps- I pile on top of a big lettuce leaf some boiled chicken left over from making stock and drizzle the dressing all over the it and then add some totatoes and/or bell peppers and sprinkle some sesame seeds and wrap up!! So yummy!!

  3. Thanks, you ROCK! We love my homemade dressing but we are getting a bit sick of it. I was looking for something to mix things up a little. I am off to make it now. Will serve it with greens out of my garden. Yep, Feb. in Virginia and I can pick greens out of my garden. Gotta love this easy winter we are having.

  4. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

  5. This looks delicious, and I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Just made the Garlic & Herb version for lunch and it is so yummy! Daniel wasn’t a big fan of vinaigrettes until recently so I don’t have a lot of experience with them. Can’t wait to get my herb garden going so I can use fresh herbs. Thank you, Kendahl!

  7. Hi Kendahl,
    I can always taste a store bought Vinaigrette, I have spoiled my family. This is a great recipe! Hope you have a wonderful week and Special Valentine’s Day. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. Thanks for sharing the recipes! I am always on the look out for good tried and true salad dressing recipes! Thanks for sharing yours!

  9. This looks so fantastic and nourishing!! Would you be willing to share this at my blog carnival, superfood sunday?


  10. Found this on Kelly the Kitchen Kop (I think) a while back. Just thought I would leave a comment as I’m sitting here eating my salad tossed in the Garlic & Herb Vinaigrette. I LOVE this dressing! It makes me want to eat more salads! I also added a little crushed red pepper to the recipe to spice it up a little, but that’s the only change I made. The tanginess from the apple cider vinegar makes the salad taste so refreshing. I always knew I should be making my own salad dressing, but for some reason I thought it would be so difficult and not taste that good. I’m so glad I found this recipe! No more processed soy bean oil salad dressings for me! 🙂

  11. Mmmmm, coming back for my second batch 🙂 I finished the last of it on top of chicken and green beans for breakfast…

    This is very similar to a tasty greek dressing my MIL makes, but sometime one has to mix up the flavors… I think I’m going to up the salt a smidge this time because I found myself salting my food even with the dressing. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Great website. Plenty of helpful information here.
    I’m sending it to several friends ans also sharing in
    delicious. And of course, thank you in your effort!


  1. […] When you sign up make sure to bring me a nourishing meal like egg drop soup and a huge salad with homemade dressing. Here are 21 healthy ideas I’ll love you […]

  2. […] Roasted Herb Potatoes Posted on June 4, 2012 by Kendahl Yesterday I picked up some fresh thyme, and I immediately thought: roasted potatoes.  These potatoes are a staple in my house, pairing well with steaks, fish, seafood, eggs, or even eaten cold and tossed with some of my homemade vinaigrette. […]

  3. […] On the side: potato chips fried in coconut oil, organic cherries, and salad with homemade vinaigrette. […]

  4. […] to Get Started: Super basic vinaigrette, honey mustard dressing or homemade ranch dressing.  You will also find loads of basic salad […]

  5. […] you sign up make sure to bring me a nourishing meal like egg drop soup and a huge salad with homemade dressing. Here are 21 healthy ideas I’ll love you […]

  6. […] the dinner: my homemade lasagna, chicken tetrazini with homemade pasta, and an herb salad with my garlic herb vinaigrette (aka the Best Dressing […]

  7. […] course, you can add ACV into salad dressings. I personally love making this homemade garlic vinaigrette using ACV as a yummy way to get some of this super food into my […]

  8. […] to buy a large container of this apple cider vinegar, and I use it in all kinds of things, from salad dressing to detox baths to treating […]

  9. […] course, you can add ACV into salad dressings. I personally love making this homemade garlic vinaigrette using ACV as a yummy way to get some of this super food into my […]

  10. […] course, you can add ACV into salad dressings. I personally love making this homemade garlic vinaigrette using ACV as a yummy way to get some of this super food into my […]

Speak Your Mind