A balsamic vinaigrette can be very simple or can be made complex. Numerous herbs and spices can be substituted along with other flavors that mix well and enhance the inherent taste of aged balsamic vinegar. Search out recipes that include honey, seasoned sea salts, various nuts and seeds, dried fruit, and fruit juices. Gourmet chefs are constantly making new variations of the simple balsamic vinaigrette recipe.
Select only quality extra virgin olive oil as well as gourmet quality balsamic vinegar. Your recipe will only be as good as the ingredients you use. Be creative, yet prudent with a condiment such as balsamic vinegar, especially when making a vinaigrette dressing. Never cook or overheat a balsamic vinegar, as it will ruin the flavor that has taken years to produce. Balsamic vinegar is best used immediately before serving, whether it be in a dressing or vinaigrette, or as a drizzle condiment over an entrée.
Add herbs and spices and other seasonings a little at a time. Taste while you are making the vinaigrette. Add more sea salt, fresh ground pepper, olive oil for consistency, and aged balsamic vinegar to your personal taste preference.
Be sure to make a seasoned balsamic vinaigrette well ahead of the meal and allow to stand for a period of time, this allows the flavors of the herbs and spices to mingle and blend together. After preparation, store a balsamic vinaigrette in the refrigerator until use.
You can whisk oil and vinegar together to make a vinaigrette. Oil and vinegar don’t mix as well as you might expect, (which is the nature of oil and vinegar.) You can use a blender to emulsify the olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a better consistency.
A leafy green garden salad needs to be dressed lightly with your balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It is important to add the vinaigrette to the salad just before serving, to ensure freshness and the best flavor.
If you’re going to use a vinaigrette over pasta, rice, or a potato salad, try using a little more wine vinegar and less olive oil in the vinaigrette recipe. These types salads invite a bit more wine vinegar taste and less olive oil.