I have to be honest, it breaks my heart to see folks purchase bottled vinaigrettes—and it’s not because I’m some food snob or have a beef against any of the companies making bottled vinaigrettes. I’m sad because I know how quick and easy it is to make them from scratch. I mean seriously quick and easy. The only requirement is that you’re able to move your wrist in a whisking kind of motion. No fancy tools or exotic ingredients required.
As recently mentioned in my post on Homemade Paleo Condiments, I know that the majority of store-bought vinaigrettes are on the Paleo “naughty” list because of added sugar and such. While there are a number of food items many Paleo Meal Plan subscribers don’t miss, vinaigrettes are not in the group (just like their condiment cousins).
Want to make a bag of fresh greens really sing? Toss with a zesty vinaigrette.
Want to elevate a bunch of grilled veggies to restaurant level? Drizzle with a flavorful vinaigrette.
Want to know what it takes to make a vinaigrette?
In it’s most basic form, the standard ratio is 1 part acid (vinegar, citrus juice) to 2 parts oil. That’s it.
Let me break it down for you: That means 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice combined with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar combined with 1/2 cup avocado oil. 1 bowlful of red wine vinegar combined with 2 bowlfuls of walnut oil—I joke, but you get the point about the ratio basics. You make what you need.
Beyond that, all you have to do is get the oil and acid together (since they naturally keep to their separate corners). You can whisk the two together or shake them up in a bottle. From there, it wide open. Have fun. Go crazy. Mix up the acids—use lemon juice and balsamic vinegar, for example. Use a less assertive oil (like EVOO) with something more bold (like a nut oil). As long as you stay within the basic ration parameters, you’ll be good to go. Add your own personal touch with all sorts ingredients like herbs, spices, diced fruits vegetables (raw or roasted).
Here are three super-easy recipes to get you started.
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp grated lemon rind
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly until blended.
- 2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Process first 4 ingredients in a blender until smooth. With blender running, gradually add oil in a slow stream, processing until mixture is blended and smooth.
- 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp coconut aminos soy-free sauce
- 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- Whisk together rice wine vinegar and coconut aminos in a bowl. Gradually whisk in sesame oil and olive oil in slow streams until blended. Whisk in sesame seeds before serving.
eMeals is doing a series of posts featuring our favorite Paleo– and Clean Eating-friendly dressings, vinaigrettes and condiments —but we’d love to hear from you too.
Tell us about your favorite Paleo-friendly vinaigrette or dressing. Are you a fan of those on the creamier side or those with a little kick? Want us to develop a particular recipe for your favorite summer salad? Let us know! Our whisks are standing by.
Curious about Paleo?
HOW DOES EMEALS HELP SOMEONE FOLLOW THE PALEO LIFESTYLE/DIET?
There are benefits to following the Paleo lifestyle and diet, but even if you’re a confident cook, planning can be a huge challenge, and we do all of that for you (we even provide breakfast and lunch options). As with any lifestyle change, not having the right plan can easily get you off track. So eMeals gives you everything you need—recipes and a shopping list—to meet your health goals week after week. You can even try the 14-day trial for free!
-Text by Scott Jones