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mzehnich's avatar

How do I make good balsamic vinaigrette dressing?

Asked by mzehnich (277 points ) February 26th, 2010

So, this is like the easiest recipe ever, yet I can’t figure it out.

Every time I try, it comes out with the olive oil taste and texture overpowering everything else – a very oily and strange tasting concoction. Most recipes call between 25–50% vinegar to olive oil ratio and I have gone as far as 75%, to no avail. At first I thought it might have been because I was using extra virgin olive oil, but this is included in some recipes?

I have tried following some simple recipes (i.e., just the oil and vinegar) to ones that involve other powders and such thinking that might solve it by giving the dressing more body.

Any tips?

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17 Answers

CMaz's avatar

I believe it is a skill you either have or don’t.

My dad can just do it and it is perfect. As can my mother.
I can never get it right. So I now I just get it already bottled.

Zen_Again's avatar

I could give you my secret recipe. But then I’d have to kill you.

erichw1504's avatar

Trial and error.

liminal's avatar

What balsamic and olive oil are you using?

mzehnich's avatar

Bertoli evoo and Colavita balsamic vineger

jaytkay's avatar

I use light olive oil, or even canola oil for salad dressing. Cooking mavens on TV make it seem that only extra virgin oil is respectable, but I think it is too strong for salad dressing.

JLeslie's avatar

Bertolli Classico Olive oil mild taste. EVOO will have a stronger olive flavor because it is the first press. The Bertoli mild taste is yellow, similar to other veg oils. The greener the oil, the more flavor it will most likely have.

marinelife's avatar

Get a good quality balsamic vinegar. Try Trader Joe’s. I agree with the idea of using light olice oil especially if the EVOO is too heavy for you.

liminal's avatar

Yes. Try a lighter oil and also try a couple different brands of balsamic (some of the amazing ones are expensive!)

tedibear's avatar

Along with the excellent olive oil advice you have received, try a little garlic and some honey for extra flavor.

SamIAm's avatar

maybe try whisking the evoo into the balsamic vinegar slowly and tasting along the way. i tend to add some sea salt and fresh ground pepper, maybe some onion powder and dried oregano. depends on how i’m feeling. spicy mustard also adds an interesting flavor… i typically add it to a red wine vinegar but i think it would be good in balsamic too!

faye's avatar

Not an answer for you but a Canadian chef showed his prize bottle of balsamic vinegar he owns. It’s in a perfume sized bottle and cost him $100. My taste buds wouldn’t know the difference I’m afraid.

sarahsugs's avatar

I would try mixing it all up in a blender or with an immersion blender. It could be that it is not emulsified properly, so regardless of your proportions it will still taste oily. An alternative is to put it in a jar with a tightly sealing lid and shake it vigorously for quite a while.

Also, a spoonful of Dijon mustard does wonders with the texture AND flavor!

Ltryptophan's avatar

There are some very expensive balsamic vinegars you can use, next time I’m at work I’ll find one that is very posh and tell you what it is.

JLeslie's avatar

I use Newman’s Balsamic, and I think it is pretty good, but it is true that the really good ones are amazing.

Zen_Again's avatar

@faye Is that Canadian Dollars or U.S. dollars?

faye's avatar

That would be Canadian but they’re pretty close now!

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