Healthy Recipes

Published on July 24th, 2017 | by Andrea Bertoli

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5 Vinaigrette Recipes for Sassier Summer Salads

Now that it’s summer you’re probably eating all the salad things you can get your little hands on. Whether you enjoy leafy green salads, whole grain salads, raw/cooked salads, or noodle salads, you probably need something yummy to put on top of them, right?

Well, I wrote a cookbook called Gettin’ Saucy that came out a few months ago, and in the book I share dozens of recipes for marinades, sauces, gravies, and – of course– salad dressings! Below I’ve shared 5 vinaigrette recipes from my cookbook that you can use to top salads, cooked veggies, and even as a marinades for tofu, tempeh, or veggies.

5 vinaigrette recipes

Whole grains + veggies makes a meal-sized salad, even better if it’s doused with Tahini Vinaigrette

What is a Vinaigrette?

A vinaigrette is a simply a mix of oil and vinegar, and it is an easy and quick way to dress up your favorite foods. I encourage you to play with the ingredients here: add a few drops of agave or maple syrup, squeeze in some lemon, reduce the salt, and some chopped fresh garlic or herbs. Whatever you do, sample as you go and learn to make these simple recipes your own!

What oils can you use? Anything really, but I prefer a lovely extra-virgin olive oil (read more about why I use only extra virgin olive oil). Coconut oil is yummy, but it does solidify at temperatures below 75ºF, so keep that in mind for cold salads. You can also use a neutral oil like grapeseed, avocado, or safflower oil, but they are really just that – neutral and kinda boring.

As for vinegars, my preferred option is apple cider vinegar, because it’s super healthy for you and tastes great. But red wine vinegar, coconut vinegar, champagne vinegar, and balsamic vinegar each have distinct flavor profiles and I encourage you to sample them all in combination with different oils. But, if you don’t feel like all that trial and error, I’ve got five easy vinaigrette recipes below that will make your tastebuds really happy.

5 Vinaigrette Recipes for Sassier Summer Salads

Adding beans and seeds to a simple kale salad makes it a hearty meal… especially if it’s dressed properly!

Why do you Need Five Vinaigrettes?

Well, I suppose you don’t NEED five different dressings, but with such simple ingredient lists and fast prep time, why wouldn’t  you want to sauce up all your salads with these vegan vinaigrettes?

The first easy vinaigrette recipe uses rich balsamic vinegar for an unmatched deep, rich flavor. This dressing  is great on hearty greens, like kale and spinach, and I love it on orzo, couscous salads, or roasted veggies. Second is a Sesame Vinaigrette, which is super yummy on noodles or on cabbage-based salads (for a unique interpretation of coleslaw). Then, a yummy vinaigrette made with Dijon mustard, which always makes me think of Autumn. I really like this one as a marinade for root veggies like beets, carrots, or pumpkin, or as a marinade for tofu. I’ve also included a Tahini Vinaigrette, which is good on all the things. Seriously, it would make your socks taste good. Eat it with noodles, grains, rice, veggies, and salads. And finally, a super yummy Golden Vinaigrette, made with vegan gold, aka nutritional yeast.

5 Easy Vinaigrette Dressings for Sassier Salads

To make the dressings below, add all ingredients to a jar and shake. You can also whisk ingredients together in a large bowl, or blend the ingredients together in a blender or processor. Please note that oils won’t blend perfectly (the store-bought brands use chemicals to do that), so just shake each dressing before you use it. All should keep for at least a week in the fridge. These recipes yield about 1⁄2 – 3⁄4 cup each.

5 vinaigrette recipes

Flower are always welcome in salads. These are nasturtiums, a lovely flower with edible leaves, seeds, and flower parts.

Easy Italian Vinaigrette

1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon each dried basil and oregano
Pinch each salt and pepper

Sesame Vinaigrette

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Dijon Maple Vinaigrette

1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
2-3 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
Pinch salt and pepper

Tahini Vinaigrette

1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt (more to taste
2-4 Tablespoons water, more as needed

Golden Vinaigrette

1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch of ground black pepper


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About the Author

A vegan chef, cookbook author, educator, writer, surfer, and yogi based in San Francisco, Andrea is also the Accounts Manager for Important Media. Follow her foodie adventures at AndreaBertoli.com, Vibrant Wellness Journal, Green Living Ideas and Eat Drink Better. Find more from Andrea on Facebook and Instagram



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