Why do I bother making vinaigrette?
Because I really like good olive oil. And no one makes a bottled dressing made with olive oil!
I used to cheat and buy the bottled stuff and believe me I bought the most expensive stuff on the shelf. I looked for front of the package labeling and when I found one with olive oil, that’s the one I picked.
Then one day I turned the bottle around and read the ingredient list. The first thing I noticed was the olive oil was not listed first. What I found was canola oil or soybean oil. Those are not bad oils, but they are NOT olive oil. And where was olive oil listed? Much further down on the list.
Ingredients must be listed in descending order by weight. For those of you who are not label mavens, it’s okay to market a product and label it olive oil on the front of the label as long as olive oil is listed somewhere in the ingredient list.
That was the day I started making my own homemade artisan vinaigrette.
Now take a look at my vinaigrette pictured above. The ingredient list is short and simple. Olive oil, vinegar, salt.
I should add my cost for ingredients is about three times what I would pay for even the most expensive brand of bottled dressing because good olive oil is not cheap. This cost factor explains why most people are okay with a blend.
My oil of choice is Arbequina olive oil from California. Olive oil is shelf stable, but unlike wine, olive oil doesn’t benefit from aging. Every November after the harvest, I order 6 liters so my vinaigrette is always made with an oil that is less than 12 months old. I use a good vinegar (7% acidity) and salt.
Most recipes I see for vinaigrette are volume based. My preference is weight based and I use my scale. No measuring cups to wash. No waste. And that’s good because at the price I pay for my olive oil, I can’t afford to waste a drop. Both volume and weight are referenced below however because most of you probably do not have a scale yet.
275 grams extra virgin olive oil like Arbequina (300 ml or 1 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon)
100 grams Sherry or wine vinegar (100 ml or 7 tablespoons)
5.8 grams salt (2 level teaspoons)