From the Garden: Homegrown Herb Vinaigrette Recipes for Salads

When it comes to salads, the dressing can either elevate or ruin the entire dish!

While store-bought dressings may seem convenient, they often contain unhealthy ingredients and can be calorie-dense, contradicting the purpose of a healthy salad. 

A homemade salad dressing, typically made from a blend of oil, vinegar, and herb seasonings, offers unparalleled freshness and flavor, especially when using herbs straight from your garden.

By incorporating simple ingredients like fresh herbs, lemon juice, and flavorful oils, you can whip up delicious dressings right in your own kitchen. In this post, we'll delve into five tantalizing herb vinaigrette recipes guaranteed to transform your salads from mundane to magnificent!

Vinaigrette recipes

Lemon tree | Vego Garden
Lemon tree

Lemon herb vinaigrette: This zesty dressing brings a burst of flavor to any salad, whether it's a simple green salad or a hearty grain bowl! To whip it up, you'll need freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, a dash of Dijon mustard, and your choice of fresh herbs. The recipe suggests basil, parsley, and thyme, but feel free to use any herbs you have on hand, whether they're fresh from your garden or dried.

You can also use this dressing as a marinade for grilling vegetables or meats to infuse your dishes with extra flavor. Since it contains vinegar, you can store it in the fridge for a few weeks, although it's likely to disappear quickly given its perfect complement to your meals.

Balsamic herb dressing: This recipe packs a tangy punch with a blend of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, white wine vinegar, fresh basil, and garlic. Once mixed, it thickens nicely. You have the option to add brown sugar or honey for a touch of sweetness, or leave it out altogether. It's a great twist on the typical citrus vinaigrette, perfect for adding some excitement to your day!

Citrus herb vinaigrette: This salad blends sweetness with citrus zest, perfect for sunny days! You'll need lemon juice, rice vinegar, a hint of apple cider vinegar, and a mix of fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, and chives from your garden. If you only have dried herbs, add them to the wet ingredients first to soften and release their flavors. To sweeten, sprinkle in some brown sugar to your taste preference. For a kick, toss in pepper flakes to amp up the flavor and add spice!

Garlic cloves | Vego Garden
Garlic cloves

Garlic herb dressing: This one is for the garlic lovers! To make it, you will need fresh garlic cloves, your choice of vinegar, and a mix of your favorite herbs such as rosemary, oregano, and thyme, along with any type of oil, and it's ready! This recipe is great for spreading on bread for sandwiches, salads, meat, or even nachos! Now, you can decide on the amount of garlic, but maybe keep a toothbrush handy for the aftermath!

Mixed herb vinaigrette: This recipe is all about using common ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. You'll need olive oil, white vinegar, sugar, dried oregano or basil, Dijon-style mustard, minced garlic, black pepper, and salt – all pantry staples! Feel free to swap ingredients if needed, like using regular mustard instead of Dijon. Making your own dressing instead of buying it from the store is a smart move because you know exactly what's going into it. It's always a good idea to keep an eye on your food labels and use what you have at home!

Final thoughts

Herb garden | Vego Garden
Herb garden

Forget about store-bought dressings once you try these five homemade herb vinaigrettes. With these recipes, you'll discover how easy it is to elevate your salads or dishes using fresh herbs and basic ingredients from your garden and pantry.

Get creative and experiment with various herb and vinegar combinations to create your ideal dressing!

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