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This Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette is so amazingly good you'll want to drink it by itself! A bright, healthy salad dressing recipe made with fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard and basil. A serious must-try!
This post for this unbelievably tasty lemon based salad dressing recipe is sort of a second part of a three part post. The first recipe related to this is the one for my Easy Homemade Almond Hummus, which is an ingredient in the salad which will be the third and final post. And the BEST post since it will bring everything altogether.
And trust me when I say you really need to try everything together to experience the amazing flavor overload!
This is a great recipe for a sweet lemon dijon vinaigrette, but with altering the ingredients slightly, you can make so many variations. Learning how to make your own homemade dressings using fresh ingredients is priceless. The flavor is amazing, and you know exactly what your family is eating. Try reading the labels on the store-bought dressings...most everything added is unpronouncable!
How to Make a Vinaigrette
Making a vinaigrette is so simple, and once you understand the basics and composition, the combinations and flavors you can create are endless.
To make a simple vinaigrette salad dressing, use one part acid to three parts oil, along with an added emulsifier, and herbs and seasonings. This means if you were making a cup of dressing, you would use ¼ cup acid, and ¾ cup oil.
What types of acid, oil, herbs and seasonings you use is where you can get creative!
Possible Acid Choices
- vinegar - red wine, white wine, apple cider, champagne, balsamic, rice, sherry, etc
- citrus juice - lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, tangerine, kumquat
- sometimes even beer or wine
Possible Oil Choices
- extra virgin olive oil
- grapeseed oil
- avocado oil
- flaxseed oil
- sesame oil (If you use a strongly flavored oil like sesame, you'll want to use a small amount and combine it with a flavorless oil like canola or something similar. Sesame oil is very strongly flavored, and therefore, one that would be too overpowering to use the full 1 part all by itself.)
- coconut oil
An emulsifier is something added to the oil/acid combination that keeps the mixture combined after mixing, and helps to prevent it from separating back into oil and acid.
My favorite emulsifier to use is Dijon mustard, as it doesn't overpower the other flavors used, and adds a nice creamy consistency to the salad dressing.
- Dijon mustard
- roasted garlic
- egg yolks
- fruit or vegetable puree
Mixing the Vinaigrette
When I make my salad dressings, I like to use a salad dressing shaker, like this one from OXO Good Grips. It's as simple as adding the ingredients, and shaking. It has measurements on the side, so you don't need to dirty extra dishes to measure out the ingredients. I use this shaker to both serve the dressing and also to store it in the refrigerator.
If you don't have a salad dressing mixer, you can use a bowl and a whisk. You would simply add the lemon juice to the bowl, mix in the Dijon mustard until blended, then slowly add the oil while mixing. Add the herbs and seasonings after the dressing is blended.
Is Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette Healthy?
Yes, this Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette is healthy, but not necessarily low calorie! I like to use oils that are better for you like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil. I tend to stay away from corn oil, vegetable oil and canola oil, due to their lower health benefits. Do your research on various oils and choose what is best for you...both flavor-wise and health-wise.
Of course all foods should be eaten in moderation, so I always measure out my salad dressings, as it's super easy to use too much. For instance, two tablespoons is plenty for a normal serving of salad. You need good healthy oils in a balanced diet, but too much is also not good.
This recipe as written is not keto approved. Taking out the sugar would make this dressing keto. You can remove the sugar completely, or replace with a keto approved sweetener.
If you are vegan or gluten-free, this Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette will be good for you!
How Long does the Vinaigrette Last?
Since this is a food made with fresh ingredients, store this dressing in the refrigerator, and it'll last about a week. Keep in mind fresh food is simply that...fresh food. It has no added preservatives that store-bought, shelf-stable dressings have. Those dressings sit in our refrigerators for months. And are just fine! That's not normal! However, fresh food lasts only so long...and THAT'S what's normal!
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
- 5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon basil finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- Add all ingredients to a salad dressing shaker and shake!
- If you don't have a salad dressing shaker, add lemon juice and Dijon mustard to a bowl and whisk until blended. Slowly add the extra virgin olive oil, whisking the entire time. After blended, add all remaining ingredients and blend.
For a super flavorful alternate option, instead of using the Dijon mustard in this recipe, try using a little bit of my Easy Roasted Garlic Spread as a replacement! Just be creative, and amazing food will happen!
Also, please check out the tons of amazing recipes from other talented bloggers on Southern Plate’s Meal Plan Monday post.