I was recently able to procure a huge amount of basil for about 30 cents from the sidewalk grannies selling their produce. Faced with the challenge of using it before it goes bad, I decided to turn it into a salad dressing. The result, a fresh basil vinaigrette with simple, great ingredients. While I originally used this as a salad dressing, it also works great as a marinade for baked chicken, or drizzled on pizza.
The greatest thing about dressings is that they don’t just have to be for one salad. Sure there are signature dressings like Caesar which is more a type of salad than the dressing itself, but for most they can be used in a variety of ways. In fact, one of my favorite ways to use Thousand Island dressing isn’t on a salad, but rather to replace the ketchup layer in meatloaf. (Try it, just trust me).
This basil vinaigrette has just 4 ingredients. Fresh basil, great olive oil, Lemon Juice, and a pinch of salt. That’s it. I like it tangy and use quite a bit of lemon juice, but you can of course tone it down to suit your needs.
Basil Vinaigrette Ingredients
2 cups Fresh Basil. I know it’s hard to measure basil, so this measurement is going to be different for everyone. I just used a measuring cup and tossed in basil leaves but did not compress them. I’d say around 30 leaves, but could be more or less depending on your cup and size.
1/2 cup Olive Oil. As with any recipe that calls for olive oil that isn’t cooked, I suggest always going for the highest quality olive oil you have the ability to get.
2 tbsp Lemon Juice. It came from 1/2 a lemon, but this also gave it quite the tang. Feel free to decrease the amount if you think 2 tbsp will be too strong for you.
1 tsp Salt.
Basil Vinaigrette Instructions
1. For this recipe I used a graduated cylinder and a stick/immersion blender. You can of course use a regular blender as well. Put all the ingredients into cup/blender and let run until smooth. The vinaigrette should be a vibrant green just like in the picture above.
You can of course adjust the ingredients to suit your needs, either by increasing/decreasing the lemon juice or the salt levels.
Do not use dry basil. You’d think that would be self explanatory, but I just have to throw it out there.
Where To Use Basil Vinaigrette?
This dressing works great on:
Chicken Breast, it can work as a marinade or you can drizzle it on after it has been cooked.
Skirt Steak, kind of like a knock-off chimichurri
Baked Asparagus, can be used as a marinade before the spears go into the oven.
Pizza, perfectly suitable to be drizzled right on top a finished pizza.
- 2 cups Fresh Basil
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil great quality
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp Salt
- For this recipe I used a graduated cylinder and a stick/immersion blender. You can of course use a regular blender as well. Put all the ingredients into cup/blender and let run until smooth. The vinaigrette should be a vibrant green just like in the picture above.