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How to Make a Three-Step Vinaigrette

Learn how to make a three-step vinaigrette with our how-to cooking video. Get step-by-step instructions, plus cooking tips on how to adapt this recipe with salads and other side dishes.

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-Hi, I'm Terry Singh, the food editor here at Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine, and I'm going to teach you how to make a vinaigrette today. First, here at the magazine, we use three different methods. One is the jar where you just shake it all together. The other one is using a blender where it just gets mixed together. And finally, we have the old-fashioned method which actually tends to be my favorite which is rare. It's a good old bowl and a whisk. And so we're going to start with one part of balsamic vinaigrette which is about 3/4 cup here. And in general, most dressings require one part acidity to three parts oil. And in this case, we're using balsamic vinaigrette. I'm going to add 1 tablespoon of mustard. Whisk that in. And instead of balsamic vinaigrette, you can use all sorts of different acids such as sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar, even lemon juice and orange juice. Orange juice is actually one of my personal favored-- favorites as it adds sort of like a nice sweetened flavor to it. Once the mustard is all mixed in, we're going to slowly add in the olive oil while continuing to whisk. And we do this so that the vinaigrette emulsifies which means it comes together and doesn't separate and sort of forms like its own liquid. And the best part about the vinaigrette is that you can use it for all sorts of different things like a marinade for meat, a glaze while you are barbecuing. I actually like to add it to the rice for an instant seasoned rice pilaf sort of thing like a quick fix. So those of you that are fans of dressing know that it's almost good for anything. In the homemade type, it just feels a little bit healthier, you know, and there's not a lot of preservatives. And once the oil and vinaigrette come together, you can tell it's been emulsified and it's all set. And so, you want to season it with a little bit of salt and pepper. Give it another whisk. Taste it to make sure that you like it. And that's great. So you can set that aside. And now, I'm actually going to show you two other methods: one is using a blender and one is using a jar. And so, we'll use the same proportion which is 3/4 cups of olive oil because again we're working with the 1 to 3 ratio. And you just add it all in there. And we're going to add another tablespoon of mustard. You can just add all of these. Put the top back on and just mix it all together. And just blend just until it comes together. And as you can see, using a blender makes it a little bit thicker than, let's say, a whisk and a bowl or even the jar method because it gets aerated so much a little more with the speed of the blender. And you can season that with salt and pepper as well before using it. So we'll just set that aside. And then, our last method-- and a lot of people tend to like this method because it basically serves as its own sort of container. So again, 3/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of balsamic vinaigrette, and a little bit more mustard. Again, we'll just add all of these. And then all you need to do is shake this together. But it's pretty much the same color and texture as the bowl one-- the bowl method. And homemade dressings will keep for about five days covered in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. If it gets a little bit hard or start to separate, you just give it another good whisk. It should come right back together into the emulsified state. And just to give you guys a fun idea of other things that you can add to your salad dressing. See here, we have some honey. It's great for sweetening up the dressings and crushed red pepper flakes for adding a bit of heat to salads which are great for crunch and just giving it a little bit of a sweet onion flavor. You can also add in chopped oregano and thyme and this is just if you really like herbs in your vinaigrette. And this is a great combination. As you can see, we've finally chopped the two. We also have a minced garlic and you can use minced ginger just to give it, you know, a different garlic, you know, or ginger [inaudible]. And finally, we've got lemons and oranges which both work fantastically in salad dressings. I love using orange juice as my acid in the dressing. It makes it a little bit sweeter. And there you have it. We've got some vinaigrette. So now, I'm going to dress my salad with my homemade vinaigrette and we're going to pour it on top and give the salad a good toss. And one of the tricks that I've learned from working at the restaurant is to season the salad with salt and pepper. I'm convinced that it makes all the difference and that's why some restaurant salads tends to taste so good. Season with salt and pepper. Give it another good toss. And then, taste the salad. It's delicious. Once you've made a homemade vinaigrette, you'll never go back to the store to buy as you can see that it is this easy and I hope you'll try it yourself next time.