All the flavors of summer packed into a bright green delicious package that goes perfectly with salads, as a condiment for your favorite meat dishes, or a sauce for a simple weeknight pasta dish.
There are maybe literally a million recipes out there for various Basil Vinaigrette dressings, and every food blogger out there will tell you that theirs is the best. I am no exception to that rule. I love love love this dressing and make it whenever Basil goes on sale at the grocery store. Unfortunately, I have a bit of a black thumb, and try as I might, I’ve never been able to successfully grow herbs at home. I’ll be trying again this summer though, so wish me luck!
This really is an incredibly simple dressing to make. Only six ingredients, counting water; and it’s able to be made in roughly four and a half seconds in a food processor (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration). If you don’t have a food processor, you could still make it with some finely chopped basil, but a food processor is the better option.
It’s also incredibly versatile and customizable. If you don’t like white wine vinegar, that’s totally fine – use red wine vinegar instead! Oooh! Or champagne vinegar! That would be awesome. Want it spicier? Add some red pepper flakes. It’s your dressing, and you can make it to your liking.
Tips for making the best Simple Basil Vinaigrette Dressing:
Basil: This recipe is the perfect use for basil that’s just a little bit past it’s prime. You know how basil turns brown as it sits in the fridge? Because the basil gets so finely chopped in the food processor, you cant even see those parts, and as long as the basil doesn’t smell bad and hasn’t turned slimy, those brown leaves are still perfect for dressings.
Vinegar: because there are so few ingredients in the dressing, you want the ones in there to be as high quality as you can find. There is an oil and vinegar specialty shop near where I live called Vom Fass (you might have one as well) and I like to buy my vinegars there, but Colavita brand white wine vinegar is excellent and what I usually reach for when cooking everyday meals.
Olive Oil: the same rules apply here – you want the best olive oils you can afford. And while I am not going to say that I’ve never spent a somewhat ridiculous amount of money on a bottle of olive oil, I will say that my go to EVOO is Kirkland Brand, which is Costco’s store brand. I go through a LOT of olive oil, and it’s wallet-friendly as well as being objectively just a really good olive oil.
To Make Simple Basil Vinaigrette Dressing
Start by tearing the leaves from the basil stems, and add the leaves to the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper, and blend on high speed for about a minute, scraping down as necessary. Add water if you need to thin out the dressing, and taste for seasoning adjusting if necessary.
Refrigerate any leftover dressing in an air tight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Simple Basil Vinaigrette Dressing
- ½ cup basil, stems trimmed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon water (optional)
- In the bowl of a food processor, add all of the ingredients except for water and blend until smooth. Add the water a teaspoon at a time if needed to thin the dressing out. Taste and adjust for seasoning.