Red Wine Vinaigrette

By Ann Fulton

Basic pantry ingredients come together with ease in this versatile vinaigrette that is sure to become a refrigerator standby. 
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Basic pantry ingredients come together with ease in this versatile vinaigrette that is sure to become a refrigerator standby. 

 

Red wine vinegar is made by fermenting red wine, and the result is a tangy, slightly sweet taste that offers distinctive flavor to a wide variety of dishes. 

This type of vinegar is frequently used in Mediterranean-style fare, gazpacho, marinades, vinegar-based potato salads, and pickling recipes. Incorporating it into a good red wine vinaigrette, however, is one of the most versatile ways to enjoy the pantry staple.

If you keep a jar of this vinaigrette on hand, you may be surprised how easily it adds memorable flavor to so much more than green salads–although it’s perfect on those too! 

Basic pantry ingredients come together with ease in this versatile vinaigrette that it sure to become a refrigerator standby. 

Does red wine vinegar contain alcohol? 

The vinegar is created by fermenting red wine with a starter culture and acidic bacteria until it sours. During that process, the ethanol (the alcohol that we drink) is converted to acetic acid (which creates the vinegary taste and is the main component of vinegar).

The finished product contains trace amounts of alcohol, usually within the 0.1% to 2% range. As a comparison, vanilla extract contains at least 35% alcohol. 

How to use red wine vinaigrette?

Complementary ingredients: Red wine vinegar (and accordingly, the vinaigrette) complements pork, beef, chicken, tuna, vegetables (like tomatoes, red onions, potatoes, spinach, cucumbers, zucchini, bell peppers, avocado, and garlic to name a few), pasta, beans, grains (like rice, quinoa, and farro), feta and blue cheese, olives, and a variety of herbs (so many, including oregano, basil, mint, dill, thyme, chives, and parsley). 

My mind often goes to Greek food first. You can use this vinaigrette on a Greek Village Salad or Greek Pasta Salad. With a batch of this on hand, you can cook without a recipe or use a recipe as a framework, simply adding your favorite components in the amounts desired and tossing with the vinaigrette to taste.

Reference the list of complementary ingredients above, choose a variety of colorful veggies, filling proteins, and flavorful extras to easily create simple meals like grain- or green-based bowls with what you have on hand. 

Use as an alternative to your favorite bottled Greek or Italian vinaigrette. And if you’re a fan of croutons on your salads, add these Homemade Parmesan Croutons–or Polenta Croutons for a super satisfying variation on the classic, which happens to be gluten-free. 

A few more ideas: This red wine vinaigrette will make a simple Steak Salad shine and lends memorable flavor to an Asparagus Cobb Salad

And try it in place of apple cider vinaigrette, like in this Roasted Beet and Green Bean Salad

Basic pantry ingredients come together with ease in this versatile vinaigrette that is sure to become a refrigerator standby. 

When doled out in the right proportions, a few key pantry staples will create a restaurant-worthy vinaigrette. Basic pantry ingredients come together with ease in this versatile vinaigrette that is sure to become a refrigerator standby.  

Red Wine Vinaigrette
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Yield: ¾ cup
Basic pantry ingredients come together with ease in this versatile vinaigrette that is sure to become a refrigerator standby.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (60ml) red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon (20g) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) Dijon mustard
  • ⅓ cup (75ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced (optional)
Steps
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a glass jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake until the ingredients are blended. (Optionally, you may whisk together in a bowl, but the vigorous shaking really helps to emulsify the dressing.)
  2. Store the leftovers in the fridge, where they will keep for several weeks. Shake well before serving each time.
Notes

Over time, the cold temperature of the refrigerator will likely cause the olive oil to solidify. This isn’t a problem. Simply allow the vinaigrette to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or so, and then shake well.

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Basic pantry ingredients come together with ease in this versatile vinaigrette that is sure to become a refrigerator standby. 

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