Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Balsamic Vinaigrette: Girls Night In

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Balsamic vinaigrette, thick and tangy with a hint of sweetness and loads of umami
Last night Peter decided to take our youngest son camping which left myself and our youngest daughter to enjoy a girls night in.  I will confess that far too much of that girl time was spent with me on the phone talking with family and dealing with issues surrounding my Dad's estate and my grandmother's failing health.  I am slowly learning that dealing with death and dying and all the tasks that fall to the living surrounding those events is a life lesson that I will be a student of for a long time to come.  Which means my kids will be too, and like all of the other challenges life has tossed our way we face them as a family.

Balsamic vinaigrette with tiny tomatoes
So.  We didn't try to make a healthy or well balanced or any other kind of model of good eating dinner for us girls.  We went for comfort food and for Bel that is all about raw vegetables, namely tomatoes, and dressing.  I had a lot of other foods on hand but that is what she wanted.  She also wanted to know if I had shared this recipe yet, and when I said that I hadn't, she said I had to because it is "Soooooo good, Mom.  You should!".

Balsamic vinaigrette roasted grape tomatoes
I love tomatoes too but winter hot house ones just do not have the zip and flavor that get me excited like real summer tomatoes do.  When you have a child that pretty much only eats raw vegetables you keep them on hand year round anyways.  For my comfort food tomatoes, I chose to roast them in a hot oven after giving them a quick covering with the same dressing.  I put a cup of whole grape tomatoes into a bowl, added 1 teaspoon of balsamic dressing and tossed.  I poured the tomatoes into a pie pan and roasted them for about 8 minutes in a 450  (F) oven.  They were sweet and the tomato flavor was concentrated which definitely covered up the lack of summer bite.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Michelle K.
Use your best vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. This makes about 1 3/4 cups of dressing so be sure to use a container that is 2 cups or more, allowing you enough shaking room.


  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs dijon-style mustard (or any mustard, I often just use stone ground mustard)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbs dried basil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, sliced or minced (mince it for a stronger garlic flavor)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. In your pint jar with a tight fitting lid, put in the honey, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic clove, dried basil and vinegar. Tighten on your lid well and shake shake shake for about 1 minute. You may need to stir the bottom of the jar after a minute to loosen any salt or honey that is being stubborn. Shake some more if this happens.
  2. Add 1/3 of the olive oil and shake again for a minute. Add another 1/3 of the olive oil, shake again. Add the last 1/3 of olive oil and really shake things now. It may take 1-2 minutes of shaking to get the desired thickness for your dressing.
  3. You can eat this immediately but the flavors improve a lot after 24 hours.  Store in your refrigerator for up to a year.
Yield: 1 3/4 cups, 28 servings

Prep Time: 00:12
Cook time: 00:00


Calories: 61
Total carbs: 2