My Favorite Homemade Salad Dressing

And why an immersion blender is the tool I rely on for making creamy vegan dressings in my home kitchen

A photo of bright green spinach leaves coated in a creamy light brown balsamic dressing
A photo of bright green spinach leaves coated in a creamy light brown balsamic dressing

My personal favorite salad dressing is a very thick Balsamic served at Delfiore Pizza & Food Co. in my hometown of Patchogue, New York. I could never quite figure out how they did it, and my mother insisted eggs must have been involved to get it quite so viscous, but I was not convinced. This dressing had to be possible with just olive oil, vinegar, and some additional flavorings. It took me until the desperate homesickness of the pandemic to do it on a whim, but it worked — because I used my immersion blender.

Previously, I mostly used the stick blender for soups, my ketchup recipe, other purees, or just to make cashew cream with herbs blended in. In recent months, though, I’ve turned to it in order to make tahini-based dressings that are a pain to whisk because of how thick the sesame seed paste is, and it has changed my life. Because of the powerful emulsification that happens, these dressings will stay put together in the fridge for days, with no re-shaking or whisking necessary. And it’s easy to measure out if your immersion blender, like my Cuisinart, comes with its own perfectly sized measuring cup. (This isn’t an ad — it’s just super useful for this purpose!)

An immersion blender can be one of those appliances you’re excited to invest in but then find yourself using rarely. Using it for salad dressing means you pick it up a lot more, getting more bang for your buck, and the dressing you make will be thicker, more flavorful, and will keep better for longer. It does a better job than one’s hands can do when it comes to incorporating garlic and mustard into the final package, and it allows for less cleanup, too, because it can be stored in the same container in which you’re doing the blending. There’s nothing wrong with a dressing you have to shake every time you take it out of the fridge, but I promise that one that’s super delicious and thick will have you eating more salads, especially during work-from-home days.

I love putting this Balsamic dressing, specifically, on sandwiches filled with eggplant, piquillo peppers, and arugula. This method works, also, with red wine vinegar or any other acid of your choice. This one, though, is my all-time favorite. I figured out the secret of my hometown pizzeria’s perfect salad dressing, and there are no eggs involved. I knew it!

Creamy Vegan Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients

  • 50 milliliters (about 2 tablespoons) balsamic vinegar
  • 100 milliliters (about ½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon nutritional yeast, or to taste

Put all of these ingredients in a tall vessel or the measuring cup that comes with your immersion blender and blend until very thick, and the oil and vinegar have fully emulsified.

Keep it in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.

Written by

I’m a food writer from Long Island based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter on food issues: aliciakennedy.substack.com

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