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Basil Vinaigrette Recipe for Salads

This Basil Vinaigrette is like a taste of summertime. The light flavor is brimming with the sunny freshness of basil while vinegar and garlic give it a touch of tang and bite.

“What’s in this? This is interesting.”

That was my husband’s reaction when he tasted the salad tonight. It was a simple mix of baby greens (one bag for $1 at the farmers market today — just enough for one dinner) and a homemade basil vinaigrette. I skipped the cheese and ignored the croutons and just did an ultrasimple salad. And it worked, or I thought it did.

Of course, upon hearing interesting, my mind raced to all sorts of unfavorable places, as minds are wont to do. Did that mean it was simply vile? Gross? Missing some key component? Did my mix of sweet and savory with a hearty dose of basil just spell major F-A-I-L? Would I be totally screwed on my plan of blogging this dressing tonight?

I pretty much had declared a culinary disaster in my head. Words like interesting, unusual, different … they will all do that to me. They don’t exactly speak volumes about greatness. Sorry, but I would much rather be told something is amazing.

Fortunately, he went on to tell me that it was “very basil-y, which is good” and had a slight bit of sweetness (yes, it does), which was good too. The flavor is light, but brimming with the sunny freshness of basil. The vinegar and garlic complement the flavors, lending tang and a touch of bite to the dressing. For me, I could totally imagine eating a salad with this basil vinaigrette while digging my toes into warm sand at the beach. It just has summer written all over it.

Turns out, for my husband, that actually wasn’t a bad interesting — he liked it too. Can interesting be something good? I guess so. But he also had one request: next time, don’t skip the homemade croutons and a sprinkling of cheese.

I suppose that isn’t too much to ask.

Basil Vinaigrette

Basil Vinaigrette

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This salad dressing is like a taste of summertime. The light flavor is brimming with the sunny freshness of basil while vinegar and garlic give it a touch of tang and bite.


  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Combine the basil, garlic, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until everything is mixed up and chopped into tiny bits. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture and process until emulsified.
  2. Use this to dress a salad immediately, or transfer to an air-tight container and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

More Homemade Salad Dressing Ideas:


Monday 19th of July 2010

Oh man, this is delicious!!!!!!

2009 Favorite Recipes, Blogs, Books and More | Sarah’s Cucina Bella :: Family Food

Thursday 31st of December 2009

[...] Basil Vinaigrette – When I first made this vinaigrette, I declared it positively drinkable. It’s made with a ton of basil, a wonderful herb that just screams warm, sunny summer days. We ate this on salads all summer while the basil was at its freshest. [...]

Checking Off the Summer List: Eggplant Parmesan | Sarah’s Cucina Bella :: Family Food

Wednesday 7th of October 2009

[...] easily prep the eggplant ahead of time. Serve it up with a big green salad (I’d suggest my basil vinaigrette to dress it!) and some buttery garlic bread. It’s perfect comfort for the end of a cold day [...]


Sunday 26th of July 2009

This looks fantastic and just perfect for my basil plants that are growing like gangbusters!

Cate O'Malley

Wednesday 22nd of July 2009

I'm with you - "interesting" isn't always positive - glad it was this time. Sometimes simple is best, and this one sounds delish!

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