Sweet Basil Vinaigrette - this easy homemade salad dressing tastes just like summer! Fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper are all you need to make this easy vinaigrette.
Once you taste this on some fresh sliced tomatoes, you will be in heaven.
Basil - My Favorite Herb of Summer
Well, if your climate is anything like mine, you’ve already made your first basil harvest of the season. I learned a couple of years ago that you are supposed to harvest your basil about once a month. By harvest, I mean go out and cut it down until it’s only about 4 inches tall, leaving a few bottom leaves.
It feels cruel and heartless, but your basil will respond with love and glee and by the next month with be a foot tall again ready to harvest! I usually get four good harvests from my basil: June, July, August and the final one in September.
Also, don't forget how easy it is to Root Basil Cuttings. So, you can start the year out with two basil plants and finish the year with twelve!
What to do with all that basil? One of my favorite things is to make Homemade Basil Pesto. I store it in the freezer in jars, just the right size to dress a pound of pasta. Then in the middle of winter, I can have the fresh basil flavor of summer.
My other favorite thing is to use basil in salad dressings, like this Sweet Basil Vinaigrette!
How to Make Homemade Basil Vinaigrette
Let's talk about how easy it is to make this easy homemade salad dressing!
First you want to gather your ingredients: you need fresh basil (only 5-7 leaves,) a lime, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salat and pepper.
Note: the recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, you can substitute a white balsamic, a red wine vinegar or even apple cider vinegar. The balsamic really plays off the sweetness of the basil and creates an elegant dressing, but you can use any other vinegars mentioned above.
Prep your ingredients - super easy! Stack your basil leaves and roll them up cigar style. Using your knife, thinly slice them. Juice the lime (I use an easy citrus press.)
Some people like to whisk their vinaigrettes. I prefer to shake mine in a jar. Since I am going to be storing it in the fridge anyway, this dirties one less dish. I am all about one less dirty dish! Place all the ingredients in the jar.
Put a tight lid on the jar and shake. Give a quick taste and add salt and pepper to taste!
That's it! You've just made an easy homemade vinaigrette!
Delicious Homemade Balsamic Basil Dressing
My favorite way to use this delicious homemade salad dressing is to simply drizzle it over some summer tomatoes. Sometimes I add a little feta or goat cheese and sometimes I don't. This dressing has so much flavor, it's all you need to turn tomatoes into the perfect summer salad!
It is literally summer on a plate. I found this recipe, many many years ago in an old Sarah Foster Cookbook.
More Salad Dressing Recipes
If you want even more salad dressing recipes, be sure and follow my Salad Dressings Board on Pinterest.
Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 lime juiced
- 5-7 basil leaves fresh
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Juice the lime and pour the juice into a lidded jar.
- Stack the basil leaves on top of each other and roll together cigar style. Use your knife to cut them into thin strips. Add to jar.
- Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar to jar with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Close the lid tightly and shake to combine. Open and taste, adjusting salt and pepper.
This post was originally published in June 2010 and has been updated for June 2019!