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Basil Vinaigrette, green and bright

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It’s easy to get into a rut with salads. I can find myself tossing the same greens and chopped vegetables and dressing together over and over again.

It’s fine. But it’s boring.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. One way to break out of a salad rut is with a new vinaigrette.

Basil, champagne vinegar, olive oil, food processor, and Dijon mustard

This basil vinaigrette is a great weapon to have in your salad arsenal. It’s so bright and fresh and herbaceous and intensely green.

When I have a big pile of basil around, I tend to turn it into pesto. And I love pesto (I even love it with other herbs like in this dill, parsley, and walnut pesto). But all the cheese and nuts mute the herb’s flavor.

(I also love throw a pile of basil into this peanut sauce with basil and coconut milk.)

Basil being added to a food processor

Here, the basil gets zizzed up with a bit of garlic and kicky Dijon mustard and brightened with champagne vinegar.

The generous dose of acidity makes the basil come alive in a way that feels fresh and zingy and new.

Olive oil helps to smooth the rough edges, but it doesn’t smother the acid here.

Overhead shot of basil in a food processor

And it’s a snap to make, at least if you have food processor. (You could also make it with a stand or immersion blender, though I slightly prefer the rougher puree of the basil leaves that happens in a food processor.)

It’s just a matter of tossing in the ingredients and zizzing everything a for a matter of seconds.

And it keeps in the refrigerator for about a week, so you can prep it once and be ready for leveled-up salads for days.

Olive oil being poured over the basil mixture

I’ve written about a version of this basil vinaigrette before, with this tomato cucumber salad, but I’ve tweaked it a bit since then. I used to make it with red wine vinegar, but I’ve discovered I generally prefer the way that crisp champagne vinegar plays with verdant basil.

And this is so good that I think it deserves attention all for itself. (And I’d hate to think someone was missing out on it just because fresh tomatoes or cucumbers aren’t their thing).

It’s a versatile dressing.

It plays beautifully, of course, with tomatoes.

But it’s also excellent on just about any simple green salad.

Basil vinaigrette after it's been blended in a food processor

It would be lovely with just about any mix of summer vegetables.

You could drizzle it over shaved zucchini, toss it with fresh corn that’s been sheared off the cob, grill slices of eggplant or trimmed green beans and plunk them in this vinaigrette for a soak.

I’d also consider it as an alternative dressing for this lemon balsamic grilled chicken or as a way to top these quinoa cakes.

The possibilities are pretty much endless. You’ll thank yourself for making this one.

Basil Vinaigrette
Yield: about 2/3 cup

Basil Vinaigrette

Basil Vinaigrette

This basil vinaigrette is crisp and fresh and bright and zingy. It has a plenty of acidity from the champagne vinegar and some bite from the garlic and Dijon mustard. The honey and extra virgin olive oil help to round out the flavor with a bit of sweetness and fat. It's great with a simple green salad, on tomatoes, or just about any summer vegetables. It's best made in a food processor, but a blender will work, too.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes


  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • A big handful (about 1 1/2 cups) basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Add the garlic, vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard to a food processor or blender and pulse until the garlic is roughly chopped.
  2. Add the basil and pulse until the leaves are in small pieces. Scrape down the sides.
  3. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
  4. Stir in the salt. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator.


Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 59Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 67mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

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Tuesday 12th of October 2021

This is so good! I just harvested the last of my basil before the freeze and will make this again tonight. Thanks for sharing!


Friday 12th of July 2019

This basil vinaigrette looks like the best dressing for so many dishes! I so need to try this!


Friday 12th of July 2019

I love a great dressing based off of champagne vinegar. This added just the right amount of flavor to my salad.

Mary Kasprzak

Friday 12th of July 2019

So glad you liked it!


Friday 12th of July 2019

AH this is perfect for summer! I LOVE basil!

Mary Kasprzak

Friday 12th of July 2019

Me too!


Friday 12th of July 2019

I love making homemade vinaigrettes but I really love that this is made with honey!

Mary Kasprzak

Friday 12th of July 2019

It makes for such a perfect texture!

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