Parmesan Vinaigrette redefines what you expect from a salad dressing. Made in just 10 minutes, it's a versatile condiment that you can use to enhance more than just greens. With its Italian-inspired flavors, it adds a touch of luxury to any meal, elevating even the simplest salads to gourmet status.
In this recipe, the combination of white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard lays the groundwork for a tangy kick. Minced garlic introduces an earthy undertone, and rich, nutty Parmesan cheese melds seamlessly with high-quality extra-virgin olive oil. Finally, a dash of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper tie all the elements together. This is the dressing that could easily make store-bought options a thing of the past.
Parmesan Vinaigrette Ingredients
- White Wine Vinegar: Look for a clear vinegar with a bright, crisp aroma. The taste should be tangy but not overpowering.
- Dijon Mustard: Opt for a smooth mustard with a consistent texture. It should have a sharp, zesty aroma that isn't overly pungent.
- Garlic: Choose bulbs that are firm to the touch with tight, unbroken skin. Avoid any shriveled cloves or green sprouts.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: The oil should have a deep, greenish color and a fruity, slightly grassy aroma.
- Parmesan Cheese: Look for a hard, aged Parmesan with a rich, nutty aroma.
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Swap out white wine vinegar for fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar for a different tang.
- For a coarser texture and robust flavor, use whole grain mustard instead of Dijon mustard.
- Use Pecorino Romano or Asiago as an alternative to Parmesan cheese.
- Introduce a hint of sweetness by adding a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup.
- Stir in a tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs like basil or parsley.
- Add a pinch of lemon zest for citrusy brightness.
3 Mistakes to Avoid
- Not tasting as you go: Vinaigrettes are all about balance, so adjust the salt, acidity, and cheese to your liking.
- Pouring olive oil too quickly: This can cause the dressing to break or separate. Ensure you add it in a slow, steady stream.
- Using pre-grated Parmesan cheese: It may contain anti-caking agents that can affect the smooth texture of your vinaigrette. Grate your Parmesan fresh for best results.
How to Store
Store the vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. If the olive oil solidifies, let the vinaigrette sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before serving, then whisk or shake well to combine.
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How to Make Parmesan Vinaigrette
In a bowl, mix vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Gradually whisk in olive oil until blended. Stir in parmesan, salt, and pepper. Pour into a sealed container and chill until ready to serve.
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 medium clove garlic minced
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
To Make by Hand
- In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and garlic until smooth. Add olive oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until emulsified. Whisk in parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add vinegar, mustard and garlic to a blender pitcher and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. With blender running, add oil in a steady stream; blend until just emulsified. Add parmesan cheese and pulse to combine; season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Transfer vinaigrette to covered serving pitcher or airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- If olive oil solidifies in refrigerator; remove 15-30 minutes before serving to warm and liquify. Whisk vinaigrette to combine before serving.
- Makes about 1 cup or 8, 2-tablespoon servings. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.