What if I told you one little jar could elevate your mealtimes?
It sounds unbelievable, but that is what vinaigrette does in our house.
Below, I share with you the formula for the base recipe. Then, I’ve included suggestions to take that base and add & swap different elements, to suit a multitude of dishes.
This is remarkably cheaper, and better for you, than using store bought alternatives, and you have the freedom to create a different style depending on what you are cooking.

Simple Vinaigrette


  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt & pepper


  1. Place all ingredients in a glass jar and shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.

This is delicious. Why? Because this dressing knows the rules. 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Season and away you go! Now we have this sussed, let’s break it down and talk substitutions.

Feel free to use any neutral flavoured oil such as canola but how about avocado oil? Or experiment with walnut or hazelnut for a deep nutty taste. Or, if cooking with Asian flavours, you could use a combination of sesame oil and Olive oil. Sesame oil has a strong flavour so start small and build to taste.
The options are vast here, I love balsamic on roast vegetables or with greens like spinach. Apple cider gives a fruity note. White, malt, raspberry and rice vinegar are all on rotation in our house.
You have salt & pepper and you can use 2-3 more additions to suit your dish.
Citrus: lemon, orange or even blood orange
Herbs: coriander, flat leaf parsley, thyme, or oregano
Extras: ginger, garlic, shallots, chilli, pomegranate molasses, honey, anchovy, wholegrain or Dijon mustard
Here are a couple of easy combos to try:
– Rice vinegar, minced ginger with finely sliced kaffir lime leaf & chilli. This is great with BBQ prawns and vermicelli noodles.
– Balsamic, orange and brown sugar. Toss this with kumara, pumpkin and feta.
– Lemon, flat-leaf parsley and shallots. Try this with an Israeli couscous salad dotted with raisins and pinenuts.
Quite often I find that what I’ve whipped up in the jar will transform a simple meal into a highlight. Right, now you know the secret I hope it gives you some confidence to throw together something. It’s easy to create a winning flavour for your next meal!
Happy cooking xx Jana