I love to have a variety of salad dressings and marinades on hand and while I always have an Italian or regular Balsamic vinaigrette, I love to mix it up too. In the summer I usually have a citrus dressing ready for salads and as a marinade for fish but sometimes I like to mix it up and spice it up! After all, dressings are really what makes a salad special, right? And this balsamic ginger vinaigrette really spices up a summer salad!
I love the bite and spice you get from fresh ginger and wondered how it would work in a light dressing. Sure, it works well in a soy-based or miso dressing, but often those flavors overpower the ginger and it ends up just being a background flavor. So in this dressing, I made it front and center!
This is your classic vinaigrette – 3 parts oil, 1 part vinegar with a little sugar and salt added. What I did differently was gently cook the ginger in the olive oil and then let it cool before mixing it with the vinegar. It is basically an infused oil and you can do this with garlic or even fruit like cherries, peaches, or apricots. Honestly, the sky is the limit.
A word about food saftey and infused oils
You do need to be careful when infusing oils as they are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria to grow. So you’ll see in this recipe that I make a very small amount, just enough for a few salads so that I use it right away. If you make extra of the oil, store it in the refrigerator and use it within a couple of days. You can read more about how to safely infuse oils here.
The other option is to buy a flavored oil from a specialty store like the Olive Tap (in the Strip District in Pittsburgh) or other specialty stores. They often have a huge variety to choose from and are manufactured safely. (I keep a couple of flavors in my pantry all the time)
The ginger flavor really comes through and you really taste that gingery bite in your salad. This balsamic ginger vinaigrette would work nicely as a marinade for fish or chicken too!
White Balsamic Ginger Vinaigrette
- 2 tbsp peeled and sliced ginger
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp honey clover
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- In a small saucepan, heat olive oil and ginger over low heat for 10 minutes. pull off the heat and allow to cool. If not using right way, place in a clean and sanitized container and place in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- In a small bowl or clean and sanitized mason jar, whisk olive oil, vinegar, honey and salt together until emulsified. (vinegar and oil are mixed together)
- Drizzle over salad!