This creamy blueberry vinaigrette salad dressing is so simple to make, but is sure to make a statement on your plate! Ready within 5 minutes, it adds the perfect sweet and tart balance to a salad. You can easily make this vinaigrette with fresh or frozen blueberries.
What Are the Ratios for a Vinaigrette?
A vinaigrette is simply an oil and vinegar salad dressing mixture that can be flavored in many different ways. The general rule of thumb is three parts oil to one part vinegar. So, for example, if you start with 1 Tbsp of vinegar, you would use 3 Tbsps oil. This is really just a starting point. If you prefer your vinaigrette more sour, you might go with 1 Tbsp vinegar and 2 Tbsp oil.
My preference is for fresh, organic, in-season (summer) blueberries. These will be the most sweet and tasty for this blueberry salad dressing. But if they are not in season, I prefer frozen. The winter blueberries flown in from Chile just don’t taste as good. Frozen berries are usually picked at the height of ripeness, so flavor-wise, they are better. Just be sure to measure them while they are still frozen, then thaw before making the vinaigrette.
Taste one of the blueberries before starting. If it is super sweet and flavorful, you may want to start with just half of the sweetener, You can easily add more. If your berries are very tart, start with the full amount of sweetener.
How to Balance Flavors
Vinaigrettes are a combination of sweet, sour, bitter and salt. The blueberries and agave (or maple syrup or honey) are the sweet elements. Vinegar is obviously the sour element. Garlic and extra virgin olive oil add the bitter. And of course we add salt to bring this blueberry salad dressing together.
The great thing about a vinaigrette is that is so easy to adjust the flavor to YOUR taste buds. I am not the chef who tells you there is no swaying from the recipe. So, start by mixing up the recipe as is. Taste.
- Is it too sour? Add 1 Tbsp oil and 1-2 tsps sweetener.
- Too bitter? A couple of pinches of salt is a great way to tame bitter flavors.
- Is it missing that something you can’t put your finger on? Add salt. Salt will will bring out all the flavors and make them all stronger.
- Too sweet? Add a pinch of salt and a tsp of sweetener.
How to Make Vinaigrette Dressing
Now that you’ve got a handle on the flavors, it’s time to mix it up. A vinaigrette can usually be mixed with just a whisk. But in order to liquefy the blueberries and garlic, a blender or food processor works best. This mini food processor is my favorite tool for the job. It’s way lighter than the full sized ones and fits in my over-crowded kitchen cabinets. An immersion blender or regular blender will also make quick work of it.
Seriously, just throw everything in and whirl until it is smooth and creamy. You’ll definitely want to run it through a fine mesh strainer to remove the blueberry skins. But that’s it. And, what’s great about this vinaigrette is that the blueberries will keep the oil and vinegar from separating and give it a gorgeous magenta color.
Be sure to taste after you strain and adjust the flavors to your preference. The sweetness of the blueberries, bitterness of the olive oil (olive oils vary widely in their flavor and level of bitterness) and your taste buds will all help determine what and if you need to adjust flavor-wise.
Quick and Easy Blueberry Vinaigrette
- 1¼ c fresh blueberries frozen can be used if thawed first, but measure BEFORE thawing
- ¾ c extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ Tbsp white balsamic or white wine vinegar
- 1-2 Tbsp agave, maple syrup or honey agave syrup substitute
- 1 small to medium sized garlic clove
- 1-2 pinches black pepper optional
- Taste a blueberry. Is it sweet and flavorful? Tart? If it is very sweet I recommend starting with 1 Tbsp sweetener. Add more after the vinaigrette is blended, if needed.
- Gently smash the garlic clove with your hand to loosen the skin. Remove it and discard.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl (for an immersion blender) or in the food processor or blender.
- Run on high for 30 seconds – 1 minute. The mixture should be smooth and magenta-pink.
- Run the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the blueberry skin.
- Taste. Do you prefer it more sweet? Stir in 1-2 tsps of sweetener. Prefer it more sour? Add 2 tsps vinegar. Is it missing that indescribable something? Stir in 2 pinches salt. Is it too sour? Add another Tbsp of oil and a tsp of sweetener. Is it too bitter? Stir in a couple of pinches of salt.
- Store this vinaigrette in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for at least a week, If it thickens too much after refrigerating, heat it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.