This 5 minute recipe is a classic vinaigrette made with champagne vinegar and shallot for a quick, elegant salad dressing that works on almost any salad.
Champagne vinegar Is a slightly milder, less acidic vinegar than other wine vinegars.
Extra virgin olive oil is the traditional oil in vinaigrettes. Because of its higher sediment content, it helps a vinaigrette to stay emulsified (combined). However if you are not going to use it all right away and want to refrigerate it, it is best to combine another type of oil so that it doesn’t solidify when chilled.
So I combine olive oil with a neutral flavored oil like avocado, sunflower, canola, safflower or any other high heat vegetable oil.
Chopped shallot adds a wonderful oniony slightly bitter flavor to a vinaigrette. If you prefer a milder onion flavor, substitute the shallot with either granulated onion or onion powder.
Vinaigrettes are best when balanced with a sweet element. I like to use a liquid sweetener like agave which incorporates easily. Honey, maple syrup or sugar can be used as well in equal amounts.
Finally salt brings it all together by balancing and enhancing the other flavors. Olive oil can be somewhat bitter and salt is an excellent way to tame bitterness foods.
Oil to Vinegar Ratio
The general rule for vinaigrettes is one part vinegar to three parts oil. That means if you start with one quarter cup vinegar, you would use three quarters cup oil. This is just a general starting point for a vinaigrette.
Since champagne vinegar is slightly less acidic than other vinegars, the amount of oil is reduced. However, I am an advocate for making this recipe to your preference. So here are some ways to make this vinegrette to your taste.
If you like your dressings more sour, either reduce the amount of oil or add a little extra vinegar. If you prefer your dressings more mild, add more oil. Here are a few other ways to balance the flavors in a vinaigrette.
If it’s too bitter, add two pinches of salt and taste. Also, a sweetener can tame down the bitterness as well, so if you don’t mind it a little bit sweeter, add more agave 1 teaspoon at a time.
If the dressing is too sweet, add one or two teaspoons of vinegar and/or a couple of pinches of salt.
- Kale with Fennel and Orange – Just as in a mimosa, orange is an excellent pairing with champagne. Toss 1/4 cup dressing with two cups chopped kale and let it sit 15 minutes. Top with orange slices, shaved fennel and toasted slivered almonds.
- Arugula Apple & Feta salad – Toss 2 cups arugula and 1/2 c diced apple with 1/4 cup dressing and top with crumbled feta and chopped walnuts.
Easy Champagne Shallot Vinaigrette
- ⅔ c champagne vinegar
- 1 Tbsp minced shallot (sub with ½ tsp granulated onion or ⅛ tsp onion powder)
- 1 Tbsp agave or other sweetener
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 pinches finely ground black pepper
- 1 c olive oil
- ¾ c oil – avocado, sunflower, canola or other neutral flavored vegetable oil
- Place all the ingredients except the oils in a medium sized mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
- While whisking, gradually drizzle in the oils. Whisk vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
- Taste. Feel free to adjust the flavor to your preference. Do you want it a little sweeter? Add more sweetener a teaspoon at a time. Is it a little blah? Maybe it needs more salt. Add 2-3 pinches at a time. Do you prefer it more sour? Add vinegar a teaspoon or two at a time.
- This vinaigrette can stay at room temperature for 2-3 days. Then refrigerate.