This vinaigrette combines cilantro and lime for a tart, fresh, citrusy vinaigrette. The easy recipe mixes up in the blender and is ready in just a few minutes.
The Vinaigrette Ratio
The general rule for vinaigrettes is to use three parts oil to one part vinegar. This is more for a traditional vinaigrette. When you start adding other ingredients like lime juice and cilantro the ratio needs a little tweaking.
The lime juice adds tart flavor and acts in place of some of the vinegar. It also adds a hint of sweetness. So less vinegar will be used.
Vinaigrette in the Blender
Mixing up a vinaigrette in the blender is a huge time saver. It also means there’s no need for chopping because the blender does all the work. The only thing to be careful of is overmixing when using fresh herbs. Too much mixing will turn herb brown. So blend just until the cilantro is broken up and stop.
Fresh lime juice – I highly recommend using fresh squeezed lime juice. The bottled stuff just doesn’t taste the same and often has added ingredients. You’ll need about three or four medium sized limes.
Fresh cilantro – You’ll need to remove the thicker stems from the cilantro. They can be somewhat bitter but the thinner stems that have leaves attached are okay to leave in.
The recipe calls for one half cup stuffed full. The average bunch of cilantro from the grocery store should be more than enough. But if you buy cilantro in the little plastic clamshell packages you might need two or three.
Extra virgin olive oil – I prefer to use all extra virgin olive oil (evoo) as the oil in my vinaigrettes. It has more body and better flavor than other neutral oils. A good quality olive oil like California Olive Ranch oil will make a big difference in this vinaigrette. Lesser quality evoos can be bitter or lacking in flavor.
However, if you are not using all of this dressing at once you’ll need to store it in the refrigerator. Unfortunately most evoos tend to solidify when chilled. You could take it out 30 minutes before using it or pop it in the microwave to liquify the olive oil. Another option is to replace half of the half olive oil with a neutral oil like canola, sunflower, avocado, safflower etc. This is usually enough to keep the vinaigrette liquid when refrigerated.
The lime juice adds some tart flavor to this vinaigrette but it needs a little help. So the recipe includes two tablespoons of vinegar to bring up the acidity. I prefer apple cider vinegar but white wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar (a little sweeter), or plain white vinegar can be substituted.
7-Minute Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- ½ c fresh cilantro thick stems removed1
- ⅓ c fresh lime juice, about 3-4 limes
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar white balsamic, white wine or champagne will work too
- 2-3 tsp agave or other sweetener
- ¼ tsp granulated onion/onion powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 pinches finely ground black pepper
- 1¼ c extra virgin olive oil or ½ c extra virgin olive oil + ¾ c canola, sunflower or other neutral oil2
- Place the cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, salt and spices into the blender.
- Blend on high for 7 seconds.
- Add the olive oil and blend on high for 7-10 seconds or until the oil is incorporated. Do not mix past this point-overmixing can turn the cilantro brown and turn the flavor bitter.
- Taste. Olive oils vary in flavor and the vinaigrette may need some flavor adjustments. Here's how to do it:Is it too bitter? Add 2 pinches of salt and ½ teaspoon of sweetener.Is it too sour? Add 1 tablespoon oil and ½ teaspoon sweetener.For more info on how to adjust a vinaigrette to your preference, see my post the correct ratio for a vinaigrette.
- This vinaigrette should be refrigerated and will stay fresh for at least one week. If the olive oil solidifies when chilled, take it out 15-20 minutes before using or pop it in the microwave and heat for 15-20 seconds.
- It’s not necessary to remove the thinner stems that the leaves are attached to. But the thicker stems can be a little bit bitter so it’s best to remove them.
- This dressing needs refrigeration and the ev olive oil will likely solidify when chilled. You can replace some of the ev olive oil with a neutral oil like canola, avocado, or safflower. This will keep the vinaigrette liquid.