Friday Favorites: Simply Delicious Balsamic Salad Dressing

14 01 2011

As a frequent salad eater, I consider salad dressing an essential staple item, as I use it 5-6 times a week. But, truth be told, commercially-prepared salad dressings are full of preservatives and other undesirable items so they can sit on the condiment shelf in your fridge for years on end and still be edible.

I used to have an array of such bottles, and never really considered what it took to create and stabilize the dressings so they could last so long. Now days, I don’t have any commercially-prepared salad dressing in the fridge. I whip my own in small batches – just enough to last a week or maybe two.

On the right is the ingredients list from Newman’s Own Light Balsamic, which is one of the better ones on the market in terms of ingredients and nutrition, and it’s really not that good at all! My biggest beef with commercial dressings, ingredients aside, is the sodium count. 390 mg of sodium for something with only 45 calories for 2 tablespoons is pretty crazy! And, honestly, who eats only 2 tablespoons? This is a pretty good example of where you really need to look at the big picture, not just the calories.

It doesn’t have to be, though!

Homemade salad dressing is easy and fast, and you only need four ingredients to whip up the best tasting topping for your greens you could imagine.

I have been wanting to share this dressing recipe for some time now, but I always forget to measure when I’m making it up, so it has been on hold now for awhile. I usually just eyeball the ingredients, but, yesterday, I finally remembered to measure!

I am a little like my grandmother used to be in that I tend to save pretty jars (and sometimes not pretty ones) to re-use, and this particular jam jar is just about the perfect salad dressing container. But, any airtight container will work!

  Newman’s Own Lighten Up Balsamic VinaigretteAll Natural Ingredients:  

Water, Balsamic Vinegar, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil and/or Soybean Oil), Sugar, Distilled Vinegar, Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Contains 2% or Less of: Garlic, Spice, Onion, Xanthan Gum, Red Bell Pepper, Paprika (For Color). Contains: Sulfites. Not Kosher

Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size: 2 Tbsp (30g)
Calories 45
Fat Cal. 40
Total Fat 4g (6% DV)
Sat. Fat 0.5g (3% DV)
Trans Fat 0g
Cholest. 0mg (0% DV)
Sodium 390mg (16% DV)
Total Carb. 2g (1% DV)
Dietary Fiber 0g (0% DV)
Sugars 2g
Protein 0g


Test Kitchen Tuesday Balsamic Vinaigrette

Makes: Roughly 7 servings

Serving Size: 2 tablespoons


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons low sugar raspberry preserves or jam (or strawberry, or honey)


  • Add all ingredients to a small bowl and use a whisk to blend through
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge; you may need to shake up before using if it has been in their for a while and the oil has separated (I have stored for up to 2 weeks with no problems)


Based on low sugar raspberry preserves as the sweetener.

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One response

17 01 2011

This is a very good one, Ang. I have made it and yummy. Maybe you need to become a nutritionist as well. We do read your blog and advice.

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