Just Life

tomato basil vinaigrette.

tomato basil vinaigrette
…martha has been supplying me with basil and tomatoes for weeks. and every week I tell her about the delicious tomato basil vinaigrette. she asks for the recipe. and I promised to blog about it. so this one is for you, martha – enjoy!

I first encountered a basil vinaigrette over 20 years ago (yikes, has it really been that long?!) in the wonderful cookbook the new basics by julee rosso and sheila lukins. their version used red wine vinegar and suggested serving it on “the most robust greens”. 20 years ago I did not have friends who grew basil, nor did I attempt to grow it myself :-), so I couldn’t afford to make the dressing more than once or twice a summer.

fast forward a few (15?!?) years to barefoot in paris and finding another favorite vinaigrette – this time with white wine vinegar – which makes it a match for any greens – and just a smidge of mayonnaise to act like an egg and emulsify everything.

then in 2008, we started to grow a few herbs. and I started to make an herbed vinaigrette, inspired by those two recipes. sometimes I used just a few leaves of basil, thyme, oregano and that was good, but we all agreed it was better with more.

I honestly don’t remember when I started to add finely chopped tomato, but it worked. and the dressing still stands up to any greens. I use a bit less tomato for the mixed baby greens and a bit more for romaine.

tomato basil vinaigrette
inspired by julee rosso, sheila lukin, ina garten and martha

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (any kind will work, but I especially like champagne vinegar for lighter greens or  balsamic for romaine)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (fresh is best, but powder is fine, too)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 cup olive oil (I often substitute a few tablespoons of water for oil with no ill effects)
1/2 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped tomato (no need to peel – this is about 1 regular tomato or a cup of cherry tomatoes)
salt & pepper to taste (generous works best)

whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic and mayonnaise. add the oil and whisk to blend. stir in the basil and tomato. or if you have a vinaigrette shaker (ours is vintage tupperware), add the vinegar, mustard, garlic, mayonnaise and olive oil and shake to blend. add the basil and tomato and shake just to get everything mixed. season with salt and pepper.

this keeps for a few days in the refrigerator – the basil will turn dark, but it still tastes fine!

tomato basil vinaigrette
that blue piece of plastic is the lid to our tupperware shaker…ready to do it’s thing!

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