Exactly as the title says, this Rosemary Balsamic Salad Dressing goes with everything. It’s delicious drizzled on salads, veggies, entrees, etc!
Have you ever had an accident turn into something wonderful? That’s the story of this Rosemary Balsamic Salad Dressing!
Several weeks ago, I planned to serve a salad for dinner, dressed with my Zoe’s Copycat Dressing. Zoe’s dressing is one of those throw-it-all-in-a-jar-and-shake dressings and we never seem to grow tired of it. I normally have a stash of this versatile condiment in the fridge but I’d used up the last little bit, so it was time to make a new batch.
All of the ingredients were in the jar, minus the red wine vinegar. When I went to the pantry to grab the vinegar, I quickly discovered there was none to be found. I started perusing through my assortment of vinegars, looking for a possible substitute. When I came across a bottle of balsamic vinegar, I decided to give it a try.
The result? It’s become one of our favorite dressings, ever! It’s got lots of vibrant flavor from both the balsamic vinegar and the generous portion of dried herbs. I’ve tweaked the recipe by adding another layer of flavor with the addition of finely chopped fresh rosemary and went with 100% extra virgin olive oil instead of a blend of oils used in the Zoe’s dressing.
This Rosemary Balsamic Salad Dressing has also been super popular with family and friends we’ve entertained around our table. Every time I serve a salad with it, I hear comments like: “I love this salad”, “What kind of dressing is this? It’s delicious!” or “This is the best salad!”.
My favorite salad right now is super simple: fresh greens (like arugula or spring mix), halved cherry tomatoes (or diced Roma tomatoes) and diced avocado, topped with toasted, salted pecans and a drizzle of this Rosemary Balsamic Salad Dressing. I can hardly wait for lunch today to have a big bowlful of this fabulous salad!
What is balsamic vinegar?
Balsamic vinegar is a dark, concentrated, intensely flavored vinegar produced in Italy in the province of Modena or the area surrounding it (Emilia). It’s made from grape “must” which is freshly crushed grape juice with all the skins, seeds and stems as well as wine vinegar. There are two types of balsamic vinegar and there’s a huge difference between them.
- Traditional balsamic vinegar is an Italian artisanal product also known as Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale. It’s made in small batches and aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of 12 years. Traditional balsamic vinegar bears a special seal called Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP) which indicates the use of locally grown ingredients and the adherence to strict government regulated guidelines for production. It’s very pricey with small bottles sell from $50 to over $500!
- Supermarket balsamic vinegar, generally labeled “Balsamic Vinegar of Modena” is mass-produced and relatively inexpensive. Although it does not compare to the complex flavor of Tradizionale balsamic vinegar, many of these supermarket balsamic vinegars taste great and are perfect for everyday cooking. Which one to choose?
Best supermarket balsamic vinegar…
Choosing the best supermarket balsamic vinegar is a complex, expensive and time-consuming process. Instead of trying to wade through all the available vinegars myself, I tend to go with advice from the experts. Below is a list of the six highest-rated Balsamic Vinegars of Moden according to Cook’s Illustrated. They taste-tested the most widely available grocery store balsamic vinegars and took three things into consideration: the flavor straight from the bottle, in a reduction and mixed in a vinaigrette. Bertolli was the grand prize winner but the others are also highly recommended (not in any particular order).
- The top-rated winner – Bertolli Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
- Highly recommended – Monari Federzoni Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
- Highly recommended – Colavita Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
- Highly recommended – Ortalli Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
- Highly recommended – Bellino Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
- Highly recommended – Lucini Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
Hope this helps when you’re shopping for vinegar. If you’ve found one that you like that’s not on this list, stick with it! We really enjoy the Kirkland Signature Aged Balsamic Vinegar which is available at Costco. It’s another award-winning vinegar. A group of chefs, caterers, and restaurant consultants did a blind taste-test of supermarket balsamics and chose Kirkland as their favorite!
So easy to throw together!
Back to our Rosemary Balsamic Salad Dressing – although this dressing is super easy to make, I often prepare a double batch because we go through it so quickly. In addition to being delicious on just about any green or vegetable salad, this dressing is also wonderful drizzled over chicken, salmon, shrimp, pork… I’m sure you’ll find lots more ways to enjoy it!
Café Tips for making this Rosemary Balsamic Salad Dressing
- This dressing can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week – if it lasts that long!
- If you don’t have fresh rosemary, skip it. The rosemary does add a wonderful layer of flavor but the dressing will still be delicious without it.
- Try drizzling this Rosemary Balsamic Salad Dressing over grilled or roasted chicken, shrimp, salmon, pork and veggies. It’s also great as a dipping sauce for bread like this Ridiculously Easy Focaccia Bread or these Artisan Rolls.
Love salads? Check out a few of our other favorite dressings…
Exactly as the name says, this Rosemary Balsamic Salad Dressing goes with everything. It's delicious drizzled on salads, veggies, entrees, etc!
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder available at just about any grocery store in the spice section
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
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