It’s no secret that we love salads around here and one of the most important aspects of a salad is the dressing. We’re firm believers that a good salad deserves a homemade dressing—not matter how simple the dressing is. This Dill Vinaigrette is a great example of a simple vinaigrette that adds loads of fresh flavor with hardly any work.
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Why This Recipe Works
This super simple vinaigrette is bright, fresh and great on just about any green salad.
When it comes to homemade vinaigrettes, we usually make them with equal parts oil and acid (citrus juice or vinegar). But for this recipe, we pulled back one the lemon juice a bit to give the dressing a thicker, more creamy texture. And since we’re using only lemon juice, not a combo of lemon juice and vinegar, that smaller amount doesn’t decrease the overall lemon flavor at all.
Additionally, we load up the vinaigrette with fresh dill, a bit of shallot and Dijon which adds flavor but also helps to emulsify the vinaigrette.
Extra-virgin olive oil is always our choice for no-cook methods. It adds tons of flavor, and depending on the brand and origin, it can add fruity, spicy or even citrusy notes to your dressing.
Fresh lemon juice is so key when it comes to homemade vinaigrettes! Fresh is always best. For even more lemony flavor, consider adding some minced lemon zest to the vinaigrette too. If you don’t have fresh lemons, feel free to use white wine vinegar.
99% of the time we will be adding minced shallot to our vinaigrettes. We like the oniony/garlicky flavor it adds. Feel free to use garlic instead, but only add 1 small clove.
Fresh dill is the star of the show here! We do not recommend using dried dill weed—it’s just not nearly as flavorful. If you’re in a pinch, use 1 tablespoon dried dill weed and adjust to taste with more as needed.
Dijon is a classic ingredient in vinaigrettes. It adds a delicious savory note while also emulsifying the oil and lemon juice (or vinegar) together. Do not use prepared yellow mustard. You can substitute with whole-grain or stone-ground mustard if needed.
We’ll always use a natural sweetener when it’s possible. Honey and maple syrup are two of our favorites for sauces and dressings. Just a couple of teaspoons of honey is all that’s needed to balance out the flavors of this dill vinaigrette.
How to Use This Dill Vinaigrette
- Drizzle it over our Tuna Nicoise Salad—salad perfection!
- Toss it with some white beans and fresh herbs to make a version of this bean salad.
- Take our Simple Fennel Salad and add a bit more pizzazz by tossing it with this dill vinaigrette!
- Nix the creamy dill ranch for this dill vinaigrette in our Butter Lettuce Salad.
- Drizzle it over large chunks of feta cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers for a super easy Greek salad.
Lemony Dill Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ small shallot, minced (2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoon chopped dill
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, dill, Dijon, honey and salt.
- Season with pepper to taste.