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Basil Vinaigrette

Basil Vinaigrette

The trick to this dressing is fresh, gorgeous basil leaves--preferably from your (or a friend's) garden. Be generous with the basil and use a heaping cup. The combination of champagne vinegar and lemon is also key in that is provides a citrus-acidic balance that pairs perfectly with the sweet basil. Spoon generously over caprese salad (mozzarella and tomatoes) or do as we do in Mexico and serve with ripe tomato slices surrounding a mound of shredded Oaxacan cheese and drizzle the tomatoes liberally with basil vinaigrette.
Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet in Santa Fe


  • 1 shallot peeled
  • 1 heaping and packed cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • scant 2/3 cup olive oil


  1. Place everything but the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times to combine, using a spatula to scrape the sides and push everything together.

  2. In a blender, remove the cap on the lid. Slowly begin to drizzle the oil in the machine. If using a food processor, slowly pour the oil in while the machine is running. If using a blender, hold your hand over the lid as it will splatter if you don't.

  3. When oil is incorporated and the basil and shallot are pureed, turn off and scrape the sides again. Cover and blend or puree for 1-2 more minutes.

  4. Place in a glass jar, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. When using the leftover dressing, let it sit at room temperature about five minutes before serving. Shake well and use liberally.