Fresh Herb Vinaigrette (dressing + marinade!)
My Fresh Herb Vinaigrette recipe is one you’ll find yourself making over and over again! It’s so simple to make in a blender or food processor and so flavorful. I use a blend of basil, parsley, and cilantro, but any combo of your favorite herbs will do! Use it on salads, toss with pasta, use as a marinade, drizzle over roasted vegetables, or over fresh burrata with cubed melon!
I kid you not, from the moment I started recipe testing, I’ve had a batch of my herb vinaigrette salad dressing in the refrigerator at all times.
And in all honesty, this was going to be a recipe that I shared with my summer chicken cobb salad. But after making it so many times, I felt this little number deserved the spotlight all on its very own. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be making it again and again!
And when it’s as simple as tossing all the ingredients into a blender and giving it a whizz, you don’t feel like you need to reach for the store-bought stuff in a bottle. Not only are store-bought dressings typically higher in calories, they always have that bottled, not-fresh flavor.
Can you tell I just can’t get over how beautiful the delicate herbs shine in this vinaigrette when combined with the acidity of vinegar and the sweetness of honey? Toss in a clove of garlic so it give the dressing just the right amount of oomph.
Ingredients for an all-purpose herb vinaigrette:
- Fresh herbs: I use double the amount of fresh parsley as I do the fresh basil and cilantro. Now, this is just what I like! Feel free to up the cilantro or the basil and drop the parsley down a bit. You can even leave off the cilantro and use just the parsley and basil if you prefer.
- Dried Tarragon: Just a big pinch gives the dressing the most delicious flavor. Tarragon naturally has the sweetness of licorice or anise seeds. And we’re using such a small quantity that it doesn’t exactly scream TARRAGON but you know there’s something special there that you just can’t put your finger on. Feel free to swap the dried for fresh if you prefer, you’ll just need double the quantity.
- Red Pepper Flakes: Adds a little kick to the whole thing!
- Garlic: 1 clove garlic is plenty to give the dressing the garlicky flavor that it needs.
- White wine Vinegar: I like to use a couple tablespoons of white wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar for this recipe as it gives the dressing a more delicate flavor. The herbs that we’re using didn’t exactly shine through as much when I tested the recipe with red wine vinegar, in my opinion. However, if all you have is balsamic or red wine vinegar, equal parts red wine vinegar and lemon juice would make a better sub here!
- Honey or agave: Adds a hint of sweetness.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin or the regular stuff will do! I’ve even used avocado oil and that works well here too.
How to make the best fresh herb vinaigrette:
- Clean your herbs! I like to give all of the fresh herbs a good rinse under cold running water. Then, pick off just the tender stems (they have the most flavor!) and discard any hard, thick stems.
- Pile it all in. Add the herbs to the bowl of a food processor or a blenderjar. Add the garlic, dried tarragon, pepper flakes, garlic, vinegar, honey, olive oil, and a big pinch of kosher salt.
- Blend, serve and store. Pulse if you’re doing this with a powerful blender so that you don’t end up with a smooth puree. I love seeing specks of dark green herbs in my dressing so I never puree it to the smoothest consistency. Make sure to taste the dressing and adjust with more kosher salt or honey as desired. Use the dressing on your favorite salad or store it in a glass jar with a lid, covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Stir the mixture if it separates before using on veggies or anything else!
If you like this recipe, you might also like these homemade salad dressing:
- 2-Minute Creamy Caesar Dressing
- Best Homemade Italian Dressing
- Halal Cart White Sauce
- Lebanese Garlic Sauce
- Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce
- ½ cup packed Italian flat leaf parsley
- ¼ cup EACH: packed fresh basil AND cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 4-5 teaspoons honey or agave
- ½ cup olive oil
- DRESSING: Add the ingredients for the dressing to a blender starting with 4 teaspoosn of honey (or agave.) Blend the dressing it breakds down into a sauce-like consistency. Taste and adjust with more seasonings like salt and honey as desired.
- STORE: Pour the dressing into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Use immediately or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.