This Mediterranean herb vinaigrette is loaded with flavors that will add briny + herby kick to any veg-based salad. It’s also just as versatile as it is delicious; it works as a dressing, a sauce, or a marinade for fish, chicken, or steak.
This recipe for Mediterranean herb vinaigrette was originally part of my Loaded Greek Salad recipe, but it ended up being so delicious and so useful that I decided it deserved its own post. It’s a recipe that grew from a little olive oil and red wine vinegar with a pinch of salt into a more complex version that can be used in a variety of ways. And it still comes together quickly and easily in either a small batch intended for a single salad or a larger batch that yields about a cup of dressing.
More than a dressing
I discovered purely by accident that this recipe makes a great quick marinade. It’s got quite a bit of acid in it, so you don’t want to marinate anything for too long, but the balance of acid, fat, and herbiness works well with chicken, meat, and even fish. If you are using it as a marinade, it’s doubly important to make sure your dressing is well-seasoned to ensure your meat doesn’t taste under seasoned at the end of cooking.
- To marinate chicken add 2-3 chicken breasts to a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag and toss to coat, then place in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours. Allow the chicken breasts to sit out for 20-30 minutes before cooking.
- To marinate a steak, such as flank steak or flatiron, follow the procedure above, but you can leave it in the marinade for longer, up to 6 hours.
- For fish, use a firm white fish such as halibut or cod. Pour the marinade over the prepared filet, but only allow to marinate for 15-20 minutes. If you leave fish in marinade for longer, it will begin to break down the texture of the fish.
This Mediterranean herb vinaigrette is also really delicious spooned over grilled meat such as lamb or steak, much like a chimichurri sauce.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Red wine vinegar: There are a lot of cheap, low-quality red wine vinegars out there…look for a brand in the $7-$10 range and skip the $3 bottles. I’m a big fan of De Nigris vinegars.
Kalamata olive brine: Adds a delightful salty/tangy kick to the dressing. You can also use lemon juice or sour grape juice.
EVOO: I break out the good stuff for salad dressings like this one. My favorite is Conte Bellicino Sicilian EVOO, which I buy at Cost Plus Worldmarket.
Dijon mustard: This is added mostly as an emulsifier to keep the dressing together. I use Maille.
Garlic: I am sensitive to raw garlic, so I use granulated garlic in my dressings. One clove of crushed raw garlic will also work here.
Salt: Start with ¼ teaspoon, and add by the pinch until the dressing is adequately seasoned. If you are dressing a salad with a lot of salty elements, be sure to not make it too salty.
Oregano, dill, and parsley: The Greek herb trifecta! This dressing is delicious with fresh herbs, but dried herbs work as well. If using dried herbs, make the dressing a little earlier so the herbs can rehydrate.
FAQ: Mediterranean herb vinaigrette
It depends…if you use fresh herbs and/or fresh garlic, the vinaigrette will last 3 days in the refrigerator. Vinaigrette made with dried herbs and granulated garlic will last up to a week.
Sure, just be aware that the emulsification may not hold together as well. To prepare this dressing by shaking, add everything except the herbs to a jar with a tight-fitting lid, and shake for at least 20 seconds. Check to make sure the salt has dissolved completely, and shake it for longer if you can still see salt crystals. Once the salt is dissolved, adjust the seasoning and fold in the herbs. Use the vinaigrette quickly after shaking, as it will begin to separate as soon as you let it settle.
Sure! I sometimes use the smoothie cup attachment on my Ninja blender to make lrager batches of vinaigrette. Be sure not to blend it too long, or it will turn into an aioli (which is sometimes desirable, but not really in this case). I usually pulse it for 10-20 seconds max. Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning and fold in the herbs after blending the other ingredients together.
Prep ahead and storage
Mediterranean herb vinaigrette that is made with fresh herbs and/or garlic can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator 3 days. If you use granulated garlic and dried herbs, it will last for a week.
I love hearing from you!
What’s your favorite salad dressing? How did you like this Mediterranean herb vinaigrette recipe? Drop me a question, a comment, or a rating and let me know...you’ll make my day! And don’t forget to save and share this recipe by pinning it to Pinterest or saving to Yummly, Whisk, or Flipboard.
Mediterranean Herb Vinaigrette
- 1 Whisk
For about one cup of vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons kalamata olive brine or lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic or one clove garlic, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pinch black pepper or to taste
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley minced (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, brine or lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and salt until fully combined and the salt is dissolved.
- Whisking vigorously, slowly pour the olive oil into the vinegar mixture. Stop pouring the oil if pools of oil appear on top of the vinegar mixture, and resume once they are incorporated. Continue whisking until all of the oil is fully incorporated and the dressing is slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Fold in the minced herbs and serve immediately, or store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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