Classic Salad Dressings

How to Make Herb Infused Vinegar

herb infused vinegar

If ever there is an award for Most Underappreciated Kitchen Staple, I fully intend to nominate vinegar. And my love of vinegar has only increased over the years, using it in everything from marinades for grilled veggies, salad dressings and cleaning products. As it turns out, I was actually underutilizing this culinary powerhouse myself, simply because I didn’t know just how amazing it can be.

Enter herb infused vinegars, which are so simple to make that there really isn’t a reason not to. For years i’ve been using vegan* red wine vinegar, olive oil, with rosemary and garlic as my go-to grilling marinade for eggplant, zucchini and summer squash. This combination has served me well for years, but then I infused my vinegar with the rosemary and garlic for the first time, and I will never go back to not using herb infused vinegars again. The depth of flavor and earthiness you get from the herbs is so much more pronounced once they’ve infused with the vinegar. It’s really a night and day comparison. The flavors are so much richer, fuller and brighter.

The process of making herb infused vinegar is incredibly simple, and the guide below handles pretty much everything you need to know. Below the guide I’ll list some of my favorite combinations, but I highly encourage everyone to try out their favorite herbs.

*Just a note: as many of you likely know, not all vinegar is vegan. Some vinegars, like Balsamic vinegar and malt vinegars, are refined and filtered using whey or isinglass, both of which are made from animals or animal products. It’s always worth digging into the specific brand you like using to make sure it is a vegan vinegar.

Herb Infused Vinegar: How to Infuse

Preston’s Favorite Herb Infused Vinegar Combinations

  • Apple cider vinegar, rosemary and thyme
  • Red wine vinegar, pear rind and rosemary
  • White vinegar, lemon peel and thyme (My go-to for cleaning)
  • White vinegar, sage and mint

Vegan Ranch Dressing or Dip

Vegan ranch dressing with raw veggies

Ranch dressing is challenging to find ready-made in a dairy-free vegan version, so this simple and versatile recipe comes to the rescue. As a dip, this is great with raw veggies; as a dressing, use on green salads, slaws, pasta salads, and potato salads. This makes about a cup of dressing or dip. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→


Cilantro Mint Dressing

Cilantro-Mint-Dressing leslie cerier

This creamy dressing, made with omega-rich hemp seeds and fragrant cilantro and mint, is an excellent choice for green salads, steamed vegetables, and pasta salads. Recipe contributed by Leslie Cerier. Photo by Tracey Eller. more→


French Dressing

Homemade vegan French dressing

This homemade vegan French dressing is one of my personal favorites for green salads—I hope you’ll agree that this is better than the store-bought variety. It sure is more economical, and is made with ingredients you may already have on hand. more→


Parsley Salad Dressing

Parsley Salad Dressing

Filled with vitamin-rich parsley, this herbal salad dressing is good on green salads as well as on steamed vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, and squashes. Many markets sell overly large bunches of herbs like parsley; they’re perishability makes it hard to use them up before they start losing their freshness. This dressing, which can be made oil-free if you prefer, is a great solution. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→


Tangy Tahini Dressing

Tangy tahini salad dressing

This salad dressing featuring olive oil, tahini, apple cider vinegar, and lemon, makes even the simplest salad shine. Excellent on green salads, slaws, and more. I highly recommend this with Hearty Seitan Salad. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. more→


Sesame-Ginger Salad Dressing

Sesame-Ginger Salad Dressing2

Savory and tangy, this sesame-ginger dressing is perfect for salads served with Asian-style meals. It’s also good on wilted greens and on cold noodle dishes. Thanks to Progressive International for providing the salad dressing shaker shown in these photos by Evan Atlas. more→


Thousand Island-Style Dressing

Vegan Thousand Island Dressing

This is the first dressing that enticed my kids to try salad when they were young. It’s a good bet for young children, though it’s a pleaser for any age. It also makes a good dressing for veggie burgers and other sandwiches. more→