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Good Food: Dress It Up Dressing Red Wine Vinaigrette

Good Food: Dress It Up Dressing Red Wine Vinaigrette

By Kate Malin

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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There is a good reason that oil and vinegar have long been the go-to additions to salad: olive oil helps the body absorb nutrients in food and vinegar helps to digest them. At Dress It Up Dressing, founder Sophia Maroon has perfected this classic pairing, drawing from a recipe her mother made daily when Sophia was growing up. Using only extra virgin olive oil emulsified with vinegar, garlic, mustard, and sea salt, Sophia makes silky, creamy dressings that coat but don’t overpower.

Although they have now branched out to make other dressings, Dress It Up Dressing began with Red Wine Vinaigrette, using the recipe that Sophia’s mother originated in the 1970s. In Sophia’s hands, it went from feeding the family to being shared with friends and eventually to market shelves across the country, maintaining the same high quality and exceptional flavor throughout. A versatile dressing, it is perfect spooned (not poured) out of the jar and onto any salad where the nutty olive oil, sweet balsamic, and powerful red wine vinegar combine to enhance the taste and texture of fresh greens and vegetables.

Dress It Up Dressing Red Wine Vinaigrette is available at dressitupdressing.com and in stores across the country. Dress It Up Dressing is a proud member of the Good Food Merchants Guild, national association uniting American craft food businesses to connect, convene and promote Good Food businesses of all sizes.

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From her grassroots work at the Good Food Awards to her continued education at NYU’s Food Studies Master’s Program, Kate Malin brings an unparalleled passion for great food and good people.

More Good Food Finds:


Wish-Bone Salad Spritzer Red Wine Mist Cabernet Vinaigrette Dressing

Lame advertising campaign aside, this particular salad dressing tastes good for a bottled dressing.

I actually bought it last month just for the bottle . I wanted a spritzer bottle to use to make my own vinagrette. Since I figured these bottles were designed to handle an oil/vinegar combo, it appealed to me.

I can't recommend any of the others because I haven't tried them and with the exception of the Red Wine Mist, all the others have HFCS as the first ingrediant.

The Red Wine Mist has water and red wine vinegar first. It is light and slightly tangy . I can't believe I'm saying this . not too acidic being balanced by the HFCS . yeah . throw me off Chowhound now.

Hey . hey . it also has cabernet sauvignon wine and onion juice . I'm sure that offsets the red dye 40

Anyway . making your own, of course, is better. The bottle works well with my home-made vinagrette. But if you must buy a bottled salad dressing this is a little better taste-wise than the rest. Despite the HFCS it is only 10 calories per serving . 10 spritzes . which is adequate for a salad.

Really . at your own risk . click on the "Putting on the Spritz" fashion show. I didn't watch the video since the picture of the woman dressed in carrots . carrot mini dress, necklace and hat was quite enough of an experiance . the designers were challenged to create runway-worthy fashions from salad ingrediants . from the site

"From the coutour-inspired red cabbage leaf frock to the fun and fruity bathing suit the pieces really dazzled"

It is worth it though to go through the five pictures . the little Carmen Miranda number . picture three . had me tearing up in laughter . and if possible . the next one was even worse . seemingly inspired by Glenda the good witch from the Wizard of Oz . in drag.

The Lucille Ball type of cocktail dress out of the red cabbage was the best of the lot. There's such a thing as an ad campaign getting atteniton . but in a bad way. This is now neck in neck with the king from Burger King as one of the creepiest ads.


Basic Vinaigrette Ratio & Ingredients

The traditional French vinaigrette formula calls for 1 tablespoon vinegar for every 3 tablespoons olive oil. Modern vinaigrettes often call for a bit more vinegar than that, but it’s always up to you. Kale salads can tolerate more zingy dressings, while you’ll want to use less vinegar for mild greens like spring greens.

Here’s what you’ll need to make vinaigrette:

  • Olive oil for your base
  • Vinegar of choice
  • Dijon mustard for some flavor complexity and creaminess
  • Maple syrup or honey for a little sweetness that balances the vinegar
  • Garlic for oomph
  • Salt and pepper


    1. Purée all the ingredients except the oil in a blender or food processor or with a hand-held immersion blender. With the machine running, pour in the olive oil in a steady stream. If you are not going to use the dressing within a few hours, store it tightly covered in the refrigerator it will keep for several weeks. Bring it to room temperature and shake or whisk it well before you dress the salad.
    1. Use an herb-infused vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar.
    1. Blend any of the following into the dressing: 1 to 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped English or lemon thyme, lovage, mint, oregano, marjoram, or French tarragon 2 to 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped basil, dill, chervil, or chives or 2 teaspoons fresh fennel seeds.

    From THE HERBFARM COOKBOOK by Jerry Traunfeld. Copyright ©2000 by Jerry Traunfeld. Reprinted by permission of Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.


    How Long Can Vinaigrette Be Stored

    It will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for a week. If the oil solidifies a little in the fridge (it’s normal for this to happen) then just let it sit at room temperature for a bit to warm up and then shake it up before use.

    However, you can also just make it as you need it, because it’s so simple to make. The amount you see in our photos, is actually a triple batch of the recipe as written.

    The basic recipe is enough for one large salad so you can make it up fresh as you need it.


    Wish-Bone Salad Spritzer Red Wine Mist Cabernet Vinaigrette Dressing

    Lame advertising campaign aside, this particular salad dressing tastes good for a bottled dressing.

    I actually bought it last month just for the bottle . I wanted a spritzer bottle to use to make my own vinagrette. Since I figured these bottles were designed to handle an oil/vinegar combo, it appealed to me.

    I can't recommend any of the others because I haven't tried them and with the exception of the Red Wine Mist, all the others have HFCS as the first ingrediant.

    The Red Wine Mist has water and red wine vinegar first. It is light and slightly tangy . I can't believe I'm saying this . not too acidic being balanced by the HFCS . yeah . throw me off Chowhound now.

    Hey . hey . it also has cabernet sauvignon wine and onion juice . I'm sure that offsets the red dye 40

    Anyway . making your own, of course, is better. The bottle works well with my home-made vinagrette. But if you must buy a bottled salad dressing this is a little better taste-wise than the rest. Despite the HFCS it is only 10 calories per serving . 10 spritzes . which is adequate for a salad.

    Really . at your own risk . click on the "Putting on the Spritz" fashion show. I didn't watch the video since the picture of the woman dressed in carrots . carrot mini dress, necklace and hat was quite enough of an experiance . the designers were challenged to create runway-worthy fashions from salad ingrediants . from the site

    "From the coutour-inspired red cabbage leaf frock to the fun and fruity bathing suit the pieces really dazzled"

    It is worth it though to go through the five pictures . the little Carmen Miranda number . picture three . had me tearing up in laughter . and if possible . the next one was even worse . seemingly inspired by Glenda the good witch from the Wizard of Oz . in drag.

    The Lucille Ball type of cocktail dress out of the red cabbage was the best of the lot. There's such a thing as an ad campaign getting atteniton . but in a bad way. This is now neck in neck with the king from Burger King as one of the creepiest ads.


    Dress It Up Dressing

    With so many seasonal and healthy fruits, veggies, we're fortunate to have a nationally-acclaimed salad dressing company local to our region for the perfect 4P Bag companion. Our local artisan partner, Dress It Up Dressing is a woman-owned business based out of Bethesda, MD who believes your produce deserves to be paired with an equally nutritious and delicious dressing.

    Dress It Up Dressing was founded by Sophia Maroon, who long enjoyed eating salads with her mother's simple but irresistible balsamic vinaigrette recipe. Her brother encouraged her to bottle and sell the sauce, and over time she decided to launch the business and create a full line of additive- and preservative-free salad dressings.

    If you've ever wondered "what to wear" on your next dish, Dress It Up Dressing has you covered with 6 flavors: Apple Cider Vinaigrette, Blackberry Vinaigrette, Caesar Dressing, Champagne Vinaigrette, Red Wine Vinaigrette, and Sesame Tahini Dressing. They're all gluten-free, low in sodium, and several are Whole30 compliant and Certified Kosher. The dressings are crafted with pure 100% olive oil and made without water, so their thick, creamy consistency and concentrated flavors are quite versatile.

    With Dress It Up Dressing, the goodness is inside and the outside. Each label is a work of art created by artist Inslee Fariss (Sophia was once her babysitter!) and Sophia's sister Anne, a graphic designer. Look closely at the bottle and you'll see that each woman's fantastic outfit is playfully embellished with food!

    Community Impact

    Dress It Up Dressing is committed to quality and sustainability, manufacturing their products responsibly and supporting Good Food access in their community. A Certified B Corporation, the company has been supplying dressing to DC Public Schools at a reduced cost since 2016 to help build healthy eating habits and food relationships in school children.

    In 2019, Dressing It Up Dressing won the Stacy's Rise Project for their community support efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sofi and the company made contributions to lunch programs to feed children, as well as partnered with World Central Kitchen (WCK), DC Central Kitchen, the Mid Atlantic Food Resilience and Action Coalition (MAFRAC) and 4P Foods. In March 2020, Dressing It Up Dressing packets were distributed with 375 locally sourced salad kits as part of 4P's pay-what-you-can meal distribution.

    Dress It Up is also a two-time recipient of the Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation (sofi) Award (it's like the Oscars for Food), and has also won a Good Food Award.

    While Dress It Up Dressings will make all your raw or cooked veggies more glamorous, you can also enjoy them on grilled fruits, as a marinade for meats or seafood, or on a cheese plate. We love a smashed raw green bean salad tossed in Champagne Vinaigrette and freshly-grated Parmesan cheese. Get ideas on their recipes page, and add dressing to your next delivery on 4pfoods.com.

    Cover photo by Rey Lopez. Photos courtesy of Stephen Davis.


    How to Make Salad Dressing

    A good dressing connects all the flavors of a fresh salad, and making homemade salad dressing can be deliciously effortless. Oil, vinegar, and fresh spices create the simplest dressing, but there are a few more tips and ingredients to enhance your favorite leafy greens. Be sure to check out some of our favorite salad dressing recipes at the bottom of this article.

    If you have any questions about making salad dressing, or have a recipe to share, email us at [email protected], or leave a comment below.

    How to Make a Vinaigrette

    Anyone who appreciates a fresh salad can make their own vinaigrette. The standard recipe for any vinaigrette dressing calls for 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Salt, freshly cracked pepper, spices, and sweeteners can all be added to taste and without measurement. (Although it is helpful to take notes when creating your own recipe.) Simply combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. You can add your leafy ingredients right to the mixing bowl and dress it there, saving you from washing an extra dish.

    If you’re making a large batch of dressing, try using a food processor or blender. Blend all ingredients together except for the oil. Slowly add your preferred oil at the end while the machine is running. This helps give the dressing a smooth consistency.

    Almost any type of oil and vinegar can be used. Some of the more popular oils for salad dressings are extra virgin olive oil, vegetable oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, and walnut oil. Some popular vinegars to use are white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar, tarragon vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and champagne vinegar.

    Mustard is another popular vinaigrette ingredient. Both dry mustard powder and prepared mustard can be added to the mixing bowl. Vinegar and oil don’t like to stay mixed, but mustard’s emulsifying properties help coat your leafy greens in a deliciously glossy dressing. Start with a half teaspoon of mustard for every cup of liquid in a dressing recipe.

    Sweeteners for a salad dressing can be as simple as cane sugar. For a little more depth, try adding honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, molasses, or fruit juice to your recipe.

    Citronette vs. Vinaigrette

    To make a citronette, simply follow the same preparation as a standard vinaigrette, but use fresh citrus juice instead of vinegar. You can use just about any citrus fruit juice you like, but this style of dressing is most commonly made with lemon. In general, more acidic citrus fruits will make for a more balanced dressing.

    Creamy Dressings

    So many of our favorite dressings are creamy—blue cheese, Caesar, and ranch-style dressing just to name a few. These recipes are commonly made with a base of buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt, eggs, or oil.

    Our dips and dressings blends make crafting creamy dressings simple and easy. All you have to do is whisk a tablespoon of salad dressing spice mix into a cup of sour cream, yogurt, or mayonnaise. You can add milk, water, vinegar, or lemon juice to thin the sauce to your desired consistency. Be sure to explore our selection of dips and dressings blends for more inspiration.

    Adding Spices to Salad Dressings

    The real fun begins when you add herbs and spices. These are the defining flavors and aromatics that give a dressing its unique character. You can take the standard recipe formulas above and add a few pinches of your favorite herbs and spices to make it your own.

    Experiment first by adding popular herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, basil, parsley, and tarragon. Next, consider some bolder spices like garlic, shallot, cayenne pepper, Aleppo pepper flakes, black pepper, celery seed, and caraway seed. For more ideas on flavoring your homemade salad dressings, explore our collection of spices for salads.


    WITH POTATOES

    Lighten up a potato salad by using a vinegar based salad dressing version instead of any heavy mayonnaise. Chop up potatoes and roast them instead of boiling them until they're tender and slightly crispy (roasting potatoes gives extra flavor and more texture). Separately combine equal parts olive oil and red wine vinegar with lemon juice, green onions and spices. Toss the cooked potatoes in the dressing and relish in a potato salad that won't leave you feeling bloated in discomfort!


    Dress your salad with a good vinaigrette

    Often referred to as the &ldquofather of American cooking,&rdquo Beard was referring to what is commonly called French dressing &ndash a thin, piquant sauce made by combining oil and vinegar with seasonings, and dating back to the 14th century. Whether it is called sauce or dressing, it remains the epitome of what the best-dressed salads are wearing.

    Since couturiers delight in dictating fashion, why not embellish our salads from the last word in haute cuisine &ndash especially when what Beard is advocating couldn&rsquot be simpler. Like a basic black dress, the basics of vinaigrette are classic &ndash oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. When we begin to accessorize, out come the pearls &ndash even though, in the strictest sense, if we add anything else, it&rsquos not pure vinaigrette.

    Nevertheless, many chefs add mustard, garlic, herbs, spices and sweeteners, even though, according to Julia Child, &ldquosugar is heresy.&rdquo

    And so we must remind ourselves that &ldquoone man&rsquos vinaigrette is another man&rsquos poison.&rdquo Just remember, any salad dressing is only as good as its ingredients.

    JAMES BEARD&rsquoS BASIC VINAIGRETTE SAUCE

    1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

    1 1/2 to 2 tbsp. wine vinegar

    Blend ingredients together with a wooden spatula or fork. Then taste and add an ingredient if you feel the dressing needs it. Yield 1/2 cup. Will dress salad for 4.

    JULIA CHILD&rsquoS SAUCE VINAIGRETTE

    1/2 to 2 tbsp. good wine vinegar or a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice

    1/4 tsp. dry mustard (optional)

    1 to 2 tbsp. minced green herbs such as parsley, chives, tarragon, basil, or a pinch of dried herbs (optional)

    Either beat the vinegar or lemon juice in a bowl with salt and optional mustard until salt is dissolved, then beat in the oil by droplets and season with pepper, or place all ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake vigorously for 30 seconds to blend thoroughly. Stir in the optional herbs and correct seasonings just before dressing salad.

    HONEY/MUSTARD VINAIGRETTE

    3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    2 tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped

    1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped

    1/2 tsp. each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    Place all ingredients in screw top jar and shake vigorously.

    CILANTRO-GINGER VINAIGRETTE

    1/4 cup fresh ginger, grated fine

    1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

    1/2 cup finely sliced scallions (white part and 1 in. of greens)

    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

    3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

    1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

    Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender or food processor purée until smooth. With the blender or processor running, slowly add oil in a thin stream. Blend for an additional 15 seconds.

    BASIL-WALNUT VINAIGRETTE

    Adapted from Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, Workman Publishing.

    3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

    salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    1 cup extra virgin olive oil

    1/2 cup shelled walnut pieces, chopped coarsely

    Combine mustard, vinegar and basil in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 1 minute, shut off motor, scrape down sides of bowl and process for 30 seconds longer. With the motor running, drizzle in oil in a slow, steady stream. When oil is incorporated, drop in walnuts and shut machine off immediately. Walnuts should not be discernible in the dressing. Process with short bursts of power until you achieve the desired texture.