Basil Vinaigrette for Drizzling on Tomatoes, Veggies, Chicken, or Fish

Ripe garden tomatoes with Basil Vinaigrette is one of my favorite things about summer but this favorite summer dressing or sauce is also delicious on salads, roasted or grilled vegetables, grilled fish, or grilled chicken. And with the right dressing Basil Vinaigrette can be low-carb, gluten-free, Paleo, and South Beach Diet Phase One!

Basil Vinaigrette for Drizzling on Tomatoes, Veggies, Chicken, or Fish found on KalynsKitchen.com

I’ve written about Basil Vinaigrette a few times since I first posted this recipe, but last night I picked a huge bucket of basil from my garden, chopped it up in my food processor with olive oil, froze some of the chopped basil, and made a big batch of basil vinaigrette with the rest for a family party tonight. That’s when I decided it was time to update this post with a photo of basil vinaigrette, one of my favorite things about summer. I love tomatoes any way you prepare them, but serving tomatoes with basil vinaigrette drizzled over them takes the summer tomato thing to a whole new level.

This dressing uses purchased vinaigrette but if you’re a salad dressing purist, of course you can make your own. I’m completely a purist about some foods and totally into convenience for others. Salad dressing is something that I can make if I want to, but I often think, why bother? There are so many fantastic dressings on the market, and so many other things I want to make instead.

This Basil Vinaigrette is good on so many things, that when fresh basil is in season I find myself making it over and over. Here are just a few ideas for using it, see more after the recipe.

(This favorite easy recipe for Basil Vinaigrette was updated July 2008 and again in May 2016.)

Recipe Using Basil Vinaigrette (also good for Drizzling on Tomatoes, Veggies, Chicken, or Fish) found on KalynsKitchen.com
Summer Tomato Salad with Goat Cheese, Basil Vinaigrette, and Herbs

Recipe Using Basil Vinaigrette (also good for Drizzling on Tomatoes, Veggies, Chicken, or Fish) found on KalynsKitchen.com
Grilled Halibut with Basil Vinaigrette

Recipe Using Basil Vinaigrette (also good for Drizzling on Tomatoes, Veggies, Chicken, or Fish) found on KalynsKitchen.com
Barely-Steamed Asparagus with Basil Vinaigrette

Recipe Using Basil Vinaigrette (also good for Drizzling on Tomatoes, Veggies, Chicken, or Fish) found on KalynsKitchen.com
Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks

Recipe Using Basil Vinaigrette (also good for Drizzling on Tomatoes, Veggies, Chicken, or Fish) found on KalynsKitchen.com
Artichoke Antipasto Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Tomato, Hearts of Palm, Olive, and Feta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Basil Vinaigrette for Drizzling on Tomatoes, Veggies, Chicken, or Fish
(Check after the recipe for other uses for Basil Vinaigrette. If anyone has other good suggestions for using this, please share them in the comments.)

Ingredients:
3 parts of your favorite low sugar vinaigrette dressing
(I love to make this with Le Parisien Vinaigrette, which is only sold in Utah and surrounding states.  Another good choice is Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing.)
1 part basil puree (see below) or Fresh-Frozen Basil

Combine the salad dressing and basil puree and mix well, using food processor or mini-blender if desired. Use to drizzle over sliced tomatoes, sliced tomatoes topped with goat cheese, or sliced tomatoes layered over fresh mozzarella, or serve over roasted or grilled veggies, grilled chicken, or grilled fish.

How to make the basil puree:
1 cup (tightly packed) fresh basil leaves, washed and dried well
1/2 cup (or less for stronger basil flavor) best quality extra virgin olive oil

Put basil into bowl of food processor. Turn processor on and pour oil through feed tube. Process until basil is in very small pieces and completely integrated into olive oil. You should still be able to see some basil pieces but they will be very small. This freezes very well and is great for adding to pasta sauce all winter long. You can also use a similar method to freeze basil in larger pieces.

When I make this I rarely measure. I pack the bowl of the food processor with basil leaves, then start the motor running and drizzle olive oil through the feed tube until the basil is moving around in the bowl. I put more or less oil, depending on how I’m going to be using the basil.

South Beach Diet / Low-Carb Diet Suggestions
As long as you choose a vinaigrette dressing with not more than 2-3 grams of sugar per serving, my favorite summer dressing is low-carb and South Beach Diet friendly. With the right dressing this basil vinaigrette can easily be gluten-free, vegan, and Paleo as well.

Find More Recipes Like This One:

Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?

I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn’t have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

More Ideas from Kalyn’s Kitchen for using Basil Vinaigrette:

Tomato, Olive,  and Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Whole Wheat Spaghetti Salad with Italian Sausage, Tomatoes, Olives, and Basil Vinaigrette

Hearts of Palm Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, and Feta and Basil Vinaigrette

Green Bean Summer Salad with Italian Sausage, Olives, and Basil Vinaigrette

Brown Rice Salad with Olives, Bell Peppers, Peas, and Basil Vinaigrette

Butter Bean Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Feta, and Basil Vinaigrette

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Italian Sausage, Tomatoes, Kale, and Basil Vinaigrette

Basil Vinaigrette for Drizzling on Tomatoes, Veggies, Chicken, or Fish found on KalynsKitchen.com

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30 comments on “Basil Vinaigrette for Drizzling on Tomatoes, Veggies, Chicken, or Fish”

  1. Kalyn, I really like your site and visit often. But I couldn’t disagree with you more on commercial vinaigrette. It is so simple to prepare a basic vinaigrette from scratch and fun to play with flavor variations that, when you factor in the sixteen unneeded ingredients in the commercial and the cost of the bottle, label, shipping and mark-up, there is no excuse for not making it yourself.

    Another benefit to homemade is that you can make small quantities to complement specific salads or meals without crowding the fridge with half full bottles of store bought dressings.

    One man’s rant.

    Michael Z

  2. Michael, rant on! Everything you say is completely true. I do make my own dressings sometimes too. But there are always so many interesting and fun things on my “want to cook” list that I do buy pre-made salad dressing quite often.

  3. This post went straight to my heart – I can’t grow basil to save my life!

  4. Vicki, I am so sorry! My sincere condolences! Is there not enough sunlight in your yard? It literally grows like a weed in Utah. My garden has full sun nearly all day and everything grows pretty well here.

  5. I can get full sun in some places, but no matter where I put the basil, it always turns brown from the soil up towards the tips. I’ve tried more water, less water, clay in the soil, sand in the soil, all with the same results. ๐Ÿ™

  6. I wish I knew what to suggest, but I have no idea what would cause that.

    • Put a small potted plant in a sunny window,make sure the pot has good drainage ,with drain pebbles in the bottom.set in 1-2 inch deep drain catch. Water enough to keep catch filled at all times,don't let catch get dry over a day or 2.spritz plant daily .use.only filteRd or distilled water!

  7. Yum!!! I love my basil plant and use basil in everything. It’s especially delicious in a watermelon salad I made recently… Maybe I’ll try the watermelon salad with this vinaigrette!

  8. First time reader and I couldn’t have found you at a better time! I just clipped my basil for the first time ever tonight and I had absolutely NO idea what to do!!

    I look forward to reading as much as I can here and making my own vinaigrette in the coming weeks! (Sadly, the growing season will be ending far too soon here in Ohio!)

    Thanks!
    Erin

  9. What a great idea. Although I would probably qualify as a dressing purist and make the whole lot from scratch. Now, just need to start growing the basil…

  10. Basil is one of my favorite spices, being Italian, it is essential. I think it would be great if everyone grew it b/c then I would be able to borrow it when I have used up all mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks,
    Sharon May

  11. I'm not a purist by any means, but I never buy store bought dressing anymore. Too many strange ingredients and overpowering flavors. And as long as you are using a food processor or blender for the basil you may as well make your own. It is so fast and simple and economical. My favorite recipe is from Martha Stewart…1 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 T. dijon mustard, salt & pepper to taste.

    I do, on occasion, use canned (or aseptic) chicken broth ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Great post and recipe, Kalyn. Basil is a MUST herb in everyone’s garden. Nothing tastes better than simply adding fresh basil to ‘everyday’ salad greens … the kitchen smells devine, the lingering scent haunting on long winter nights.

  13. Hi, I found you on Blogher, which I joined a few days ago, and share your interests in healthy often low-glycemic cooking and recipes, and in gardening.
    My husband and I agree that basil and tomatoes are a must grow, and this recipe looks delicious. I don’t have a food processor, but do have a blender so shall try it.
    I blog about gardening and recipes too, at terragarden.blogspot.com
    I plan to visit you again soon.

  14. You’re killin me here, Kalyn. Again with the home grown basil. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Tell you what, how about I rent a portion of your garden and fed-ex the basil over?

  15. Susan, I think you just solved my basil problem – I’ll split the rent with you. And since we’re both in San Diego, Kalyn could save on shipping. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I do hope all you guys are making some basil vinaigrette. I took this bottle to my dad’s house when I made dinner for them, and we loved it.

    Susan and Vicki, I do wish I could really send you some! I have more than enough to share.

  17. I just love basil and grow it in my garden as well. This year, it seems that I haven't done enough cooking of anything, and have an overabundance of basil! I was just thinking tonight that I need to find something to do with it, and then found this – it looks Perfect! Thanks so much for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Now I'm off to find out how you freeze it, because I always wind up tossing my dried up basil away. Ugh, what a waste!

  18. Dawn if I help can keep your basil from going to waste, that makes me happy!

  19. Excited to try this recipe, but wondering how long you can keep this in the fridge? Since the basil is immersed in oil and salad dressing, will it keep longer than the 1 week suggested for pesto?

  20. I'm not sure I've ever kept this in the fridge longer than a week (it doesn't last longer than that at ny house) but it will certainly keep that long.

  21. Hi Kalyn,

    Simple and beautiful recipe. Thanks!

    1 question – how long can this be stored for?

    Thanks

    Shaluu

  22. Shaluu, I've often it had it in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but I don't think it would last much longer than that.

  23. Hi,regarding the vinaigrette storage. Won't the oo congeal in the frig? Also,if there a brand name you can suggest in the place of homemade? Thanks alot.

  24. Since the dressing is already emulsified when you blend in the basil puree, I've never had a problem with the olive oil thickening. Sorry, but I haven't seen a commercial version of this dressing.

  25. I love making my own salad dressings. Actually, I don't think I've ever purchased a bottle of dressing. I mix whatever I want in the salad bowl before adding the salad, then toss. I NEVER use sugar or other sweeteners. If I want it sweet, I'll add a bit of OJ.

    I stock a variety of oils (walnut, avocado, olive, etc.) and vinegars, which I can use in other ways as well.

  26. Hey Kalyn, What kind of dressing did you use to mix? i always manage to pick the wrong kind when recipes tell me to add my own ๐Ÿ™

  27. Matthew I will edit and add that. I love to make this with Le Parisien Vinaigrette, which is only sold in the west. Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing is another good choice.

  28. I'm making this asap and using all summer I'm sure! Thanks for sharing the link today!

  29. Becky, hope you enjoy!

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