The Evolution of the Classic Italian Vinaigrette - A Brief Story

Classic Italian Salad Dressing Vinaigrette / Mediterranean Diet

By the 15th century salads were served at the beginning of a meal in Italy, due to the notion they were appetite stimulants. The fresh, crisp greens on other vegetables in a salad can help to awaken the taste buds and prepare the palate for the flavors to come in the main course.

In addition to the freshness and flavor of the vegetables, the dressing on a salad can also contribute to it appetite-stimulating properties. A well-made salad dressing can add a burst of flavor and tanginess that can help awaken the taste buds and increase the desire for food.

Classic Italian Vinaigrette - Origins

Italian cuisine is renowned for its use of simple, fresh ingredients that highlight the natural flavors of each component. One classic Italian recipe that exemplifies this philosophy is the Vinaigrette.

The origins of the classic Italian vinaigrette can be traced back to ancient Rome, where a simple mixture of oil and vinegar was used as a dressing for salads and other dishes. As the Roman Empire expanded, so did the popularity of the dressing, which eventually spread throughout Europe.

However, it wasn't until the Renaissance that the vinaigrette as we know it today began to take shape. Italian cooks began to experiment with different combinations of oils, vinegars, and herbs, creating complex and flavorful dressings that elevated even the most basic salad.

Today, the classic Italian vinaigrette typically consists if olive oil, vinegar (often balsamic), and a mix of herbs and spices. Garlic, basil, oregano, and rosemary are all common additions, as are salt and pepper.

The versatility and simplicity of this Salad Dressing make it the perfect compliment to a wide range of dishes, from crisp salads to grilled vegetables to roasted meats.

Why does the Salad Dressing matter?

Salad dressings can play an important role in helping the body absorb nutrients from the vegetables in the salad. Many vitamins and nutrients found in food are fat-soluble, meaning that the need to be consumed with fat in order for the body to absorb them effectively.

Salad dressing Vinaigrette, which typically contains olive oil (extra virgin olive oil is better) and balsamic vinegar or other acidic ingredients (such as lemons), can help to increase the absorption of these nutrients. The oil in the dressing can act as a carrier for the fat-soluble vitamins, helping to transport them through the body's cells.

For example, vitamin K, which is found in leafy greens such as spinach and kale, is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be better absorbed when consumed with a source of dietary fat. So, adding an oil-based salad dressing to a spinach or kale can help to increase the absorption of vitamin K and other nutrients found in these vegetables.

Overall, the combination of vegetables and a well-made salad dressing can help to increase the absorption of nutrients and promote overall health and well-being.

Classic Ingredients

The classic Italian Vinaigrette typically consists of olive oil and vinegar, with additional ingredients such as herbs, spices, and other flavorings added to taste.

Extra Virgin OIive Oil - is the foundation of most Italian vinaigrettes, "extra-virgin" means it is made from the first cold pressing of the olives and has a rich, fruity flavor. In Italian cuisine, olive oil is used in abundance and is considered on of the most essential ingredients.

Aged Balsamic Vinegar - is another key ingredient. It has a tangy, acidic flavor that compliments the richness of the olive oil.

Lemon juice - is another acidic ingredient that can be used in place of or in addition to vinegar. It has a bright, citrusy flavor that adds a refreshing touch to salads and other dishes.

Herbs and Spices are often added to the vinaigrette to give it more depth of flavor. Common herbs used in Italian vinaigrettes include basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary, while spices such as garlic, black pepper, and red pepper flakes are also popular additions.

Other flavorings that can be added to the vinaigrette include Dijon mustard, honey, and minced shallots, which can add a slightly sweet or savory note to the dressing.

Overall, the ingredients in the classic Italian vinaigrette are simple yet flavorful, making it a versatile dressing that can be used in a variety of dishes.

Papa Vince's PERFECT Salad Dressing


Papa Vince's Classic Italian Vinaigrette is just PERFECT! It's made from FRESH ingredients grown and harvested by our family in Sicily, Italy.


  1. Cold Pressed Extra Virgin OIive Oil
  2. 8-year Aged Balsamic Wine Moscato Vinegar
  3. Hand-harvested Sea Salt
  4. Lemons
  5. and Black Pepper


Our small family business takes pride in producing a dressing that contains NO ADDED FLAVORS, PRESERVATIVES, ADDITIVES, OR COLORING. We never use pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, or GMOs, making our dressing a natural and healthy choice. Our dressing is made in small batches and has limited availability, as we only produce 1000 bottles per year.

The rich flavor of our classic Italian dressing is enhanced by its nutritional value, as it's rich in polyphenols and vitamins like B6, E, K, Riboflavin, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, and Vitamin A. With low acidity, our dressing is perfect for keto, Whole 30, and vegan diets. 

Papa Vince Salad Dressing, a healthy addition to your daily meals

Classic Ratio

For a traditional home-made vinaigrette, we use about 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to 1 tablespoon of vinegar. You'll also want to add a pinch of sea salt and pepper. The better quality of ingredients you use, the better the vinaigrette will taste.

Get creative with Papa Vince's Classic Salad Dressing

Mustard vinaigrette
By incorporating Dijon mustard into your vinaigrette, you can enhance the flavor while also creating a thicker dressing. This is because Dijon mustard acts as an emulsifier. To achieve a thicker dressing, simply add half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard to your balsamic vinaigrette or any other vinaigrette recipe that calls for a bit of lemon juice.

Garlic vinaigrette
If you're looking to give your vinaigrette a bold flavor, consider adding fresh minced garlic to taste. Alternatively, a sprinkle of garlic powder can also work wonders in giving your dressing an extra kick.

Create your own vinaigrette - here are two ideas

Citrus vinaigrette (lemon, orange, or tangerine vinaigrette)
Switch out the traditional extra virgin olive oil for Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (alternatively, you can also try Orange or Tangerine Extra Virgin Olive Oils). While classic vinaigrettes often feature lemon as a key ingredient, it's important to consider what type of salad you'll be using it on. A fennel salad, for example, can be immediately elevated with a subtle touch of orange, while a classic spinach salad pairs perfectly with tangerine. Lemon, on the other hand, complements almost all types of salads.

Spicy vinaigrette
Switch ⅓ part of the traditional extra virgin olive oil for Chili Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for example, 1 tablespoon of chili pepper extra virgin olive oil + 2 tablespoons of classic extra virgin olive oil to every 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar).

In conclusion...

Classic Salad Dressing Vinaigrettes are a healthy and versatile addition to any meal, and choosing the right dressing is crucial to enhance both taste and nutrition.

Using fresh, high-quality ingredients like those found in Papa Vince's Classic Salad Dressing can make a significant difference in the quality of your meal.

With countless options available, experimenting with different ingredients and flavors can be a fun and creative way to enhance your salad game. So, mix and match with Papa Vince's Classic Salad Dressing and enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal.

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