Martha Stewart's Favorite Vinaigrette Starts With Dissolving The Salt

Salt is a critical ingredient in more dishes than you can count on both hands. This flavor enhancer and seasoning balancer can make or break a recipe including a good vinaigrette. No one knows this better than Martha Stewart, and in a TikTok video, she reveals that the secret to getting your vinaigrette just right starts by properly dissolving the salt in the vinegar. In one of her favorite recipes, Stewart demonstrates how she whisks the two ingredients together — skillfully dissolving the salt so it is imperceptible to the eye.

Why is this preliminary step so important? The simple answer is salt doesn't dissolve in oil, and you need it to dissolve — that is unless you want those sodium granules floating in your oil and vinegar mixture, detracting from the vinaigrette's overall flavor. When it comes to the type of salt you use in your vinaigrette, stick with a finer granule, as coarse salts will be more difficult to dissolve. If you are going to add herbs like basil, oregano, or thyme to your vinaigrette, adding them with the vinegar and salt is a wise move. It will allow the herbs to bloom in the vinegar and amplify the overall flavor. 

Stick with a 3:1 ratio

Before the first glug of olive oil hits the bowl, Martha Stewart adds her mustard, pepper, and shallots to the vinegar and salt and whisks it all together. This is so she can build a strong, concentrated base flavor that will infuse the olive oil. It is so rich that your taste buds will experience that flavor in each bite of whatever dish you choose to drizzle it over.

But knowing this salty secret allows you to get creative and build your own vinaigrette. When choosing what type of vinegar you want to use as its base, you can opt for a thick, luscious Balsamic, which will add a rich taste, or an apple cider vinegar that will give your tongue more of a tangy undertone. Once you have chosen your vinegar and whisked in the salt, you can create a sweet and savory flavor profile by adding a little maple syrup or honey to serve as a yin to your vinegar's yang.

You can also turn to seasonal fruit to add some real depth to your vinaigrette. Berries and citrus can really be your friend. Raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits can all play a role in crafting a fruity version of this dressing. Just remember to stick to the ratio of one tablespoon of vinegar for every three tablespoons of olive oil as you create your culinary masterpiece.