Raspberry Vinaigrette is a bright, vibrant homemade salad dressing that’s as delicious as it is gorgeous! Just a few simple ingredients like fresh raspberries, lime, red wine vinegar, oil, and some brown sugar is all you need .
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Spring and summer is full of beautiful weather and warm days. One of my favorite things about the spring and summer seasons is the abundance of fresh, vibrant, juicy berries available at farmers markets and produce sections of the grocery store. I like to use them while they’re this deliciously fresh!
Raspberries isn’t the only ingredient that creates the best flavor for this homemade vinaigrette. Lime juice and zest also help bring even more bright flavors to this dressing! The way that the natural flavors of raspberries and limes compliment one another is pretty magnificent. Other than those two ingredients, you have your standard vinaigrette staples – neutral oil, red wine vinegar, and just a pinch of salt and pepper.
To create a beautiful balance in this vinaigrette, I enhance the natural sweetness of the berries with some brown sugar. The added sweetness helps balance the tart and tangy ingredients like lime and vinegar. Oh, and have I mentioned just how EASY this recipe is to make? Trust me, once you make this easy vinaigrette that’s so flavorful and fresh, you’ll wonder why you ever used to buy the store-bought stuff.
Raspberries – For the best flavor and aroma, it’s important to use fresh raspberries!
Brown Sugar – you can use either dark brown sugar or light brown sugar in this recipe.
Lime – You’ll need the zest and fresh juice of one lime. For best results, always use freshly squeezed lime juice.
Avocado Oil – use neutral tasting oil like avocado or light tasting olive oil.
Red Wine Vinegar – red wine vinegar is the best compliment to berries but you can also try champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar if you need a substitution.
See recipe card for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
How To Make Raspberry Vinaigrette
Raspberry vinaigrette is a delicious berry dressing that’s insanely easy to make!
Make the raspberry mixture first: Mix together the raspberries, brown sugar, and lime juice/zest in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Cover and let the mixture come to a simmer.
Stir, cover again, and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes and stir often. Remove the pan from the heat.
Let the mixture cool for about 15 minutes (1).
Combine to make the vinaigrette: Transfer the raspberry mixture into the blender and add oil, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper (2). Pulse everything together until blended smooth (3).
Transfer everything into a dressing storage container or a mason jar with an air-tight lid. Use a funnel if you need to pour the dressing into the container with a small opening (4).
Vinaigrette is a dressing that is made with oil and an acid like citrus juice and/or vinegar as a base. It is not a creamy dressing but light and refreshing oil vinegar based dressing instead. Vinaigrettes are often flavored with other ingredients like fruit, berries, spices, herbs, and/or a sweet component like guar or honey.
Most often, a red wine vinegar is the best one to use in a vinaigrette that features additional flavors, like fruit and berries. This vinegar has sharp and tangy flavor with an aromatic fruit note. If you need to substitute red wine vinegar, go with champagne vinegar, sherry vinegar, or white wine vinegar.
Yes! Cooking the berries is an important step not only for the flavor of this raspberry vinaigrette but also to help it last longer. Cooking the berries will infuse them with sweet and tangy flavor of sugar and lime and help release more juice. In addition, cooked berries will help the dressing last longer.
Store the dressing in a glass container with an air-tight lid. Raspberry vinaigrette should stay good for up to 2 weeks when stored in the refrigerator. If you notice that some of the oil has separated and solidified in the refrigerator, just let it sit on the counter for about 30-45 minutes to warm up. Or, you can take off the lid and pop it in the microwave for just a few seconds. Shake it well before using.
Best Way to Serve This Dressing
Salads are of course your main dish to serve with the dressing! Here’s just a few ways to enjoy your summery dressing:
- I love this raspberry vinaigrette on a spring and summer salad filled with fruits and berries like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, apples, and pears.
- You can also load the salad with crunchy nuts and even candied pecans.
- Add some bright flavored cheeses like feta, blue cheese crumbles, gorgonzola, cheddar, and smooth mozzarella.
- This dressing goes well with veggies like cucumbers, onions, avocado, broccoli, tomatoes, and/or shaved asparagus and carrots.
- As far as protein, this vinaigrette goes perfectly with chicken, shrimp, and salmon.
- You can also add this dressing to cold wraps or drizzle some over flat breads (especially those the feature fruit, arugula, and other fresh ingredients).
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Raspberry Vinaigrette Recipe
To Cook Raspberries:
- 5 oz fresh raspberries
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 medium ripe lime – zest and juice
For The Vinaigrette:
- Cooked raspberry mixture from above
- 1/2 cup avocado or olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
- salt and pepper
- In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, combine raspberries, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, lime juice, and lime zest and mix well. Cover and bring it simmer.
- Stir, cover back up and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Take off heat.
- Let the berry mixture cool for about 15 minutes and add it to the blender.
- Add oil, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Blend everything very well, until smooth.
- Transfer it into an air-tight dressing storage container. Keep it refrigerated!
- Storing: This vinaigrette should be good for up to 2 weeks when stored in the refrigerator. It’s best to store in an air-tight glass container.
- Did your vinaigrette separate? If you notice that some of the oil separated and solidified in the refrigerator, let it sit on the counter for 30-45 minutes to warm up or take off the lid and pop it in the microwave for just a few seconds. Shake it well before using.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles in April 2014.