basil vinaigrette

basil vinaigrette

This week has been pretty beautiful. The sun has been shining and the temperatures have dipped enough that you might have to reach for that light cardigan you have stuffed into your bag. September makes me take stock. Did I do everything I wanted to do this summer? I haven’t gone camping or ridden the ferry…yet, but I’m still hopeful because September can bring on adventure. However, this summer I did try something new – the basil vinaigrette from the Rebar Cookbook which is a vibrant green and lush dressing that has legions of fans.

green bean & summer squash salad

At the time I was swimming in summer squash, green beans and purple potatoes from our CSA and was having friends over for lunch to help me eat it all (my husband was still away on his bike trip). I sliced and blanched the squash, trimmed and blanched the green beans and par-boiled and then roasted the potatoes. From the farmer’s market, I had picked up a huge bunch of basil so big that I could clutch it with both hands and feel almost dainty in comparison. It was like a bridal bouquet for the very lucky. When you’ve got that much basil on hand, I’m imploring you to make this vinaigrette before the late summer completely disappears. The basil needs this and so do you.

green bean & summer squash salad

I pulled out my trusty blender (though I’m sure if you’ve got a food processor that would work too) and got to work. Garlic, honey, lemon juice and lots and lots of basil. Want to make this vegan? Sub in agave syrup for the honey. Easy! There’s also a lot of oil in this dressing, but don’t worry because this recipe makes a lot – enough that you can pass some off to friends if it comes to that (but it probably won’t). It keeps for a week in the fridge and you can pour it on anything – big fat heirloom tomatoes would be ideal. But hurry, September is fleeting!

green bean & summer squash salad

elsewhere: At Poppytalk I carbo load with a linguine, summer squash and sun gold tomato pasta dish. It’s simple and tasty. And at ReadyMade, I write about muffins & provide plenty of healthy baking inspiration. And if you haven’t yet voted for my mushroom empanadas, I’d love it if you can! Voting ends today at Tastespotting.

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27 comments to “basil vinaigrette”

  1. 1
    Sues   September 10, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Oooh! Perfect dressing for the perfect salad! I’m in the midst of a pesto obsession and I love this kinda variation on it. So pretty, too!

  2. 2
    Nicole   September 10, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Wonderful timing! A neighbor friend of mine has an out-of-control basil bush and we’ve decided we need to have a basil party and use it up before it’s fall. This looks great :)

  3. 3
    custom clothing   September 10, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I’ve been enjoying basil dressings this summer. I’ll have to try yours. That with your vegies looks delicious.

  4. 4
    Adam   September 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I love the color mix in this dish. I think I’ll take your advice and use this vinaigrette on heirloom tomatoes.


  5. 5
    NancyB   September 10, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I surprisingly have every ingredient in my house right now. I will make that for Sunday dinner.

  6. 6
    margie   September 10, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Wow – look at that color!

    I love making my own vinaigrette, but I haven’t in a while, instead covering everything in sight in homemade salsa. I think it’s time for a change.

  7. 7
    Haley   September 10, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    This dressing is one of my favourites. I’m adding a past post of mine, realizing this isn’t necessary because you’re all over it. I use this dressing for everything from dip to zesting up wrap fillings.

  8. 8
    Bijoux   September 10, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    This vinaigrette kicks butt! I made this several times in the course of a week (after you had announced it on Twitter and opened my eyes to it’s glory). There’s a story developing here, just bear with me…The last time I made it, I left the immersion blender sitting in the glass of vinaigrette. No sooner had I turned my back to get something and the glass tipped over spilling all the delicious vinaigrette all over the counter top. I was crushed and on the verge of tears! This dressing is seriously delicious and worth savouring every last drop!

  9. 9
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)   September 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    These look delicious and perfect! YUM!

  10. 10
    jodye @ 'scend food   September 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    This dressing sounds absolutely wonderful. I love how green it is! I can already imagine how good it will be atop grain salads and veggie sautees!

  11. 11
    Joanne   September 11, 2010 at 3:13 am

    september still has tons of opportunity for adventure…so long as you wear a sweater! I love the flavor of basil…it always uplifts a dish for me. This vinaigrette sounds delicious.

  12. 12
    Mo'Betta   September 11, 2010 at 9:35 am

    This looks awesome! I’m definitely putting this in my file and maybe i can salvage some remaining basil from my garden and make it now!!

  13. 13
    Julia   September 11, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Yum! This sounds really good. I have the Rebar cookbook, but have never actually made the basil vinaigrette! I need to get on this! And conveniently I have a big bunch of basil in my fridge that needs to be used asap.

  14. 14
    bonniebonnielass   September 12, 2010 at 3:54 am

    I often flick through the Rebar cookbook for inspiration. The colour of this is just divine. Now, off to find the last of the basil here in Nova Scotia where it is suddenly autumn.

  15. 15
    Julia   September 12, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    A follow-up comment… I made this vinaigrette last night and loved it! (I’m very happy that we have a nice jar of it left in our fridge for the week.) Thank you for pointing us to the recipe! By the way, I decided to try leaving out the salt entirely and found that it didn’t need it – it was so delicious and flavourful. (There is some salt in mustard, so it’s not like it was entirely salt-free…)

  16. 16
    Elizabeth   September 12, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Oh man, we’ve had a lot of basil around this year and I’ve already frozen as much pesto as I can stand. I will definitely be giving this a try, tonight if I can muster the energy.

    Best of luck on Tastespotting! Those empanadas look amazing.

  17. 17
    Judy   September 13, 2010 at 12:53 am

    yum! the mustard and balsamic sure gives it a spicy, tangy kick!

  18. 18
    kickpleat   September 13, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Sues, it’s a bit different from pesto, but there’s a good strong basil flavour! It is pretty.

    Yay, glad I could help you out with your basil haul!

    Thanks custom.

    Adam, let me know how you like it!

    Hope you enjoyed this for your Sunday dinner, Nancy.

    Thanks Margie, the colour is fantastic. Nothing wrong with homemade salsa!

    Glad you’re already a fan, Haley. And thanks for the post too – love all the uses you’ve got for it.

    I heard that on Twitter, Bijoux. Bad news spilling all of that awesomeness.

    Thanks Sarena.

    Jodye, atop grains this would be so good!

    Joanne, I’ve got my sweater ready. And an umbrella!

    I hope you can, Mo’Betta, otherwise you’ll have to head to the shop or wait around until next summer.

    Julia, I think this is a sign: make the dressing :) And I guess you have! So glad you enjoyed it and left out the salt.

    Good luck in your hunt, bonnie!

    Thanks Elizabeth, this is quite different from pesto so you won’t feel all bogged down.

    It does, thanks Judy.

  19. 19
    Kate   September 14, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Ooh! What a lovely variation on pesto! I wonder if this idea would work well with parsley? I’ve got a giant bunch under my kitchen window that is begging to be pureed.

  20. 20
    kickpleat   September 14, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Kate you can certainly give it a try!! I’m sure it would be really good, almost like a chimichurri without the spice.

  21. 21
    The Hungry Teacher   September 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Ok, so I’m pretty sure I know what a CSA is– some sort of produce program which delivers you produce based on what’s in season, but how did you find it? What does CSA stand for?

    I live in the Fraser Valley, and I’m quite sure you live in Vancouver, so we’re in the same neighbourhood– can you give me any help?

  22. 22
    kickpleat   September 15, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Hungry Teacher: CSA stands for Community Sponsored Agriculture, I wrote a post about it here for ReadyMade. The farm we use is located in Langley (right in your neighbourhood), Nathan Creek Organic Farms ( I’ve been a member for 2 years now. Last year the selection wasn’t great (too many bitter greens!) but this year I’ve been loving it! Feel free to email me with any questions.

  23. 23
    Mary   September 18, 2010 at 8:59 am

    I used this wonderful basil dressing to dress a potato-green bean salad:

    boiled yukon gold potatoes in jackets, peeled, cut into chunks

    blanched green beans, cooled, cut into diagonal segments

    diced red onion–use a generous amount here

    dress with the super yummy basil dressing

    it was all a lovely green and very tasty

    can be garnished with hard cooked egg wedges or finely diced ham


  24. 24
    kickpleat   September 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Mary, so glad you enjoyed this dressing. I’m sure with the egg it would be super tasty.

  25. 25
    Ashley   September 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Looove the Rebar cookbook and love what you did with the dressing! Sadly I’ve yet to try it.

  26. 26
    kickpleat   September 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Ashley, it’s a good recipe and so worth trying out. Enjoy :)

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