Blood Orange Vinaigrette will bring any salad to next level deliciousness. Its sweet and tangy flavor can turn lettuce into something you’ll yearn for. The color is also spectacular and it can double as a marinade for chicken and fish, to boot.
This super easy-to-make Blood Orange Vinaigrette recipe is a favorite that enhances salads beyond belief. (Pistachio-Crusted Goat Cheese Salad is the perfect example.)
I encourage you not to miss out on blood oranges when they’re in season (approx. December — May). This intriguing citrus is incredibly special for its beauty, taste and health benefits.
(I often suggest brands I love and use — these are only suggestions and this is not a sponsored post.)
- blood orange juice
- lemon juice - This will add a little more zing. (I always use Meyer lemons over regular lemons when they're in season. They're a touch less tart and a touch sweeter.
- red wine vinegar
- Dijon mustard - Whole grain or regular. The whole grain adds a very subtle crunch.
- fresh thyme - Try to choose perky bunches without yellow or brown leaves.
- Kosher salt - I cook with Kosher salt. I prefer it because of its larger flake size, it's less refined and usually doesn't contain additives, and it does a great job enhancing the flavor of foods without making them taste salty. (If you use table salt, use half the amount.)
- pepper - Preferably freshly ground black pepper.
- granulated sugar
- extra virgin olive oil - I love Garcia de la Cruz.
(See recipe card below for quantities.)
- Blood oranges. Yes, you can substitute blood oranges with regular oranges or tangerines. I would suggest Navel oranges or Ojai Pixies (if they’re in season) — both are sweet and seedless.
- Fresh thyme. You can try all sorts of fresh herbs in blood orange vinaigrette. Mint and basil would be delicious. You can also use a combination of herbs. (I do not recommend using dried thyme. Since the viniagrette isn't cooked it won't soften.)
- Red wine vinegar. In this recipe, red wine vinegar can be substituted with a mix of white wine vinegar and red wine (one to one), apple cider vinegar or white balsamic vinegar. You can use regular balsamic but its flavor is stronger, so use half the amount. Dressings and vinaigrettes are meant to compliment salads, and should not mask the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Sugar. Honey can be substituted for the sugar.
- Taste the oranges before you juice them! If they’re especially sweet, you might not need or want to add the sugar.
- The easiest way to make a vinaigrette is in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. (See below images.)
- Vinaigrettes keep for a while, so whenever you can, make more than necessary so you have it at the ready.
- Use an extra virgin olive you love — since this vinaigrette is not cooked, its flavor is important.
- Shake or whisk the vinaigrette just before every use.
How to Make it
This recipe is so simple to put together.
- Juice the blood oranges and lemon, and wash, dry and chop the fresh thyme.
- Add all of the ingredients to a jar that holds at least 12 ounces, put the lid on tightly and shake to emulsify. That’s it!
(If you don’t have the right size jar, use a small bowl and whisk, adding the oil gradually after combining all of the other ingredients.
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
- Blood orange salad dressing pairs well with most most salads. It will even make a simple green salad made mostly of lettuce incredible!
- Not only is it delicious on salads, but it also makes for an excellent marinade or sauce. It’s especially good with chicken, mild fish and shrimp.
How long will it keep?
- If stored properly, blood orange vinaigrette should last for about two weeks in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container -- a jar is best.
- When you're ready to use it, remove it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes ahead of time so that it has time to soften if it has solidified from the oil. (You can pop it in the microwave for a few seconds if it's still too solid.)
Fun fact: The color of the rind of a blood orange is related to light, and it develops completely independently from its interior color. A solid orange exterior might have a deep red interior, and vice versa. You never know what you're going to get when you slice into one. It's like unwrapping a gift. 😉
More Delectable Dressings and Vinaigrettes
- Prickly Pear Vinaigrette
- Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
- Jalapeño Lime Vinaigrette
- Balsamic Cranberry Dressing
- Blackberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Creamy Avocado-Lime Dressing
Slightly sweet, the taste of blood oranges differs from other oranges because they have subtle notes of grapefruit and raspberry and are less acidic.
Like most oranges, they’re high in vitamin C. What sets them apart though, is that they contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin, and not only is this said to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, it’s also naturally occurring pigment which is what gives them their gorgeous color.
I’m not a nutrition expert, so for much more about blood orange health benefits, this is a great source.
Typically they’re in season late December/early January though late April/early May.
A vinaigrette is really a type of salad dressing. Vinaigrettes are based in oil and vinegar -- traditionally 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. Creamy dressings on the other hand, more often than not, refer to those that are made with a mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk or a yogurt base. Dressing and vinaigrette seem to be used interchangeably these days.
I hope you love this vinaigrette as much as I do.
Blood Orange Vinaigrette Recipe
- ½ cup blood orange juice (from about 3 large blood oranges)
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme, washed and dried
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Add all of the ingredients to a jar that holds at least 12 ounces, put the lid on tightly and shake. That’s it! (If you don’t have the right size jar, use a small bowl and whisk, adding the oil gradually after combining the other ingredients.