Zesty, earthy oregano vinaigrette is easy to make with only 3 ingredients. Handy to have in the fridge ready to go for your everyday salads.
Why You’ll Love Our Oregano Vinaigrette
Our oregano vinaigrette recipe uses only 3 ingredients – dried oregano, red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. And together, they offer a versatile dressing that pairs well with salads, grilled vegetables, lamb roast or even as a marinade.
I adore the earthy notes that dried oregano brings to the table and how the acidity of red wine vinegar counterbalances the warmth. Combined with a sharp extra virgin olive oil, oregano vinaigrette can lift a simple salad, much like our classic Greek salad recipe.
Whipped up in just a couple of minutes, oregano vinaigrette is a zesty and aromatic salad dressing we love to use any day of the week.
What is Oregano?
Many of us associate oregano with the “pizza herb” which is often sprinkled over large pizza slices.
Oregano, a perennial herb from the mint family, is a petite plant with purple flowers and olive-green leaves. Native to Greece, it’s a cornerstone of Mediterranean cooking and is also widely used in Mexican cuisine.
Oregano: Fresh vs Dried
Dried oregano is the more common version used in cooking. Sold in brown-green, crushed flakes, most people prefer this version as it is more subtle and has an aromatic fragrance to it. Dried oregano compliments with dominating other ingredients.
You can use dried oregano in pasta, pizza, marinades, sauces, stews and our homemade Italian dressing recipe. It adds a subtle earthy flavour with a hint of mint to the dish.
Fresh oregano, on the other hand, has a more intense aroma and a strong woody flavour. Too much fresh oregano can make the dish bitter.
Therefore it is used more as a seasoning and then discarded before eating. For example, you can add sprigs of fresh oregano to roast chicken or roast fish but remove it before serving.
Another great use of fresh oregano is to infuse oils or add flavour to marinated cheese. We want the earthy notes but not the bitter taste when you eat fresh oregano.
Dried oregano: a staple in our herb rack as I love adding dried oregano to pasta sauces and marinating lamb roasts. Oregano adds a subtle yet earthy flavour to dishes. Quintessential in Mediterranean cooking.
Red wine vinegar: a versatile pantry staple made from red wine. Its pronounced acidity and robust flavour make it great for making zingy vinaigrettes.
Extra virgin olive oil: I chose to use extra virgin olive oil to compensate for the acidity in the red wine vinegar and the earthy flavours of oregano. The peppery flavour will act as a counterbalance for the other two.
Variations and Substitutions
Fresh oregano variation: You can use fresh oregano in place of dried oregano in this salad dressing but would make sure to remove leaves from stems and finely chop. If you do use fresh oregano, less is more in this instance.
Red wine vinegar substitute: If you don’t have red wine vinegar in your pantry, try lemon juice as a substitute in the oregano salad dressing.
Other ingredients: For something a little more, you can add minced garlic and Dijon mustard for extra punch.
In a mason jar, add extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano and salt and pepper and shake until combined.
How to Make This Dressing Perfectly [Expert Tips]
Good quality oil and vinegar: As there are only 3 main ingredients in this red wine vinaigrette recipe, make sure you have quality extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. This will enhance the overall flavours of the salad.
How to Store
Store the oregano vinaigrette in mason jar in the refrigerator for several days.
Before using it, give it a good shake to recombine the ingredients.
Best Salad for This Dressing
This is a cucumber and tomato salad but it ain’t boring! Mix in tangy tamarillo, aromatic basil, creamy crumbled goat cheese and top with toasted panko breadcrumbs, you have a tasty salad worth sharing.
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- In a mason jar, add extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano and salt and pepper and shake until combined.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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