Basil Peppercorn Vinaigrette ~ Savory Simple ~

Basil. Bright green, fresh, sweet and fragrant. It’s a smell that reminds me of both spring and summer; of my unruly garden; of pesto pasta with a glass of white wine. I’m not sure that I could ever pick just one fresh herb to call my favorite but I certainly gravitate toward basil quite a bit.

Basil Peppercorn Vinaigrette ~ Savory Simple ~

This vinaigrette is inspired by a restaurant that I worked at several years ago. The owners were in charge of a series of shops including a small local grocery store on the same block. There was never a concern about not having fresh produce available right when we needed it, which was was quite a luxury compared to some of the other places I worked. It allowed us to use fresh herbs daily to create inspired dressings and coulis.

Basil Peppercorn Vinaigrette ~ Savory Simple ~

The key to making this vinaigrette is blanching the basil. Basil will turn brown very quickly once it’s cut and blanching it preserves that beautiful bright green color for a vinaigrette that will elevate even the most basic salad.


Basil Peppercorn Vinaigrette
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: approximately ¾ cup
  • 1 ounce fresh basil (approximately ¾ cup when chopped finely)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  1. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Fill a medium sized bowl with ice water.
  2. Add basil to the boiling water, making sure to push it down so that it blanches evenly. After 15 seconds, scoop out the wilted basil and add it to the ice water to halt the cooking process. Once cold, user paper towels to try to squeeze out as much water as possible.
  3. Place the basil, olive oil, vinegars, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper into a blender and puree on high speed until smooth.


Make sure to enter my current giveaway! It’s a BIG one; I’ve teamed up with several bloggers to give away a Canon EOS Rebel T3i valued at $580 to one lucky winner! The contest runs through April 7, 2013.

More basil recipes

Savory Simple – Basil Mint Ice Cream
Savory Simple – Basil Apple Lime Juice
Savory Simple – Pasta with Cashew Truffle Cream Sauce
London Bakes – Rhubarb and Basil Galette
Farmgirl Gourmet – Shrimp with Fresh Basil, Thai Style
Foodie Crush – Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

  • Lisa

    This looks amazing. I’m saving it for summer when my garden is in bloom!

  • Averie

    Those basil leaves are so sharp, clear, in perfect focus that I could jump thru the screen and rip them off the stem. Wow. Amazing photography. And the recipe isn’t too shabby either :)

  • Debra

    I always have so much basil this is a practical but really good choice for me! The photos are really great! I sure do struggle with taking photos of anything I cook! I admire!

  • daisy

    Stunning post! You took a simple vinaigrette (that sounds and looks delicious) to new heights!


  • Chung-Ah

    This may be the most gorgeous vinaigrette ever!

  • Gerry

    Fantastic color and great tip about blanching the leaves! Thanks :)

  • Roger Stowell

    We’re no where near basil time yet but I’m so looking forward to making deep green pesto like that in you pictures. Beautiful

  • kita

    A – Amazing photos!
    B – I am addicted to basil like a cat on the nip. And this vinaigrette looks perfect!

  • Jessica

    This looks incredible! I’ll have to remember to give blanching a try the next time I use basil!

  • Tieghan

    I think Basil is mt favorite herb! Gosh I want to eat this with a spoon!

  • carol

    I can’t ever get enough basil in my life! This is crazy, but I buy the fresh organic plants from Wegman’s throughout the winter, just to have the scent in my house! This vinaigrette is wonderful Jen, and I can’t wait to try it! <3 <3 <3

  • Marie

    I love everything about this! There’s nothing better than basil in the springtime. Pinning to try!

  • Marie

    Love everything about this! There’s nothing better than basil in the springtime. Pinning to try!

  • Joanne

    These photos are MAJORLY stunning, Jen. Fantastic vinaigrette!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Totally blown away by these photos and the vinaigrette. Perfection!!

  • Nutmeg Nanny

    This looks divine, I feel like I can smell it through the screen :)

  • Lauren

    Gorgeous! I’ve never blanched basil before….I very intrigued!

  • Lauren

    Gorgeous, pics! I’ve never blanched basil before….can’t wait to try!

  • Valerie

    Green is my favourite colour! Who knew vinaigrette could be so breathtaking? :D I’m *so* ready for the lush, green colours of summer now.

  • Shanna

    I seriously need photography lessons from you!! Stunning! Also I never knew about the blanching of the basil to keep it green – but that makes total sense!!

  • Georgia

    How fabulous is this! I can picture myself pouring this over all of my salads this summer. Lovely recipe and photos, Jen!

  • fabiola

    So freaking pretty! I love basil any which way and the photo does this recipe super justice. Perfect!

  • Angie

    A great dressing recipe, Jen, and the photos are so beautiful.

  • Jen B

    Wow such beautiful photography! Love basil – I bet this vinaigrette tastes amazing.

  • Kirsten

    Really really wonderful photos. I’m taking that 30 days to better food photography course now and I just love how your basil is composed and lit.
    And I’m nearly out of the pesto I put up last summer, but I’ve planned out space in the bed for another massive basil haul this summer.


  • Jen L

    Oh! I’ve always wondered why chefs recommend blanching the basil! Great tip, Jen! It really pays to know someone with the inside scoop! Hehehe…Your vinaigrette have such a delicious, bright green colour – it’s absolutely gorgeous! I think this will be a staple at home from now on…

  • Susan

    Wow, Jen!

    Not only does this sound delicious, your photos are incredible!

  • Tracey

    Oh wow, what a beautiful vibrant green color on the vinaigrette! Love that blanching tip, I had no idea!

  • Marta

    basil is one of my favorite herbs. Next to a rosemarin and mint… ok I have quite a lot of the favorie ones. Your vinaigrette will taste amazing with pasta. Simple but delicious taste.

  • Marta

    basil is one of my favorite herbs. Next to a rosemarin and mint… ok I have quite a lot of the favorie ones. Your vinaigrette will taste amazing with pasta. Simple but delicious taste.

  • ashley – baker by nature

    What a s-t-u-n-n-e-r, Jen!!! Wow, just totally smitten with this vibrant and bright vinaigrette!!!!

  • Anna

    Stunning! I could eat it with a spoon!

  • Jennie

    Jen, this vinaigrette sounds divine. I love fresh basil. For me, it signifies summer.

  • Brandon

    Love this! I’ve been so obsessed recently with cilantro that I’ve been totally neglecting other herbs. Especially basil! My Italian family would be so disappointed.

  • Kiran

    Divine! Love Basil this time of the year!!

  • Laura

    Yum! Pinning now!

    For usefulness my favorite is cilantro. For swoon inducing fragrance my favorite is Thai basil. Not that you asked. :)

  • natalie @ wee eats

    this looks AMAZING – how long do you suppose it would keep in the fridge?

    • Jennifer Farley

      A few days, I would imagine. I’m not entirely sure because we always use it up pretty quickly!

  • Laura Dembowski

    I really like basil too but I find it a little hard to work with as it spoils so quickly. have never seen a dressing like this but it sounds really good!I

  • Julia |

    Beautiful salad dressing! The color is so vibrant! Pinned!

  • Lisa @ The Cooking Bride

    I just planted a slew of basil in my garden. I hope I end up with a bumper crop so I can make this!

  • crystal

    this looks delicious!