What Is Raspberry Vinaigrette?

M.C. Huguelet

Raspberry vinaigrette is a dressing consisting of oil which is flavored with raspberry vinegar. It is an emulsion, or a uniform mixture containing ingredients that are not easily combined. In addition to oil and vinegar, raspberry vinaigrette may contain ingredients such as shallots, fresh raspberries, honey, juice, and assorted spices. This type of vinaigrette can be used to dress salads or to marinate meats and vegetables, and due to its fruity taste, it may be more appealing to finicky eaters than many other dressings. Raspberry vinaigrette is widely available in supermarkets and can also be prepared at home with minimal effort.

Some raspberry vinaigrettes contain shallots.
Some raspberry vinaigrettes contain shallots.

The main ingredients in raspberry vinaigrette are raspberry-flavored vinegar and oil. As with all vinaigrettes, the usual formula for preparing this type of dressing is one part vinegar to three parts oil. Normally, when oil and vinegar are combined, they immediately separate. In order to achieve a smooth, uniform consistency when making this vinaigrette, the oil must be added to the vinegar very slowly, and the mixture must be rapidly whisked as the oil is being added. This process is called emulsifying, and the resulting vinaigrette is classified as an emulsion.

Raspberry vinaigrette dressings go well with green salads.
Raspberry vinaigrette dressings go well with green salads.

In addition to the vinegar and oil that constitute this dressing’s base, many raspberry vinaigrette recipes call for ingredients that contribute layers of flavor. It is quite common for this type of vinaigrette to be seasoned with salt and black pepper. Additionally, some cooks add finely chopped shallots, a spoonful of honey, a dash of fruit juice, or some fresh raspberries.

Perhaps the most common use for raspberry vinaigrette is dressing salads. It can also be used to marinate meat or chopped vegetables prior to cooking. Due to the fact that this dressing usually has a light, fruity flavor, some children and fussy eaters may find it more palatable than many other dressing options.

Many restaurants count raspberry vinaigrette among their salad dressing offerings. The dressing can also usually be purchased in supermarkets. Home cooks who wish to prepare their own raspberry vinaigrette can find a wealth of recipe options by consulting cookbooks or Internet-based cooking sites. Homemade versions of this dressing can normally be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. It should be noted that the dressing will likely begin to separate shortly after it has been made, but that it generally can be re-emulsified with a few quick strokes of a whisk.

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