You can use this for salads and for other dishes too — as a marinade for example. Once you've mastered the basic dressing, you can add a dollop of your own creativity by changing the flavor with a variety of ingredients.
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, thyme, salt, pepper, and basil in a screw-top jar. Cover and shake. Enjoy up to 2 tablespoons of salad dressing with a meal.
Variations: The basic ratio for any vinaigrette is 1 part vinegar to 3 or 4 parts oil. Instead of balsamic vinegar, you can use any other type of vinegar (such as red wine or cider), or substitute lemon juice for some of the vinegar. Shallots and fresh herbs make nice additions, as does mustard. To ensure proper mixing of the ingredients, either shake well or mix with a wire whisk.