Fuss-Free Fridays: Red Wine Vinaigrette Recipe


Earlier this week, one cool afternoon when the sun was still up and the nearby running track oval was empty, I was doing my usual afternoon jog, getting back to my regular schedule after a couple of weeks break. It was just Mother Nature and I. You know when dogs stick out their faces out from a moving car and you can see happiness on their faces (and a shampoo commercial in there somewhere)? That’s sort of how outdoor running feels to me, wind against my skin and combing through my hair, foot to earth one step at a time. I was on my 8th lap, feeling all Zen and going with the flow, when I opened my eyes in slow-mo and my brain started screaming: “HOLY SH**…IT’S COMING AT YOU!!! WATCH OUT DON’T OPEN YOUR MOUTH…!!!” SPLAT. PBBBTTTT. Gigantic dragonfly recomposes itself mid-stumbling-flight and I in the verge of punching my fist up to the skies and breaking into insane laughter. Way to ruin the moment Mother Nature!

So that’s one of the simplest, grounding things I do: jog or run. After completing a beginner’s running program similar to Couch to 5K and running my first 5-km race, I’ve transitioned from being all about yoga to someone who craves running. I can slip into my shirt and shorts, lace up my shoes and I’m good to go. No fuss, just get up and go. It’s easy. Sometimes, I just get smacked right in the face by bugs or insects.

And that’s how I like my Fridays, too, minus the bugs and insects.

It’s an ongoing life project to balance work,  having a life outside of work, and then blogging. I love doing all three. I don’t want to be flighty or have any one of them become a chore, because they all require time. So, in an effort to balance what could sometimes be a very insane blogging schedule when I get so much into it, I’m going to start doing what I call Fuss-Free Fridays. This is when I’ll post easy recipes. Those that you won’t have to stress about — and let’s face it, some could trigger fears just from a quick glance at the length! I won’t have to sweat writing long and winding step-by-step procedures and you won’t have to bug your eyes out reading all that. Fair deal?

If you want to join me for Fuss Free Fridays: leave a link to your easy recipe blog post in the comments OR if you don’t have a blog, leave the recipe in the comments. If there’s enough participation, perhaps we can do this on a regular basis. What say you?

Now here’s an easy one to make and something that you can just use as a loose guide for creating your own vinaigrette. Admittedly I’m not a huge salad person, but when I do fall in love with a dressing or a salad, I become loyal to it.

Let’s start the weekend right and relax. Happy Fuss Free Friday!


Makes a little less than 1 ½ cup of vinaigrette

This is a good basic vinaigrette recipe that goes well with your choice of wine vinegar and/or fruit-flavored wine vinegar, including the addition of fruit juices. It was inspired by the basic vinaigrette recipe from the book, Earth to Table: Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann (2009 Random House Canada). ~ Joy


  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper


1.     Combine shallots and vinegars in a medium bowl and let it stand for 15 minutes.

2.     Whisk in sugar and mustard. Slowly add oil in a slow and steady stream, whisking until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.

Vinaigrette can be covered and refrigerated for up to a week.

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  • September 24, 2010 11:08 am

    I love the idea of fuss free Fridays! My vinaigrette recipe is usually eyeballed, but it’s basically a ratio of 1 part vinegar:1 part mustard: 3 parts olive oil. Sometimes I add honey.

    • joy
      September 28, 2010 8:08 am

      I’m with you — I usually just eyeball it and tweak according to taste. :) And yay for fuss free fridays!

  • September 24, 2010 5:41 pm

    I just like the simplicity of this salad! perfect treat for me, will try to make it!

    • joy
      September 28, 2010 8:08 am

      Some days, simple is perfect. :)

  • September 24, 2010 10:36 pm

    I love salads. So simple yet so healthy. I like your twist as well.

    • joy
      September 28, 2010 8:09 am

      Thanks, Katerina! Quick fix fresh greens or fruits are my “fast food”.

  • September 25, 2010 2:05 am

    Yay for Fuss Free Fridays! As I could just spend all my times baking, I need easy, fuss-free recipes for meals. I’m in! Here is one I just posted because it really is so easy and quick to put together and the fruit is completely interchangeable for whatever is in season or whatever you have on hand. Little work for a fabulous dessert!

    Nectarine Crisp


    And good for you and that energy and courage to get out and jog! I force myself to exercise everyday but I do it in the comfort of my own livingroom :-) And when I was a kid I was biking home from school and a wasp flew right into my open mouth! Since that day I try and keep my mouth closed!

    • joy
      September 28, 2010 8:12 am

      I shouldn’t have clicked on the crisp this morning. Hunger pangs…hahaha!!!

      You just reminded me of biking with sunscreen in the heat and humidity of summer. That combo is disastrous, like your face is a living fly trap. lol.

  • September 25, 2010 2:06 am

    Oh I was so taken up by Fuss Free Fridays and your story that I just went back and read the vinaigrette recipe and I love it! Will definitely try it. Love the addition of BOTH mustard and raspberry vinegar!

    • joy
      September 28, 2010 8:13 am

      I’m smitten with fruit vinegars these days. Try it! :) Ooh, that reminds me, I saw a recipe for them. I’ll have to try making my own.

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