Kalamata olives and basil add a ton of pizazz to a simple oil and vinegar salad dressing. This 10 minute vinaigrette will be your go to dressing for the spring and summer. And… it’s naturally gluten-free, paleo and vegan!

Olive salad dressing in mason jar with salad in a bowl in the background

Why We Love This Recipe For Kalamata Olive Dressing

I happened to have basil on hand because I have been treating myself to some locally grown hot house basil lately. I picked it up when I made this pesto salmon, and now I guess you could say I am on a basil kick. What can I say, whatever gets you through the root vegetable blues.

So I decided to up my game and throw some basil and a few of my all-time favorite kalamata olives into my usual simple oil and vinegar dressing. This vinaigrette is a total flavor explosion and so quick and easy to make.

As far as flavor combinations are concerned, pair this dressing with salads based with tender yet bitter greens like Belgian endive with chopped egg, romaine hearts mixed with raddichio and finely chopped escarole. The bitterness of the olives with the acidity of the vinegar will cancel out the bitterness of the greens and make them seem sweeter and make the basil really the star of the show.  I think feta and fresh chevre would be fantastic with this too. Radishes and chickpeas are excellent goodies to add in with the greens.

You can also drizzle it over sliced cucumbers or grilled vegetables. During peak tomato season, you’ll want to have this Olive Vinaigrette on hand at all times because it will make tomatoes even better, if that is possible.

Hand drizzling olive salad dressing from spoon onto a salad in a bowl

Key Ingredients For This Olive Oil Basil Dressing

Kalamata Olives

Kalamata olives are much larger and have a milder almost fruity flavor compared to black olives. They still have a sharp saltiness, but their texture is much softer and when chopped will almost melt into this dressing.

Basil

The basil adds sparkling freshness to this briney dressing. I love the way it tastes! I have no doubt oregano would work as well so if you’d prefer a more woodsey flavor try that instead, just make sure you use far less. I’d start with a tablespoon or so of chopped fresh oregano in place of the basil.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Extra-virgin olive oil is cold pressed from olives meaning that minimal heat is used and no chemicals are added. This allows the oil to retain the highest amount of nutrients and flavor.

Other Ingredients For This Recipe

  • ½ clove garlic
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
Olive salad dressing in mason jar with salad in a bowl in the background

Instructions To Make This Olive Oil Basil Dressing

To mix this recipe, all you need is a bowl and a whisk. First grate your garlic. I like to use a rasp-style grater to do this so the garlic nearly dissolves into the dressing. You’ll also want to remove the pits from your olives and chop them. Chop the basil as well.

Then whisk the garlic, oil, vinegar, mustard and salt in a medium bowl until emulsified. Whisk in olives and basil. Season with pepper and more salt if desired.

FAQs and Expert Tips

What is the difference between kalamata olives and black olives?

Kalamata olives are much bigger and have a more longer and thinner shape than black olives. Black olives have a much stronger flavor and firmer texture. Kalamata olives have a slight fruity sweet flavor and a softer texture.

Can a vinaigrette be frozen?

Yes, stored in an airtight container a vinaigrette can be frozen for up to 6 months. Let thaw in the fridge and whisk well before serving. Fresh herbs like basil will darken in color and the flavor maybe be less pronounced.

How long do homemade dressings last?

A simple vinaigrette will last in the fridge up to 2 weeks. Dressings made with fresh ingredients like herbs or shallots will last 1 week.

More Vinaigrette Recipes To Try

Additional Salad Recipes To Try

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10 minute kalamata olive and basil vinaigrette | Naturally gluten-free healthyseasonalrecipes.com

Kalamata Olive and Basil Vinaigrette

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Salad Dressing
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Simple 10 minute Kalamata Olive and Basil Vinaigrette recipe. Perfect to pour over Greek Salads, Chopped cucumber salad, and drizzled over summer tomatoes. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.


Scale

Ingredients

  • ½ clove garlic, grated on a rasp-style grater
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Whisk garlic, oil, vinegar, mustard and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until emulsified. Whisk in olives and basil. Season with pepper and more salt if desired.

Notes

Storing Tips

A simple vinaigrette will last in the fridge up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Dressings made with fresh ingredients like herbs or shallots will last 1 week.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 166 calories
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1 g