March 23, 2022
Making Salad Dressing at Home
I am a big fan of Salads and using vinaigrettes on roasted vegetables in grain salad bowls. I am always disappointed when I buy Salad dressings as they are usually full of preservatives and gunk and pack lots of calories for a little flavor. I read a book by my friend Pam Powell, called “Salad Days”. Pam is the original Salad Girl. I learned her basic vinaigrette recipe from there I have adopted it and added herbs, emulsifiers, and different flavoring depending on the type of flavor profile I am looking for.
Let me show you how I do it.
The basic salad dressing for two or to dress a medium-size salad is simple. It is a French formula that calls for 1 tablespoon vinegar or acid for every 3 tablespoons of oil. From there you can vary the elements you use for flavoring. I personally like a more zippy vinaigrette so if I am using lemon juice or a milder vinegar I will go 2 Tablespoons Acid to 3 Tablespoons Oil. Test your tastebuds as you go.
Oils to use for salad dressing can be Olive, Walnut, Avocado, Sesame, Canola or Sunflower Oil.
The vinegar you might consider is Balsamic which has a strong, rich woodsy flavor vs Red Wine Vinegar that’s a bit lighter and fruitier, or Champagne or White wine vinegar which is lighter still. Rice wine vinegar typically lends an Asian flair while Apple Cider vinegar pairs well with Fall vegetables and Shrubs are perfect vinegar stand-ins for fruitier flavors. Generally, I stick to Lemon Juice unless I want the dressing to be more assertive in flavor.
Emulsifiers are ingredients that give the vinaigrette more body like Dijon Mustard, Egg Yolk, Anchovy Paste, Tomato Paste, Yogurt, Mayonaise, Tahini, Blended Avocado, Nut Butters, or Buttermilk
Sweeteners are very often used in vinaigrettes to balance the acid of the vinegar. I like to use Maple Syrup or Honey or even Fruit jams, preserves or Shrubs, and Fruit Juices.,
Lastly, seasonings like Italian seasonings, fruit zests, Salt and Pepper, chopped herbs, garlic, or shallots can all create additional flavor profiles.
Here are 3 variations on the basic salad dressing recipe that should have you mixing up your own dressings in no time.
|Olive||Red wine||Dijon Mustard||Honey||Herbs|
|Walnut||White wine||Egg Yolk||Maple Syrup||Salts|
|Sesame||Champagne||Anchovy Paste||Jams and Preserves||Peppers|
|Avocado||Balsamic||Tomato Paste||Fruit Juices||Soy Sauce|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||Buttermilk||Citrus zests|
|Nut butter||Green Onions|
Homemade Salad Dressings
Lemon and Caper Herb Vinaigrette
This lemon and herb caper vinaigrette is a classic. Use it on a grain bowl, on a farro salad, or as a dressing for a quinoa salad. I love this dressing poured over and tossed with warm new potatoes