Guide to Homemade Salad Dressings
If you make a lot of salads, you might get bored with the same old couple of bottles in the fridge. You can increase your salads’ originality (and save some money) by making your own. Bonus: It’s very easy!
Here are the very simple†basic ingredients you should have on hand to make your own fabulous dressings. Use your creativity, and the sky’s the limit! †
Oil. Use extra virgin olive oil with a bright, fruity flavor. Often, the darker green the oil is, the better its flavor. Many farmerís markets and grocery stores have olive oil tasting stations. Test a few and pick your favorite. If the oil tastes good on plain bread, itíll be great on greens. The bold flavors of sesame and nut oils also stand out in homemade dressings.
Vinegar. Wine vinegars are classic in vinaigrettes, but ciders and balsamics work well, too. Opt for an aged balsamic if you want a rich, sweet dressing.
Salt. Sea salt is much more flavorful than table salt, and a coarse grind adds texture to dressings. Try various flavored or smoked salts for different effects.
Pepper. You can experiment with any of the many kinds of peppercorns, but the key to delicious seasoning is always freshness. Buy whole peppercorns and use a grinder.
Garlic and Herbs. Be generous with seasonally available fresh herbs, and add finely diced fresh or roasted garlic to taste.
Additional seasonings. Play around to find the combo thatís destined to become your signature household recipe. Classic standbys include mustard, sugar, olives, anchovies, smashed berries and various cheeses. Add a little of something that entices you, taste and adjust. You might consider substituting citrus juice for vinegar or bacon grease for oil.
Need some inspiration? Try these four amazing salad dressing recipes!
Photo by Tim Nauman