Homemade salad dressings are tastier, cheaper, and allow for experimentation. Oil and vinegar dressing can be made with garlic, salt, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, and black pepper. Other ingredients like fresh herbs, Parmesan cheese, shallots, and sugar can be added for more flavor. Lemon and lime juice or orange juice with vinegar can also be used. Balsamic, red wine, or white wine vinegar are recommended. Dressings can be stored in a jar and shaken to blend.
The fresh salad dressings you make at home may taste better than the store-bought varieties. Furthermore, they offer the cook the opportunity to experiment, trying different flavors, without spending a lot of money on seasoning the bottles. Perhaps best of all, homemade salad dressings can be made with just a few ingredients, often items most people already have on hand. When you prepare your salad dressing, you can save time that could otherwise be spent traveling to the grocery store.
One of the simplest and most popular salad dressings to make at home is oil and vinegar. To make this salad dressing, you will need a clove of garlic. Start by crushing the garlic clove in a bowl. Then add a pinch of salt to the bowl; the exact amount of salt will depend on your taste, but it’s best to add a small amount now and then add more as needed when it comes time to taste. Next, add about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon (2.5 to 3.7 milliliters) of mustard; it’s best to avoid the dull yellow flavor and go for something a little spicier.
When making this type of salad dressing, save the vinegar and oil for last. Add about 1 to 2 tablespoons (14.8 to 29.6 milliliters) of vinegar to the mixture. The exact amount will vary based on taste, so you may want to try a different amount each time until you get a dressing that you 100% like. Use a fork to stir the vinegar into the garlic-salt-mustard mixture.
Now add 3 tablespoons (44.4 milliliters) of extra virgin olive oil and mix it with a fork. Most people recommend a 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar, but tasting it as you go along will help you decide what’s best for your palate. Finally, follow up with some black pepper. Fresh ground is best.
This dressing only takes five minutes. You can prepare the salad dressing before serving your meal or prepare it ahead of time and store it in a clean jar. However, you may not want to stop with this basic oil and vinegar recipe. To give your salad more flavor, you can make salad dressings with fresh herbs and even add Parmesan cheese to spice things up. Shallots and sugar are also popular add-ons.
If you’re really in a pinch and need little salad dressing on hand, a simple blend of lemon and lime juice adds flavorful zest to the salad. You can also mix orange juice with vinegar for more flavor. It’s best to use balsamic, red wine, or white wine vinegar when making your salad dressing, as they offer the best flavor. As an alternative to mixing the dressing in a bowl, you can place your ingredients in a jar, seal it tightly, and shake the jar until the ingredients are well blended.