Make your own Salad Dressing

Spring and summer will bring fresh salads to many dinner tables and making your own salad dressing is surprisingly easy.  When you make dressing, you are able to tailor it to your taste and control the ingredients, making it a healthier option.  It all comes down to 4 main components: base, oil, acid and seasoning.  Here is a breakdown of each ingredient and how to use them.

Base
First give your dressing a base.  A base will give the dressing flavor and will also help to emulsify the dressing and hold it together.  The amount of base you need will depend on your taste and the amount of dressing you are making.  I usually start with 1-2 tablespoons.  Some bases to try include:

Dijon Mustard
Raspberry jam
Mayonnaise
Honey

Oil
Oil will be the foundation for your dressing.  When you add your oil to the base, you will want to stream it in slowly while you whisk.  Most people go directly to Olive Oil, but there are a variety of oils you can choose from and each will give you a different flavor.  Here are some examples of oils to try in your dressing:

G rapeseed Oil
Olive Oil
Canola Oil
Sunflower Seed oil

Acid
Adding an acid to your dressing will further emulsify it and will help balance the flavor of the oil.  Vinegars make a great acid for salad dressing, but any kind of citrus such as lemon, grapefruit or lime will work as well.  Here are some acids to try:

Red wine vinegar
Balsamic vinegar
Grapefruit Juice
Champagne vinegar

Seasoning
Finally, seasoning your dressing to taste will help to refine the flavor.  It can be something as simple as salt and pepper or something as fresh and chopped herbs.  Here are some examples of seasonings to try:

Fresh chopped basil
dried tarragon
Garlic powder
dried dill

When you are making your dressing, be sure to whisk while you add each ingredient and don’t be afraid to taste as you go and experiment with new flavors! Making your own dressing is one of the best ways to try new things while cooking.

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2 Comments

Filed under Cook

2 responses to “Make your own Salad Dressing

  1. barefoot1

    Looks like the salad dressing matrix from Eat This, Not That.

    • Anne

      The Salad Dressing Matrix? That sounds intriguing…I might need to go pick up a copy of Eat This, Not That!

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