Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Homemade Salad Dressing

I love salad. Well, that's a bit of a stretch. A more accurate statement is that I'm trying to love salad because it's healthy and I know I should be eating more of it. And sometimes when I have the right mix of dressing, croutons, and lettuce, I can convince myself that it's tastier than a piece of chocolate cake. But that's rare. Okay, extremely rare.

I've searched high and low for the perfect salad dressing. Mr. Handsome's favorite is Hidden Valley Ranch, but I'm not a huge fan. (There's an amusing story behind that...I'll have to tell it sometime.)

I quickly grew tired of purchasing an entire bottle of store-bought salad dressing, only to find with the first bite that it just wasn't very good. At first, I was disciplined and would force myself to finish the entire thing, but that just made me avoid salads, so I convinced myself that it was healthier to toss it in the garbage and try another type. Well, after going through about six bottles of salad dressing, I decided I needed a new method for finding the perfect salad dressing.

When I was a child, my mother often made her own oil and vinegar salad dressing...a little of this, a little of that. Sometimes it turned out great, other times it was far from perfect. So I recently began my own quest for the perfect homemade salad dressing recipe. After much experimentation, I came up with a winner. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Homemade Salad Dressing

Ingredients:
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
3/8 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/8 teaspoon dried mustard
5 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
Whisk ingredients together, and voila...homemade oil and vinegar salad dressing that might just make you fall in love with salad.

I store mine in an old coconut oil jar from Aldi, but I recommend switching out the lid (which contains BPA) for a Ball/Kerr canning lid. The dressing hardens in the refrigerator, but if you toss it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds, it will return to its liquid form.

24 comments:

  1. Anonymous5/10/2017

    I also like adding a little bit of garlic powder to my salads, it adds a very nice touch, in my opinion!

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    Replies
    1. I agree! Garlic powder adds a nice touch to many recipes.

      Ellie

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  2. Great job on not giving up! I think homemade dressings are so tasty. My fave at the moment has extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, grated ginger and hemp seeds.

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    1. That would be tasty! :)

      Ellie

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  3. Anonymous5/10/2017

    My go-to dressing is olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a touch of maple syrup. Goes excellent with any kind of salad (leafy greens topped with some grilled meat or shrimp, or spinach topped with strawberries and nuts... Yum!)

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    Replies
    1. I do love maple syrup! And spinach salad. That would be wonderful!

      Ellie

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  4. Anonymous5/10/2017

    I always mix up small batches. I use 1 part vinegar of some sort to 2 parts olive oil (light or dark). And then I add a little sugar to cut the tartness.

    So if I use 2 Tbsp. of vinegar, I use 4 Tbsp. of oil, and then add 1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. of sugar, depending on the vinegar and how tart or sweet I want the dressing.

    From there, I add whatever seasonings I want. Nobody has mentioned Dijon mustard (used with red wine vinegar) or dry mustard powder yet, but those are good add-ins. Actually, almost any herbs and spices, fresh or dried, can work, depending on which flavor direction you want to take the dressing.

    There are lots of different vinegars that make great dressings. I found that we don't like rice wine vinegar, so I never use it. But red wine, white wine, cider, sherry, balsamic, and the fruit-infused vinegars = yum.

    Did you know there's a chain of stores that sells vinegars and spices? Look up Vom Fass. They're like a Penzey's Spices, but with vinegars.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like you're an experienced maker of homemade salad dressing. Thanks for sharing your wisdom on vinegars. I've been to many spice stores, but I haven't been to a vinegar store. I'll have to look that up.

      Ellie

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  5. Anonymous5/10/2017

    Equal parts fresh squeezed lemon juice and oil makes a good start for dressing. Add little sugar if needed.

    I make tons of marinated veggie salads in the summer and that's often the base for the dressing.

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  6. Anonymous5/10/2017

    I've been making my own salad dressings for ages. My basic one is 3 Tbsp. white vinegar, 6 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 and 1/2 Tbsp. sugar, and sprinkles of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

    Weird as it sounds, I sometimes make a simple dressing from half mayo, half ketchup, and some black pepper. Tastes kind of like Thousand Island dressing. I can mix a real small amount of that when I just need it for myself.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous5/13/2017

      I make that too but with out black pepper. I use half mayo,half ketchup and a little bit of milk.

      Delete
  7. Anonymous5/10/2017

    Did you know that there are plastic Ball jar lids for storage? I don't know if they're BPA-free (that can probably be researched), but they are handy as can be and they're only 1 piece, unlike the 2-piece regular canning jar lid. They sell boxes of them at Target & Wal-Mart.

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    Replies
    1. I love the plastic Ball jar lids too!!

      Delete
  8. Anonymous5/10/2017

    I generally use 3 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, about 1,5 tablespoons Dolcedi (Rigoni di Asiago) to sweeten the dressing, 0,5 teaspoon Herbamare and some pepper (freshly grinded).
    There are different combinations of oil and vinegar I usually use: olive oil and aceto balsamico di Modena, rapeseed oil and apple vinegar, walnut oil and raspberry vinegar.
    Dijon mustard, garlic and fresh herbs match all of the combinations, lemon or orange juice or some cream match the second combination best.

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  9. Anonymous5/10/2017

    Sounds delicious. Thanks for the recipe.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

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  10. Anonymous5/10/2017

    That sounds very good.
    Here are my favorites. I never measure, but these ingredients blend well regardless of proportions;
    -Lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, garlic and parsley. Fresh lemon juice and garlic taste best, but only keep for a few days. You can add water to thin, if necessary. A blender is helpful for this one. It's also good on fish, steamed or stir fried veggies, and chicken.
    -olive oil, fresh lime juice, mustard, oregano,and cumin.
    -olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon thyme, summer savory, garlic.
    -avocado, cider vinegar,
    Enjoy!
    PS I'm looking forward to the next installment of the story of how you and Mr Handsome met.

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  11. Anonymous5/10/2017

    Good Seasons MILD Italian made with balsamic vinegar is our go-to dressing. It is wonderfully flavorful!

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  12. Anonymous5/11/2017

    olive oil, sal and balsamic vinegar. That's all you need to make it healthy and yummy. Mix some lettuce with arugula, boiled egg, tuna, tomato, onion. Mediterranean diet is the healthiest.

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  13. Anonymous5/11/2017

    This is one of my favorite dressings, shared with me by the restaurant chef who developed the recipe:

    In a blender jar, place 1 peeled shallot, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 4 Tbsp. sherry vinegar, and salt & pepper to taste. Puree until smooth.

    Take the center cap off the lid of the blender (my blender has a 2-piece lid so you can leave the larger part on while removing the smaller center part only) & with blender at lowest speed, slowly drizzle in 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of olive oil. Listen for the sound to remain "guttural" and "gravely" to tell you that the mixture is emulsifying. If you add the oil too fast, the sound will be smoother, and the dressing may not blend properly.

    Optional ingredient: Chopped fresh oregano

    This could probably be made in a small food processor, but I've never tried it. You have to have the small opening to drizzle in the oil while the machine is running, so you don't splash everywhere.

    If you substitute another type of vinegar, I cannot guarantee that the results will be palatable. The recipe was developed using sherry vinegar, which is available at Whole Foods or some supermarkets. It's not cheap, but a bottle goes a long way. Once you're hooked on this dressing, you may find that the sherry vinegar was a good investment.

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  14. Anonymous5/11/2017

    I love just olive oil, balsamic vinegar and black pepper...you don't even need to mix it in a jar, you can simply drizzle it over your salad!
    Bee :)

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  15. Anonymous5/11/2017

    I am too used to french and ranch dressing :) Can't say I've tried anything with oil and vinegar and garlic, that doesn't sound appealing to me or my taste buds.

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  16. Anonymous5/14/2017

    Thanks for the recipe, but do look into the dangers of using microwave ovens.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous5/15/2017

      Their is no danger in using microwave ovens. That was just people making up lies.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous5/23/2017

    Thanks for all the recipes!! I really enjoy salads.

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