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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Favorite Vinaigrette (My House Dressing)

Making your own salad dressing is so easy  once you learn the basic rule for any vinaigrette: 1 part vinegar to 2 parts olive oil. Then you can add any seasonings your family likes to make your own Family House Dressing : ) This can be made right in your salad bowl and whisked before adding your salad or you can make a larger batch straight in a jar skipping the whisking and shaking instead and then storing in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.  I also have a tweak for a  Lemon Dressing, Blue Cheese Dressing, and a Creamy Vinaigrette below.
2 ounces (2 parts) olive oil: extra virgin
1 ounce (1 part) wine vinegar: white or red wine or balsamic

1/4- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard (This is the emulsifier)
1 good healthy pinch of salt
fresh ground black pepper
Seasonings: 1  garlic clove minced (Or you can use anything your family likes: Italian Seasonings, Herbes de Provence, Fresh Cilantro or Parsley, Minced Shallot or Onion etc....)
In the salad bowl whisk together the garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and any other seasonings you like.
While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.(Or make this in a jar and shake to blend keeps in fridge for 2 weeks, it must be set out a few minutes before using to De-solidify the oil.)
You can now add the salad right on top and place in the fridge, but do not toss or coat it until ready to eat.
Just before serving toss and coat the salad with the dressing.
Creamy Vinaigrette
Add 1/4 cup sour cream, yogurt, or buttermilk to the mixture after the oil has been added and whisk until smooth.
Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
This is much lighter version than you find usually served with Hot Wings which makes it perfect for salad, all I do is make the basic vinaigrette and then I add about 1/4-12 cup crumbled (into very small pieces) Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese.You can just whisk smooth and keep some of the chunks or give it a wiz in the blender for a richer smoother dressing. This vinaigrette version also has much more flavor due to the garlic and Dijon.
Lemon Dressing
Whenever you make a lemon or any citrus based dressing you use half juice and half olive oil since citrus juice is not as strong as vinegar.You will also omit Dijon Mustard since it is too strong for the light lemon flavor.
Hints & Notes
  • If you are making a large batch do not add too much garlic, 1 clove will go pretty far!
  • I use a mini measuring cup I got from the Dollar Store that is marked in ounces this makes it very easy to  figure out the 2 to 1 ratio as needed.

  • You can find those old Good Seasonings Salad Bottles, the kind used to make your own dressing with pre- packaged spice packets, at thrift stores and they are already marked  for the oil and vinegar by the correct 2 to 1 ratio.

  • This photo is of my favorite Dijon Mustard and Balsamic Vinegar to use in my vinaigrette, I get both from Trader Joes and each is under $2.

1 comment:

Rose said...

This sounds fabulous Ann. I will try it tonight. Thank you!