If you want to make a fabulous salad, take a look at what you are dressing it with. Homemade vinaigrette’s are so simple to make and they will push your salads over the top.
I cannot remember the last time I purchased bottled dressing for a salad.
Many years ago, while visiting my parents in Tahiti, we were invited to some friends house for dinner. We were served a salad that consisted of greens and a vinaigrette. That’s it! My first bite nearly knocked my socks off. It was STRONG, PUNGENT, and burned all the way down. Being polite I continued to eat the salad. I was soon addicted to the salad dressing. I couldn’t stop eating it. I was given a demonstration as to how it was made. The recipe consisted of white vinegar, about 100 cloves of garlic (I’m exaggerating, but seriously close), brown spicy mustard and oil whisked together. It was fabulous! It cleaned out my insides. It was one of the best salads that I have ever had and one of the most simple as well.
I have learned that fabulous salad greens and a great dressing is all that is needed. Remember the greens make the difference. Choose fresh leafy lettuce varieties. Skip over that head of iceberg lettuce. PLEASE! Toss with a quick and easy vinaigrette that you can whip up in just a few quick minutes. Fresh and fabulous.
No recipe is needed. You just need to remember a few simple key ingredients.
Emulsifiers: Dijon, honey mustard, brown spicy mustard, creme fraiche, sour cream or mayonnaise.
I have the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Sprinkle in salt to your taste.
Add a few grinds of fresh ground pepper. Let me repeat that…FRESH GROUND PEPPER. If you only have canned black pepper, give it a toss into the waste basket. I have no use for canned ground black pepper. Try it.
Drizzle in your favorite oil slowly while whisking.
That’s it! This is what I like best tossed with fresh leafy lettuce.
Let’s change it up a bit. Let’s say I want a stronger flavored dressing because I have tossed in kale or spinach.
Add a spoonful of Dijon mustard. This happens to be lemon dill Dijon that I made.
Using an emulsion blender or whisking vigorously.
Begin to mix.
While slowly adding the olive oil.
I have read that one should use a ratio of 1 part acid to 2 parts oil for a salad dressing.
I say the least amount of oil used the better. Adjust to your taste buds.
This takes about 10 seconds.
If the lemon flavor is too tart for your liking, just whisk in more oil.
I’m going to use a pomegranate flavored vinegar (oh yum), mustard with maple syrup, light flavored EVOO, spring honey that I purchased from a stand at the side of the road that is so delicious I’m probably going to be eating it with a spoon, salt and pepper.
Same process. Add some vinegar to a bowl.
Drizzle in a spoonful of honey.
Pinch of salt.
A few grinds of black pepper.
A spoonful of that amazing mustard.
Give it a whisk.
Slowly add olive oil while vigorously whisking.
Add poppy seeds. So much better than the bottled poppy seed dressing (ick)
Remember, this is your salad dressing so you can adjust to your taste. If you want it sweeter add more honey. If you don’t like honey, use sugar.
Don’t forget to find a variety of leafy greens. I love using a mixture for color and flavor.
Remember to lightly dress not drench the lovely greens. Making your own vinaigrette will brighten your salad.
Start creating and share your ideas with the rest of us.
Be sure to check my recipe index for other salad recipes. There are 10 recipes all tossed with a homemade dressing. You can find exact measurements for each recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions, but I want you to try creating without a recipe.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
Simply So Good No-Recipe for Homemade Vinaigrette
1. Acid: Lemon juice or vinegar
2. Oil: Extra virgin Olive oil, Grapeseed oil, Avocado oil, etc.
Nut oils should only be used for flavoring.
3. Seasonings: salt and pepper, garlic, chopped shallots, fresh herbs
4. Emulsifier (optional): Dijon mustard, creme fraiche, sour cream, mayonnaise.
NOTE: Vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for a day or so, but I make mine fresh as needed.
Janet Barton says
HI Tami, Actually you don't have to use an emulsifier. You can just whisk the vinegar, oil and fresh herbs together. I'd probably use a bit of Dijon mustard, if you want. It will help keep the oil from separating. That's just my opinion. I use sour cream or mayo if I'm wanting a creamy dressing, but that's just me. I can't wait to hear how the dressing tastes. I bet it's going to be fabulous.
Tami Burgess says
Thank you so much for your post. I have had a bottle of peach balsamic vinegar in my pantry, waiting to make it into a dressing. So I'm thinking the emulsifier should be sour cream? And the fresh herbs, basil? What do you think? You're a genus in the kitchen. The other day, you "held my hand" as I made your pie dough for my apple pie. It was great! I love the recipe. The only thing I think I did wrong was I made it a little too thick. I have a great apple pie filling that I love. My goal is to make a fantastic, unforgettable apple pie. So thank you for helping me get a little closer!
Thank you for giving me some new ideas. I love a homemade vinaigrette and Mango vinegar is a favorite of mine.
Janet Barton says
That just sounds amazing.
Ann Snell says
all i can say is…… yum!
Janet Barton says
Why thank you.
Laura Collett says
I love this! Thanks for posting. I've always wanted to know how to do this. It's so simple and yet my dressing is usually too acidic or oily. 🙂
Janet Barton says
Just keep tasting and adjusting. You can always add more oil and a bit of sugar can help cut the acidic taste. I'm sure you have had great success. Phil is one lucky guy.