Making salad dressings is very easy and very intuitive, though many people steer away. Stay away from the bottled dressing! Once you have a couple of combinations you like you can make them with your eyes closed. I always keep an old empty mustard jar in the fridge which I reuse each time I make a vinegar/mustard based dressing. The below is the bare bones of a recipe and can be adapted however you like. I tend to go for extra-virgin olive oil but you can get fancy with other oils, try – grapeseed oil, sesame oil (for Asian-style salads), walnut oil or flaxseed oil.
Whilst I’m a big fan of leftovers, and in fact some dishes taste better the next day (e.g. this Wintery Beef Stew), one of my absolute most hated things is second / third day dressed salad. Dressed salad does NOT store well, and will not be enjoyed by anyone, except my lovely dad who will eat anything his girls (my sister, mum and I) dish up for him, third day salad included. So, if you think you’ve made too much salad, separate the amount you don’t think will be eaten and store it in an airtight container in the fridge – UN-DRESSED.
Always taste your dressing before slathering it over your salad – I’ve made that mistake more than once.
Salt and pepper are key to the dressing, don’t forget these!
Favourite, go-to, all the time dressing I make using the ‘basic’ recipe below:
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar sometimes)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
- small squeeze of lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
Once you’re feeling a little more adept with salad dressings, try my Green Goddess Dressing.
- 1 part vinegar - lemon juice, red wine / white wine / cider / balsamic vinegar etc.
- 3 parts extra virgin olive oil (or other oil)
- freshly ground black pepper
- Optional: mustard, mayonnaise, grated garlic, yoghurt, fresh or dried herbs (oregano, basil, mint etc.)
Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously to combine. Taste and season accordingly.
(*If yoghurt or mayonnaise based, use a small bowl and mix instead of shaking)