So easy and inexpensive. All you need to make vinaigrette is oil, vinegar, and your choice of added flavorings that you probably already have on hand. The standard ratio for a salad is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil. You can adjust those ingredients to taste depending on the type of oil and vinegar you choose to use. Hint: Too much of a strong flavored vinegar will not be enjoyable on a salad so add a wee bit more oil at a time to balance the mixture if this happens.
You can also use vinaigrette as a marinade for meats and veggies. For a marinade, the standard ratio is 50/50. Keep in mind that certain oil and vinegar combinations will not taste good together. For example sesame oil and balsamic vinegar are not a good combination, in my opinion.
Season with flavoring that will complement your vinegar and oil choice. Seasoning choices can be garlic, ginger, assorted herbs and/or spices, prepared mustard, honey, pureed veggies such as bell peppers or tomatoes, pureed fruits, citrus juice, or finely grated rinds. Don't forget that grated cheese is a yummy choice depending on the oil and vinegar choice.
Room temperature ingredients work the best for emulsifying. When using various ingredients whisk them together in a glass bowl or blend in a blender. For basic vinaigrette with simple salt, pepper or dried herbs, you can simply shake the ingredients together in a cruet. In any event, allow the ingredients to blend together at room temperature for about an hour before serving and refrigerate thereafter.
Happy flavor experimenting!
By Deeli from Richland, WA
Deeli, with the cost of store-bought salad dressings, it really makes good economic sense to make your own for every type of salad and occasion.
The most simple salad of plain iceburg lettuce is so much better with a "house dressing" of your own making. You can either make it sweet or "savory" depending on the other foods being served or according to your family's taste.
For the simple lettuce salad, I use apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar (or sugar substitute), garlic powder and a little black pepper. Salt should never be added to salad dressing since it causes salads to wilt and salt can be added when it's served and according to each individual's tastes anyway, and we can always offer salt substitutes for those on salt restricive diets.
I always keep in mind how great olive oil and garlic are for us too. Helps with high blood pressure and very good for lowering bad cholesterol.
Another plus for using vinegar when marinating meats is how much it helps with tenderizing.
Thank you for the excellent suggestions and great tips for making our own salad dressings. Some I'd forgotten. :-)
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