Thursday, January 21, 2010

Homemade Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

I love a tasty fresh salad with a simple homemade vinaigrette dressing. It’s quick and easy to whip together, you can select natural quality ingredients (no hard to pronounce or mystery ingredients included), and another bonus is that you probably have all the ingredients needed to make a delicious homemade vinaigrette in your pantry.

I use a Food Network recipe by Ina Garten, a.k.a. Barefoot Contessa, as a starting point.

Vinaigrette For Green Salad
6 – 8 Servings

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup good olive oil
Salad greens

Traditionally, you would whisk all the ingredients except the olive oil together in a bowl. While continuously whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified.

I prefer a simpler method. I just measure and dump the ingredients into a small pyrex bowl, put the lid securely on the bowl, and shake vigorously until the vinaigrette is emulsified. This method is so easy and you can use as much vinaigrette as needed and save the rest in the pyrex container to dress your next salad.

Finally, dress salad greens with enough vinaigrette to moisten and serve immediately. Enjoy!

What’s great about this recipe is that you can adjust the ingredients to really make it your own or use what you have stored in your pantry. Try using your favorite vinegar like balsamic, red wine, white wine, apple cider vinegar, or even fresh citrus juice like lemon, lime, or orange. Add fresh or dry herbs or spices to taste. I often add oregano or Italian seasoning. You could add shallot, red onion, or cheese such as grated parmesan or romano. For a sweeter dressing, try adding a touch of honey or agave syrup.

The ratio of vinegar to oil is also negotiable. Typically, a 3 to 1 ratio of oil to vinegar is used, but a healthier option would be to try a 2 to 1 ratio.

If you’ve never made your own vinaigrette, give it a try. If you’re a pro at making homemade salad dressings, what ingredients do you add to make your favorite homemade vinaigrette?

This post is linked to: Eat From The Pantry Challenge hosted by and

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