My two favorite types of vinaigrette salad dressing are red wine vinaigrette and balsamic vinaigrette. I use the same recipe for both and only change the vinegar. It’s so easy! Once you’ve made your own vinaigrette dressing, you won’t go back to the store-bought kind. Homemade vinaigrette has much more flavor and fewer preservatives and salt, too. The key to accessing these results, though, is to buy the very best ingredients that you can afford. Try different varieties until you find one that you love.
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil - as I said above, buy the very best you can afford. It should be very dark green, and it should be labeled as the "first pressing," if you can find it. The first pressing of the olives has more flavor and nutrients than subsequent pressings, which are used to make other forms of olive oil.
- ¾ cup balsamic or red wine vinegar - I just can't stress this enough. Higher quality vinegar will make a huge difference in your finished product.
- 2 tablespoons pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- Mix everything together and pour. I like to use a little cruet with a plunger in the center. That way, each person can give it a quick stir before pouring the dressing.
STORING HOMEMADE VINAIGRETTE SALAD DRESSING
If you don’t use all of the dressing, you will need to refrigerate it. When it sits and cools, the olive oil will form a hard layer on top. This is normal. The next time you want to serve it, heat it slightly (I use the microwave), stir, and it will be as good as new.
MY FAVORITE NON-SALAD USE FOR HOMEMADE VINAIGRETTE SALAD DRESSING
Don’t use this dressing only for salads! You can also use it as a maranade for vegetables or meats. My favorite thing to do is cut up a whole head of cauliflower, pour the whole recipe (made with red wine vinegar) over top, and refrigerate for two or three days. Every 12 hours or so, I shake it up and turn it over. By the end of the third day, the cauliflower is wonderfully pink and tart. We serve it as an appetizer.
FOR MORE HOMEMADE SALAD DRESSING RECIPES
- The Complete Tightwad Gazette book contains recipes for homemade Thousand Island, Ranch, Catalina French, Cucumber Buttermilk, Italian, and Blue Cheese dressings on page 230-231.
- Laura Williams Musings has a nice recipe for homemade Thousand Island dressing .
- Cooks.com has a recipe for a version of the famous Olive Garden Italian salad dressing .
- An Absolutely Fabulous Greek Dressing from Allrecipes.com
Photo of salad and vinaigrette dressing © vanillaechoes – Fotolia.com