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My salad dressing seperated, any ways to "put it back"

w
Wendy Lai Dec 18, 2004 12:17 AM

I make a home dressing with roasted garlic, lemon, mustard, tarragon and olive oil. Most of the time it works just fine when I make it in a small blender (an attachment to a emersion blender). But sometimes (like tonight) the dressing seperated. The oil and the liquid is just not mixing... I've already tried adding yolks, and mayonnaise, neither is helping.

Any ways to salvage this? Or do I have to throw it out and start again? I'd hate to, since I don't have anymore garlic or terragon, this batched used up all my good stuff!

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  1. t
    the food guy Dec 18, 2004 03:17 AM

    Try adding more oil a few drops at a time to the dressing - at room temperature - with the blender running. Altenatively, give it a good stir and us it unemulsified. I frequently just toss all of a dressing's ingredients in the bowl. It will taste the same.

    1. t
      the food guy Dec 18, 2004 03:23 AM

      Try adding olive oil a few drops at a time to the mix while the blender is running. If all else fails, you can use the dressing unemulsified. I frequently add the dressing ingredients to my salads and mix it in the bowl. Now that you've added raw eggs, do not keep it around too long.

      1. m
        Moyn Dec 18, 2004 08:34 AM

        I agree with food guy, above....use it as is, OR, if it really bothers you, try adding some nuts (I've used walnuts or pine nuts, and I like toasting them, first) & blending, once again. I find the nuts help dressings to emulsify, besides adding a new dimension to the taste of the dressing.

        1. n
          nja Dec 18, 2004 02:41 PM

          I saw Jacques Pepin do a trick once that my help you here. He was making mayo and decide to show us (this was an in-person appearance) what to do if you add too much oil. He dump a few cups of oil in the mayo and stirred it, creating a horribly oily mess. So what he did was put a tablespoon or so of vinegar all in one spot near the side of the bowl. Then he whisked really hard, but only in that little spot. That spot emulsified, and he was able to then start whisking in wider and wider circles. Eventually he turned the entire bowl into mayo. It only took about one minute for the whole process. The crowd roared.

          Anyway, perhaps you should try the same. If you have a lot of dressing, try doing it in one bowl like him. Put a bit of vinegar (or mayo, or better yet, a small amount of fresh dressing using the same recipe) near the edge of the bowl and whisk in just that spot for a while. Then slowly incorporate the rest. Another way to do it (probably the only way if you have just a small amount of dressing you're trying to save) is to make a small amount of fresh dressing, then add the separated batch slowly to the new stuff.

          The basic problem is you can't try to emulsify an entire bowl of oil at once. Start small and slowly add the rest.

          -Nick

          1. d
            DanaB Dec 19, 2004 02:11 PM

            This may be too late for your dressing of yesterday, but there is a remedy for how to bring back a dressing/mayonnaise that has separated in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In a warmed mixing bowl, add a teasponn of prepared mustard and a T. of the turned dressing and beat with a wire whip until it creams and the dressing comes together. Beat in the rest of the dressing by teaspoons. According to Julia, "this always works." The main thing to remember is to add the turned dressing in small amounts, especially at the beginning.

            1. m
              melissa Dec 24, 2004 12:44 AM

              does the dressing have yolks originally? it sounds like a vinagrette. if the ingredients are merely herbs, mustard, oil and some acid, i am not surprised that they separated since there is little to hold the liquid and fat together except for perhaps the mustard. to keep 2 very different components together (like the water and fat) you'll require an emulsifier, usually egg yolks. i guess the only thing you can do is make the dressing as close to serving time as possible.

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