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Apr 30, 2008 06:23 AM

Easy, homemade, salad dressing

I loved the thread about easy salads, and got some wonderful ideas. It started me wondering about salad dressings, and what to put on salads to make salad-eating more fun, and less same-old, same-old.
So, please share your easy, quick- to- prepare, salad dressings.

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  1. Stock up your pantry with a selection of oils and vinegars to create yourself a "palette" upon which you can improvise. To start, I suggest olive oil, nut oils, sesame oil for the oils. For the vinegars - red wine, white wine, sherry, Japanese and Chinese rice, bottle ponzu (Japanese citrus dressing), etc. For seasonings, black pepper, white pepper, sansho (sichuan pepper), sichimi togarashi (Japanese spice mix), etc. The classic emulsifier is you stock up on a variety of that as well.

    For an Asian dressing, for example, use light sesame oil and rice vinegar dressing in a 4:1 ratio. Season to taste (you can use light soy instead of salt). Instead of rice vinegar, I would sometimes use bottled ponzu. Put all ingredients in a small glass jar and shake. Keeping within that roughly 4:1 oil:vinegar ratio will create good results.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fmed

      The ones I use:

      1. Red wine vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, touch of honey (usually dress finely sliced red onion and seeded thin slices of tomato first, add salad greens prior to serving).

      2. Home made yogurt (thick and tangy), salt, pepper, olive oil.

      3. Ground toasted sesame seed, vinegar, salt, pepper, touch of sugar, chopped chives or finely chopped green onion.

      4. Home made mayo plus lime juice, salt, pepper.

    2. You might enjoy this easy Miso Vinaigrette from epicurious...I always add more ginger:

      1 Reply
      1. re: Val

        We must be on the same page, Val -- I was just going to post that I keep sampling this fantastic miso ginger dressing at Whole Foods and wanting to recreate it. Now I can! Thanks...

      2. Here's a blended vinaigrette salad dressing that we use. It sounds kind of strange, but . our family loves it:

        Blended Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

        4 Tbs Marukan Seasoned Gourmet Rice Vinegar
        2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
        1-3/4 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
        3-1/2 Tbs Olive Oil
        salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

        Add ingredients to a jar with lid. Seal jar and
        shake well to blend.

        Makes about 3/4 cup.

        1. You should have more acids on hand to build a vinaigrette.
          Basic ones to keep on hand
          Oranges or tangerines
          White and red wine vinegar
          Rice vinegar
          Sherry Vinegar
          Champagne Vinegar

          Common oils
          Neutral like Canola or Vegetable
          Extra virgin olive oil
          Nut oils like walnut, almond, hazel nut and peanut
          Toasted sesame oil

          I'm pretty sure I have all of the acids listed above currently on hand. A little acid, an emulsifier like mustard if wanted and aromatics like shallots, garlic, ginger, herbs and spices mixed with oil in a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio depending on the acidity of the acid. Some dressings I will add a little sweetener like sugar, honey, agave syrup for added for sweetness and depth. Salt or soy sauce and pepper will round it out.

          I can't think of the last time I bought bottle dressing except for one of my kids.

          1 Reply
          1. Lately I've been eating salad with just a splash of vinegar... usually red wine or balsamic. It's supremely easy/quick and I don't miss the oil one bit... for me it's all about the acid. Try it, maybe you'll like it too!

            1 Reply
            1. re: missfunkysoul

              I do this, too, especially at work...sometimes just fresh lemon juice on my salad does it for me!