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Your house dressing

Do any of you homemade salad dressing makers have a "house" dressing? You know, the dressing you make 9 times out of 10? And do people ask you about it when after they have eaten it? I'd like to know if you do.

Here is mine:

Make a vinaigrette with good olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. (I like mine a little on the vinegary side.) Add a small glug of half and half and some fresh ground pepper. Shake before adding to salad. That's all. I use this often, and I've had people ask me about it frequently. Its so easy! Its so good, at least to my tastebuds.

Whats yours?

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  1. A basic mustard vinaigrette with rough mustard and garlic.

    2 Replies
    1. re: magiesmom

      Same as you. Maybe some fresh thyme thrown in if I think of it.

      1. re: magiesmom

        Same here though probably not much of a technical vinaigrette as I prefer much more vinegar to oil

      2. A roasted mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots & garlic) pureed; rice vinegar, a pinch of brown sugar, salt, pepper and olive oil.

        1. Balsamic,garlic,yeast,peper,o.o, spoonful of dijon, splash of braggs,some sort of fresh herb/s or a pinch of dried oregano.

          1. Honey ginger vinegar (my own brew) that's it. Especially good on raw mixed greens, beets and citrus fruit.

            10 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              What sort of vinegar? What proportions do you use?

              1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                White balsamic vinegar from white Trebbiano grapes from my husband's family is shipped to us so I start with that. The honey is from our local NJ bee keeper, very light raw, unfiltered wildflower honey. The fresh ginger is peeled and grated fine purchased from the local market.

                I make 12 oz batches. So, 1 cup white balsamic vinegar, 1/3 cup honey and 2 T. grated fresh ginger to the bottle. Sits on the pantry shelf for 3 days, give it a good shake each day and it's good to go! I don't refrigerate the vinegar. I like the ginger bits but some people like to strain out the bits and just enjoy the pure liquid.

                1. re: HillJ

                  Thanks, I'll try that out next time I get some white balsamic.

                  1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                    I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I use it in rice salad quite often too.

                    1. re: Jerseygirl111

                      I'm guessing because a) it would have to be $100 a bottle, and b) it would be illegal anyway.

                      1. re: acgold7

                        acg, I'm not entirely clear on why you would say that but you can find very suitable, delicious white balsamic vinegar already prepared and take the above recipe and run with it!
                        http://artisanalfoods.com/products/bi...

                        1. re: HillJ

                          Say what? That your incredible recipe would justifiably command a very high price because of how and where you get your exclusive ingredients from? Or pointing out that home-made food products can't legally be sold to the public in most states?

                          Confused...

                          1. re: acgold7

                            acgold7, I shared a very simply prepared salad dressing enjoyed by my family.

                      2. re: Jerseygirl111

                        I give the vinegar away as gifts sometimes but mostly my family & I just enjoy it thanks to my husbands' relatives, Jerseyg.

                2. I use a standard 3:1 oil to acid. Either lemon juice, rice vinegar (mild), homemade red wine, or sherry vinegar (sharpest). If I want sweet I'll cut it with a bit of balsamic. I don't use mustard but I'll often marinade the vinegar with a little shallot which to me is a lot cleaner tasting than garlic.

                  Occasionally I will make a dressing of yogurt, lemon juice, and fennel pollen. That usually is fondly received and people want to know what it is.

                  1. Truthfully? Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar. I use it most nights. It is the only prepared dressing I like.

                    I make my own otherwise, but not often. I'm too busy making the rest of dinner/dessert.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Becca Porter

                      My dad seriously goes thru a half bottle of that newman's a week (he has salad every night) and has for decades.....! Its good stuff!

                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                        My MIL is the same way with the bottled Olive Garden dressing.

                      2. re: Becca Porter

                        I can totally relate to this. There are definitely nights where I'd rather spend time on the other dishes than quickly making a dressing. I love Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian. It's quite strong in the umami department. I always have a bottle of it in the fridge and another in the pantry. Saves five minutes and lessens the time doing the dishes.

                        I've not found a creamy bottled dressing that I like. The xanthan gum texture really turns me off in salad dressing. Curious if anyone out there has a non-refrigerated creamy dressing that they could recommend.

                      3. I use extra virgin olive oil, balsamic, orange juice, dijon and some herbs with salt/black pepper. Sometimes I use lemon juice instead of balsamic for a lighter taste. I've also done some chopped shallots with the dressing above. Another common one I do is a tahini dressing.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: butterfryme

                          How do you make your tahini dressing? Thanks

                          1. re: geminigirl

                            If you like tahini dressing google whole foods kale salad. They make a great lemon tahini dressing and the recipe is floating around.

                        2. Olive oil, red wine vinegar (closer to 2:1 than 3:1), a smidge of Hellman's, salt and pepper. It's what I grew up with.

                          1. 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
                            2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
                            4 Tbsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar (I use Marukan Seasoned Gourmet Rice Vinegar)
                            4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
                            Salt & black pepper to taste

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Antilope

                              Well that's interesting, using 3 diff vinegars to one olive oil. How did you come up with that?

                              1. re: HillJ

                                For years my wife made this "little bit of this, little bit of that" salad dressing that family and friends liked. One day I asked her the recipe so I could write it down. She said "a little bit of this and a little bit of that". The next time she made it, I weighed all the ingredient bottles before and after, the resulting recipe is above. That was about 5 years ago.

                                1. re: Antilope

                                  Accidentally on purpose house dressing! Fun story, A.

                              2. re: Antilope

                                Hey how interesting! Thanks for sharing.

                                1. re: Antilope

                                  Interesting that it kinda turns around the ratio for most vinaigrettes in that the vinegar portion is much bigger than the oil.

                                  I imagine it's very acidic?

                                  1. re: linguafood

                                    It's good on a green salad. The rice vinegar has a lot of sugar that helps to smooth it out.

                                    1. re: Antilope

                                      That'd be up my man's street. He loves sour.

                                2. 3 Tbsp olive oil
                                  1 Tsp red wine vinegar
                                  1 Tsp red wine
                                  1/2 clove garlic pureed
                                  in coarse salt
                                  1/4 Tsp Dijon mustard

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: emglow101

                                    It sounds good. I am impressed that you measure everything out. And I am learning that people like to mix their vinegars.

                                    That's the thing about Hounds. We discuss things no one else gets. And we do things others don't. And we eat very well.

                                  2. At home alone i make either a hummus dressing (big gob of hummus, lemon juice, salt and pepper maybe a TB of almond milk)
                                    Or, i use a gob of plain greek yogurt mixed with basalmic, a splash of almond milk, and smoked paprika or one of those penzeys seasoned salts i have around.

                                    For others i do a fig basalmic vinegrette with 1/4 olive oil, 3/4 the vinegar and lots of cracked black pepper- everyone asks me what it is. The fig basalmic is key and the pepper gives some texture and warmth.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                      Thanks for this. I happen to have a small bottle of fig balsamic vinegar. And I intend to make your dressing!

                                      In your recipe are you specifying parts, as in 1 part olive and 3 parts fig balsamic, or is it 1/4 C of OO and 3/4 C of fig balsamic?

                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                        The fig basalmic is amazing! I just meant 1 part to 3 parts, taste it- depending how acidic yours is you may want a bit more of the oil.
                                        It's fairly thin but a little goes a long way, keeps well in the fridge for a few days (i use pretty quickly tho)

                                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                                          If you don't mind my asking, where did you get yours? I found mine in Cannon Beach OR. I am so happy to find your recipe, because I've had trouble knowing what to do with it.

                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                            I picked up this one at a small market in CA near san francisco, here's the best image i found:
                                            http://www.polyvore.com/st_helena_fig...

                                            Its also wonderful drizzled on roasted fennel or just vanilla ice cream :)

                                    2. I think 9 times out of 10 I just splash balsamic and olive oil on a standard salad. I don't even bother mixing it. But if I go to the trouble of making an actual dressing, it's usually a Dijon-red wine-garlic vinaigrette or sometimes a blood orange vinaigrette.

                                      1. Lemon viniagrette with garlic and thyme. Everyone loves it.

                                        The Neelys barbecue ranch dressing is often requested as well.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Njchicaa

                                          Will you share the recipe for the lemon vinaigrette?

                                        2. Newman's Original. Consistently wonderful, and far easier than the trials and tribulations I went through making something almost as good.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                            My 'go-to' house dressing is from Escoffier:
                                            6 T best olive oil
                                            2 T wine vinegar
                                            S/P
                                            To this 'base' dressing I can add either 2 t mustard or a 1 t of anchovy paste and or some chopped herbs. Or none or all. All depends on what the salad is being served with.

                                            Sometimes I'll make Escoffiers: 6 T double cream ( whipping ream is a good substitute but doesn't have as much fat content as double cream)
                                            1 T fresh tomato puree. If no fresh made then canned.
                                            1 t mustard
                                            Juice of 2 lemons
                                            S/P

                                            Or 6 T single cream
                                            2 T lemon juice
                                            S/P

                                            Finally Escoffiers:
                                            150 ml whipping cream
                                            a few drops of lemon juice
                                            S/P
                                            These 'bases' lets me add a little of this or that while still retaining the classic French everyday dressing/s.
                                            'Light and bright' or creamy and rich.

                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                              anchovy paste. hmmmmm. will have to try it in my salad dressing.

                                            2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                              Haha, i mentioned upthread that's my dad's daily salad essential- and has been for decades!

                                            3. I wont buy bottle dressing anymore - just too much stuff in it (I do keep a bottle of ranch on hand for those who cannot venture beyond it) I don't really have a set way of making dressing though - depends on the salad and what else is in the meal usually a vinegrette sometimes creamy yoghurt/mayo based- If I am just making it for myself its olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper in a jar - maybe a dab of mustard and shake it up - that's really all I need on a salad,

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: JTPhilly

                                                Yes about the only bottled dressing I still tolerate is 1000 island for on burgers. Once I started making salad dressing at home I couldn't eat bottled.

                                                1. re: JTPhilly

                                                  I never buy it for salad. I haven't in years. I don't like bottled and I think it is over priced and not fresh.

                                                2. -Dijon mustard
                                                  -Tiny bit of honey
                                                  -Balsamic vinegar
                                                  -Olive oil
                                                  -Lemon juice
                                                  -Salt and pepper

                                                  1. 1:3 vinegar to olive oil, with equal parts sherry & balsamic vinegar
                                                    dollop of Dijon mustard
                                                    salt
                                                    pepper
                                                    herbes de provence

                                                    1. Mine's pretty similar to most of these:

                                                      evoo
                                                      red wine vinegar or balsamic
                                                      shallot
                                                      touch of garlic
                                                      fresh thyme
                                                      dijon
                                                      salt
                                                      pepper

                                                      The shallot, garlic and thyme go into the small container that came with my stick blender to get finely chopped, and then the dijon and vinegar go in along with the salt and pepper. I adjust the seasoning and then add the olive oil to emulsify. Simple and good on just about anything, or as a marinade.

                                                        1. There isn't such a thing as *one* house dressing for me, because I love all kinds of salads, make them frequently, and they each get their own.

                                                          For one of my favorite winter salads (shaved fennel, blue cheese, toasted walnuts & grapefruit or pomegranate), I make a walnut vinaigrette with walnut oil, walnut mustard and white wine vinegar.

                                                          My German cucumber salad is made with Greek yogurt, lots of dill, s&p and a dash of white wine or apple cider vinegar, sometimes a little mayo or a little mustard. No oil needed thanks to the yogurt.

                                                          My man's favorite is blue cheese dressing (blue cheese, buttermilk, mayo, yogurt, squeeze of spicy brown mustard, apple cider vinegar, s& lots of coarse ground pepper). I generally serve this over butter lettuce or romaine.

                                                          I make a Caesar dressing that is absolutely fantastic: raw egg, 2-3 crushed garlic cloves, 3-4 anchovy filets, lemon, olive oil, parm, s&p.

                                                          BLT dressing for romaine, grape tomatoes and bacon: mayo & apple cider vinegar, s&p, maybe some chives if they're around. Done.

                                                          Cole slaw: mayo, apple cider vinegar, s&p. Done.

                                                          Greek: red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, s&p.

                                                          Tomato salad: olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic, lots of fresh parsley and scallions (if I'm not using finely diced red onion), s&p.

                                                          Thai: fish sauce, lime, hot chiles, cilantro, red onion.

                                                          And then any variations on the vinaigrette I mentioned up top with different nut oils, vinegars & mustards.

                                                          Great. Now I'm in the mood for salad :-)

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                            Oooohh- that soy and basalmic dressing sounds amazing! Trying that tonight....

                                                            1. Interesting how many vinaigrettes are here vs. other kinds. Here's mine, stolen from Mom. I like to make it in the FP a pint at a time so I always have plenty on hand:

                                                              Into a two-cup measuring cup, add

                                                              1/3 c Balsamic Vinegar
                                                              1/3 c Seasoned Rice Vinegar
                                                              2/3 c EVOO
                                                              2/3 c Regular Oil, your choice

                                                              In FP, mince

                                                              1 clove garlic
                                                              1 Shallot or equivalent amount Red Onion
                                                              1 t salt
                                                              1/2 tsp pepper
                                                              1 tsp sugar or artificial sweetener

                                                              Turn on FP, add veg until they bounce around and stick to the sides, minced. Add seasonings and liquids from cup and whizz until smooth.

                                                              Keeps indefinitely, refrigerated.

                                                              Of course you could do all this by hand if you chose and like it chunkier.

                                                              Here's a video:

                                                              http://youtu.be/95gXVs2IFZ0

                                                              10 Replies
                                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                                Yours is the first I've noticed that adds sugar. I'm always hesitant to add sugar to a dressing; even in coleslaw dressing I haven't.

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  I use Splenda but yeah, my kids like it sweet. We use this in our restaurant and add sugar to our coleslaw there too. Both are beloved, or so they tell us. Maybe everyone secretly hates them.

                                                                  You could certainly leave it out.

                                                                  1. re: acgold7

                                                                    Oh no, just looking for the reasoning. You provided that, thanks :)

                                                                    I'm more of a vinegar lover, especially coleslaw. I enjoy that snap to the cabbage.

                                                                  2. re: HillJ

                                                                    I add "sweet" sometimes. It might be a fruit jam, honey, syrup or sugar. To make wilted lettuce. I add as much sugar as vinegar. Everybody loves that salad.

                                                                    1. re: wekick

                                                                      No kidding, fruit jam in salad dressing. More details pls.

                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                        This week I made a blackberry vinaigrette with blackberry jam. Add a teaspoon of jalapeño jelly to give it a little extra something. Don't add enough to be hot unless you want it to be. If using jam I might use about 3/1 oil to acid. Acid might be lemon juice or rice wine vinegar. I might add shallots raw or caramelized. I usually add mustard. Adding a little salt is key. I usually add the same amount of jam as acid.

                                                                        1. re: wekick

                                                                          I'm going to try that! Both the blackberry and the jalpeno jelly next time round. This would be something I could tweak and riff on. Much appreciated.

                                                                      2. re: wekick

                                                                        I add sugar to the (um) bacon grease and vinegar in a hot skillet to make the dressing for wilted lettuce salad, which I must have once a year in the spring. I don't use as much bacon grease as I used to, and I don't end up with as wilted and soggy lettuce as I used to. But oh my goodness, I love that salad.

                                                                      3. re: HillJ

                                                                        I always add a pinch or two of sugar to mine. It doesn't so much as make it sweet as it just rounds out some of the harshness or bite of some of the ingredients, depending on what you use, such as shallot, or lemon juice). Of course, I also generally make my vinaigrettes with 1:1 acid to oil because I just don't like overly oily dressings so that may have something to do with it (creamy, sweet, cheesy, or tart...all good, but just not oily).

                                                                        Although most of the time I'm doing the semi-homemade thing and using Penzey's Country French Vinaigrette mix which has sugar in it anyway for a standard dressed greens on the side deal. If I'm making a more substantial main dish salad/grain salad, I'll make something a little less delicate and do mashed roasted garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, a dollop of stone-ground or dijon mustard, a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, and some chopped thyme if I have some.

                                                                        1. re: amishangst

                                                                          I'm with you on the too oily. I prefer the vinegar over olive oil in a light dressing prep. But now of few of you here have given me something to reconsider. Thanks.

                                                                    2. Small clove garlic pounded with some salt, rested briefly in one part sherry vinegar (usually just a tablespoon), finished with two parts good olive oil.

                                                                      I look forward to trying some of the others on this thread.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: THewat

                                                                        Your dressing is what we use for a Caesar salad,

                                                                      2. My favorite "house" dressing is made with a top notch unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for that nice peppery kick), fresh lemon juice, a crushed garlic clove, and a heaping tablespoon of Zaatar. People always ask me what's in the dressing.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: mwk

                                                                          What is the brand of olive oil? I keep trying to find a peppery one yet get overwhelmed at the insane market near me with easily 100 olive oils to choose from....

                                                                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                            Right now, I'm using a brand called "Paesano", which I got at Whole Foods. It goes on sale from time to time, marked down from $19.99 a bottle to $9.99, so I stock up when it does.

                                                                            1. re: mwk

                                                                              Thanks! That is a great sale price-i'll be looking for it.

                                                                        2. My "secret ingredient" in a basic vinaigrette is McCutcheon's Vidalia Onion mustard. Adds a little something extra.

                                                                          1. green goddess, I use Ina Garten's basic recipe but switch up the fresh herbs depending on desire and availability.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: rasputina

                                                                              Oh yes, love this stuff. I use roxlet's version. I currently have all of the ingredients on hand so thanks for the reminder to whip up a batch.

                                                                            2. red wine vinegar
                                                                              dijon mustard
                                                                              dash of Worcester sauce
                                                                              dash of Agave nectar
                                                                              2x grape seed oil to the volume of the rest

                                                                              minced garlic optional

                                                                              that's my 'everyday' dressing

                                                                              1. Shallots!!! Finely diced shallots make a good vinaigrette great.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. I liked the Ken's Apple Cider Vinaigrette, so I came up with this copycat recipe.

                                                                                  Ken’s Creamy Apple Cider Vinaigrette Copycat

                                                                                  1/2 tsp Spiced Cider Apple Flavor Drink Mix powder (sugar-free - Alpine or Mott's)
                                                                                  1/3 cup Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla Yogurt
                                                                                  1/2 cup Mayonnaise
                                                                                  2 tsp Cider Vinegar

                                                                                  Add ingredients to a bowl. Mix well.
                                                                                  Refrigerate until ready to use.

                                                                                  Also good on Chicken or fruit salads.

                                                                                  Makes about 1 cup.

                                                                                  1. balsamic, olive oil, dried oregano, salt, black pepper.sometimes i add a dollop of mayo. shake it up real good.

                                                                                    1. this is an amazing store we have here. The store is lined with stainless vats you can try any or all of the oils and vinegar's. http://olivethesenses.com/about/

                                                                                      Im not seeing anyone mention Braggs or yeast in there balsamic dressing. They are a great addition that add body and depth and nutrition!

                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                          seriously they are all amazing!! my newest that i love is the lemongrass mint white balsamic.

                                                                                          1. re: daislander

                                                                                            I adore lemongrass! I do experiment quite a bit. And I sip vinegar like wine, find it very refreshing actually. But I was looking at the citrus offerings and thinking hmmm...what can I come up with next!

                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                              I should be in the kitchen cooking lemongrass pork I've had marinating all day. My first time making it can't wait.

                                                                                              I bought some bottles and ran out of time at chirtmas but plan on making some of my own vingers, lemongrass being one. I have to admit this vinegar is more minty but still love it. Goes great on quinoa or cous cous salads.

                                                                                              Ive tried the chocolate wow intense.

                                                                                            2. re: daislander

                                                                                              Last summer I purchased a chocolate balsamic from here:
                                                                                              https://carterandcavero.com/vinegars and it was wicked good with berries....and for sipping.

                                                                                        2. Usually red wine vinegar and EVOO vinaigrette with either garlic or a shallot, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

                                                                                          Another favorite is lemon Parmesan dressing:
                                                                                          Juice from one large lemon
                                                                                          1/3 cup EVOO
                                                                                          1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
                                                                                          garlic clove, crushed
                                                                                          pinch of salt
                                                                                          lots of fresh ground black pepper

                                                                                          1. Trader Joe's orange muscat champagne vinegar, mixed 50-50 with walnut oil, a little dijon, salt (dried thyme optional). Because the vinegar is less acidic (and sweeter), it takes a lower ratio of oil than most vinaigrette. Substitute a different light/fruity vinegar if you don't have TJs.

                                                                                            1. I find a simple sherry vinaigrette to be a versatile dressing for most greens. Sherry vinegar has just the right balance of sweetness and acidity without being too overpowering or sweet.

                                                                                              I use a 1 to 3 ratio of vinegar to olive oil with a little grated garlic or minced shallots (whichever I happen to have on hand).