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Jun 21, 2014 07:52 PM

Salad dressing

I never thought that I could make a salad dressing that would taste as good as bottled. For too many years I bought bottled. I can't afford it now, so I had to confront my dressing-impairment directly.

Sat down with Bittman's How to Cook Everything and read his diatribe re bottled dressings. The key to making better dressings, he explained, was a blender, which would thoroughly emulsify the oil and vinegar. Oy, what a dumbkopf I've been, with my puny fork-whipped dressings. No wonder they separated immediately.

I blended some fancy organic olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and a large garlic clove. Success! I am enjoying wilted-cabbage-and-peanut salad right now :)

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  1. Bottled dressings, particularly Italian dressings, also often include emulsifiers such as lethicin, which give the dressing a thicker viscosity and helps keep it from separating. Something to keep in mind when making dressings from scratch, if you notice they don't seem exactly like their bottled counterparts.

    There's an Amish "boiled" dressing I've been meaning to try as well, that might be of interest. It's cooked then chilled - sort of looks like a mayo based creamy dressing, but much safer since there are no raw eggs in it. It's also relatively low fat too.

    1. Good for you! That's one of my favorite salad dressings too. I usually make just enough for 1 or 2 servings and whisk it by hand. Good to know about the blender.

      I don't like bottled dressings generally. So many of them contain soybean oil and I can taste it. It's a total buzzkill. ;)

      1. Keep experimenting -- the combinations are endless.

        1. I once may extra virgin olive oil Mayo and it was so bitter. I was told in chow that it's due to blending the oil. Did you have any problems. Did you use regular or extra virgin?

          7 Replies
          1. re: Siegal


            broadway show years ago "2/two/too hot tamales"
            they made complete meal while we watched.
            end of meal something was served and we were instructed to use 'placed on table' olive oil. we'd already had a few others for different stages of meal. this one was very bitter and to my taste, off putting. I noted that.

            1. re: Siegal

              Used some organic, extra-virgin olive oil from my health-food co-op. Wasn't bitter at all :)

              1. re: Felila

                Thanks. Maybe it's only bitter if emulsified like mayo...hmm

                1. re: Siegal

                  Olive oil is not the best choice for mayo, because the flavor is too strong.

                  1. re: GH1618

                    Absolutely right. I tried making mayo with olive oil many, many years ao, and it put me off trying it again.

                2. Wait until you make ur own bleu cheese dressing. I recommend the Chart House recipe,