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Adventures in Homemade Vinaigrette

Posted by Shannon on 02/22/2012

Have you dabbled in making your own salad dressing? The logistics and the ingredients aren’t as crazy or difficult as you might think. The flavor triad: Rich flavorful base of extra virgin olive oil, an acid element of lemon juice or variations of vinegar (balsamic, red wine, apple cider), and additional spices like salt, rosemary, minced garlic, etc.

 A safe ratio for oil to vinegar is 3:1.  This makes it quite simple for you to make whatever amount you need, for yourself or a large salad at a dinner gathering.

Salad Dressing, Vinaigrette, Homemade

Tools to start with are a bowl, a knife, measuring spoons, a cutting board, a small wire whisk, a few spoons for taste testing, and a small container to store leftover dressing.

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh herb like rosemary
2 teaspoons minced shallot or garlic

Mix everything except the olive oil together, which allows the elements (like salt) to fully dissolve into the dressing mixture. Next, begin whisking as you gradually incorporate the oil. Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Note the change in measurements so you’ll remember next time. Dressing stored in the refrigerator is safe for a max of two weeks.

The spinach salad above is dressed with a lemon champagne vinaigrette, tomatoes, goat cheese, crispy onions and sautéed Portobello mushrooms mixed in. We used extra virgin olive oil, lemon champagne vinegar, sea salt, finely diced shallots.

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