I make it every day, some times twice. I often use good ingredients, good olive oil, good vinegar; mostly I use the every day stuff. It's always the same, it's never the same, both at once except that it's always good. When I make it for others, I get quizzical looks. "What IS this?" I hear. "It's my favorite salad dressing," I answer. "I'll show you."
Many years ago, it was Ann Lemons who showed me how to make salad dressing. She and husband Joe Pollack are big shots in the St. Louis food world, with piles of credits to their names. Ann and Joe are blogging now. This post is my way of saying Welcome to the world of food blogging -- and to thank you, Ann, publicly, for teaching me how to breathe, even as I, in turn, teach others.
This salad dressing recipe was first published in a 2003 Kitchen Parade column featuring a trio of salad dressing recipes. Along with My Favorite Salad Dressing, there is Buttermilk Balsamic Dressing (easy to make ahead and store in the frig for a week or so, best of all, it's a rare salad dressing with zero Weight Watchers points) and Traditional Balsamic Dressing (delicious and worth an occasional splurge).
MY FAVORITE SALAD DRESSING
Time to table: 5 minutes
This is not a recipe, per se, but a simple concept. Once you learn the concept, you'll never need a 'recipe' again and can easily adapt the ingredients for your own taste profile and the quantities for a single serving to a crowd.
For starters, use a garlic press or a fork to mash a garlic clove in a salad bowl. If you prefer a hint of garlic, rub the clove along the bowl’s sides and then discard it; you can also substitute a dollop of a garlic-ginger mixture that’s often found in produce sections near the fresh garlic. Add some salt, then a dollop of a favorite mustard. Rub these together with the fork.
Pour in a double splash of vinegar, your choice, but the less harsh the vinegar, the better the dressing. With the fork, whisk the vinegar into the mustard-salt mixture.
Now add a splash of good olive oil (this is a time to bring out the extra virgin olive oil) and whisk again. The traditional proportion of oil:vinegar is 3:1 but I’ve come to prefer considerably less oil, closer to 1:3. Add some freshly ground pepper. Taste the dressing, then adjust the ingredients to mirror your own taste profile. If you wanted a simple oil and vinegar dressing, you're done!
(If you're making the dressing ahead of time, stop here for the moment, until just before serving. For supper, I'll make the dressing while the meat cooks, then continue while it rests. For parties and potlucks, everything is prepped in advance. The dressing goes in a small jar, the washed greens in a freezer bag, everything else in individual tupperware containers.)
But if you feel exotic, add chopped fresh herbs and/or grated Parmesan. Taste the dressing again. It's good, yes?
Once you're ready to serve, add the salad greens and any other salad ingredients. Toss them into the dressing (your hands will be most efficient but salad servers work too) until the greens are covered, everywhere, with dressing. Grab a fork ... and enjoy!
Do experiment with ingredients: it’s fun, it's always worth eating . And in no time, you'll find yourself looking forward to an always-new, always-fresh salad.
~ Never Buy Salad Dressing Again! ~
~ Homemade Creamy Vinaigrette ~
~ Thousand Island Dressing ~
~ How to Make Caesar Salad ~
~ more salad dressing recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture