I’m a bit of a salad dressing snob. When I was a kid, I only liked French dressing, and only a certain brand. Eventually, I tired of the sweet red dressing on my salads and ate my lettuce leaves plain. Or, preferably, with lots of cheese. When I was in high school, I discovered Panera’s poppy seed dressing that they use on their fruity summer salad.
In the past few years, I’ve branched out and included a few vinaigrettes in my repertoire, green goddess dressing, and even some gingery Asian dressings. However, all these have come from the salad dressing aisle at the store. When we decided to eat more whole foods, I realized that the list of hard-to-pronounce ingredients on the back of my beloved ready-made dressings probably aren’t considered “whole.” For a few months, I bought some expensive organic dressing, but that didn’t agree with my budget.
One summer afternoon, I was assigned to bring a salad to my house church for dinner. The dressing I bought wasn’t gluten-free, which was a need for one member of my church, so I did some quick thinking. I threw apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a jar and shook it up. Maybe my gluten-free friend was just being polite, but she said the dressing was great.
A year and a half later, I realized, “Hey, I could do that for myself and probably save some money.” So I did. And it worked. And it was quick and easy. And you should try it too.
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1-2 pinches of salt
- a pinch (or grind) of pepper
- a small pinch of onion powder and/or garlic powder (optional)
- 1 clove of garlic minced or grated (optional)
- Put all ingredients in a jar.
- Seal jar.
- Check to see if the jar is really, really tightly sealed.
- Pour on top of salad and enjoy!
This has been so successful and so convenient that I’ve even tried my hand at other recipes. For example,
- 3 oz. orange juice
- 1 oz. lime juice
- 3 oz. olive oil
- 1-2 pinches salt
- 1 pinch ground ginger (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- See super complex ingredients from Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe.
Have you ever made salad dressing at home? What salad recipes do you love?