Introduction: Salad Dressing Made Simple

Is salad dressing your favorite part of salad? Did you know how easy it is to make your own at home? Use this incredibly simple salad dressing recipe to make as many variations of a basic vinaigrette as you can imagine!

Step 1: The Formula!

I know that using the formula here may make some people hesitant. Stick with me though, it is actually really simple. 

The formula is: 

3 parts oil + 1 part something acidic + seasonings/flavor additions = salad dressing

Not so bad, right? 

For example, if you wanted one cup of salad dressing, you'd need 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup. 

Step 2: Ingredients and Equipment

The only equipment you'll need is a measuring cup and a mason jar. If you don't have a mason jar, you can use any sort of glass bowl, but you'll also need a whisk. 

We'll start with the a pretty basic recipe. For this, you'll need: 

vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil*
white wine vinegar
salt and pepper

*After experimentation, I can say that I prefer the olive oil version. However, vegetable oil is certainly cheaper and will work in a pinch. 

Step 3: Measuring and Mixing

Now, measure out 3/4 cup oil and 1/4 vinegar. Put it into your mason jar. Add salt and pepper. Now shake it! 

You put the lid on first, right? Then you're done! Taste it to be sure that it doesn't need more seasoning. Then, serve it on your favorite salad.

If you don't need much dressing, try 3 tablespoons oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Or 6 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar. You get the idea.

In the photos attached here, the larger jar contains 1 cup of a vegetable oil and white wine vinegar mixture. The smaller jar contains 1/4 cup of an olive oil and white wine vinegar mixture.

Step 4: Serve and Store

Your vinaigrette should last for a couple of weeks in the fridge, but be smart about it. If it changes color completely or doesn't smell like something that you want to eat anymore, then don't eat it. If you've used garlic in your dressing, you probably shouldn't store it longer than a week. It may help to write the date on the jar somewhere.

Since we made this in a mason jar, if it separates a little just shake it back up before using it! 

Step 5: Variations on a Theme

Once you have the formula down, the possibilities are nearly endless. You can use different oils or acidic ingredients and add your favorite flavorings. These are just a few ideas: 

olive, canola, sunflower, or avocado oil 

balsamic, red wine, or herbed vinegars; lemon or orange juice

minced garlic, onion, or shallot; fresh herbs, spices, soy sauce, chili sauce, mustard, honey


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