Shake up a quick salad dressing and love the homemade difference. The recipe for vinaigrette can be as simple as oil, vinegar, and a jar with a lid. Learn a basic formula to use every time and tips for varying the ingredients with ease.
Salad dressings are generally made by mixing two ingredients that don’t want to mix, such as oil and vinegar. This is called an emulsion and is accomplished by some enthusiastic shaking or whisking until the dressing is smooth.
- Creamy dressings are often mayonnaise-based and are best whisked in a bowl or quickly whirled in a blender or food processor.
- Vinaigrettes take just a couple of minutes to make and are a mixture of oil and vinegar plus any desired seasonings. They often separate after mixing and need a quick shake or whisking before serving.
Best Oils for Salad Dressing
The oil you use affects the flavor of your vinaigrette significantly.
- Vegetable oils such as canola, corn, safflower, soybean, and sunflower oil offer mild flavor and color. Use one of these when you want the other flavors in the dressing to star.
- Olive oil is a popular choice for vinaigrette, but keep in mind that olive oils vary significantly in color, flavor, and price range. Extra virgin olive oil, which is from the first pressing of the olives, is the fruitiest and most flavorful. For mild olive flavor, try olive oil labeled as light (this refers to the flavor and isn’t lower in fat or calories).
- Sesame oil and nut oils, including peanut, almond, walnut, and hazelnut, are full-flavor oils with plenty of personality. These are highly perishable and should be stored in the refrigerator.