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Easy DIY Salad Dressing

Easy DIY Salad Dressing

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Remember These?

WishBone was one brand.  
Good Seasonings was another.  

All came with a little packet of spices and you provided your own oil, vinegar, and water?  

This whole idea is based on one of these pre-marked salad dressing carafes.  

The basic recipe is very simple:  

Vinegar    to line
Water        to line
Salad oil    to line

I then pour the mixture l into a measuring cup, so I can use a stick blender to mix in the other ingredients and emulsify the dressing.  To the measuring cup (or blender bowl) add:   

    one big tablespoon of a good Dijon or course Country-style Mustard.  
    one big tablespoon of a no-salt spice mix like Mrs. Dash.  
    If you are an fan of the stink rose, also add a whole peeled toe of garlic.  

Hit the concoction with the stick blender and return to the carafe to serve.  

(BTW, I pick up these old carafes in second-hand and thrift shops).

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Variations:  

Vinegar:
white, red or cider, but all are a little sharp.  
Balsamic is better, but I really object to the muddy color of the salad dressing with typical dark balsamic.  Luckily, it turns out that both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sells a white balsamic vinegar (It’s the real thing, same grapes but a white variety).  It tastes just like regular balsamic vinegar, but doesn’t discolor your salad dressing.    

Water:
Water’s fine.  However, this is a good place to use a citrus based vinegar, if you want.  I’ve had good luck with a Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar.  Pomegranate vinegar wasn’t so great.  I’ve also had good luck with fresh lemon juice.  

Oil:
A good salad oil, I prefer Olive Oil.  
Consumer Reports rated Trader Joe’s California Estate as the very best tasting OVOO they tested, and it is guaranteed not to be adulterated, unlike a lot of the Olive Oils from Greece or Turkey.  

Mustard:
French’s Yellow is out, but other than that I’m really happy with almost every thing I’ve tried, like Grey Poupon Country-style, which is course in texture but also has some horseradish in it.  

BTW, The mustard is the emulsifier that keeps the oil and vinegar in suspension.

Seasoning:
When you’re using this much, salt free is important.  I’m partial to Trader Joe’s 21 Spice Salute, but I have no illusions its anything more that the sweepings from the floor around their 21 spice mills that get bottled and sold to schmucks like me.  Regular Mrs. Dash or any of the similar spiced concoctions is fine.  You can always add salt, but you can’t really take it out.  

In the past, I’ve also added generous amounts of parmesan cheese before the blending stage, as well as the garlic toe.  

Alternatively, you can adjust this by recipe by cutting ⅔ the oil and ¾ the vinegar and using yogurt to make a pretty good veggie dip.  

At the house, we’ve added red pepper and chili powder for a more southwest flavor (cutting back on the other spices) and finely diced sweet pickles for a Thousand Island-like dressing.

We haven’t tried it yet, but I imagine substituting in some amount of sesame seed oil for olive oil and soy sauce for vinegar and maybe a splash of Rice Wine Vinegar would work pretty well for an Asian dressing.  Be careful with the sesame seed oil, it can quickly overpower any recipe.  

Peeled and seeded fresh puréed tomatoes is also a flavorful addition, particularly with less seasoning mix and adding a few basil leaves.  

Note: This salad dressing will congeal in the refrigerator.  Hit it with 10-15 sec in the microwave to get it flowable (you can actually lay the carafe on it’s side.  This mixture doesn’t liquefy that quickly.  Or take it out of the box 30 mins before you need it.  

Acid content is so high, I don’t think it will spoil, but use your own judgment.  

After you read the contents on the side of any bottle of commercial salad dressing, I’m sure you too will find this recipe a more ahealthful and more flavorful option.  

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Bonus:  

If you want to really wow somebody with a great dip:

Take some plain creame cheese (softened block or whipped),
a handful of chopped chives,
maybe a teaspoon of finely chopped onions,
and a package of the ready to eat, prepared smoked salmon. Shred the salmon with a fork and mix it all.  

Refrigerate overnight.  

Serve with bagels or chips.  

It really impresses the guest or at the office party.  

 

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