Choosing a dressing for your salad is like deciding which scarf or necktie to wear with your favorite outfit. It makes a statement of is own and which you wear depends a lot on your mood, maybe the color of your pants, or the upcoming day’s events.
It’s the same with salad dressing.
Sometimes you’re happy with a comfortable traditional blend, sometimes want something a little spunkier. Rarely do you want to wear the same thing over and over. Here are a few ideas for freshly-made designer vinaigrettes that will perfectly compliment just about any favorite salad in your wardrobe.
- Time-Honored Vinaigrette: Mix together 2 teaspoons dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, ground black pepper to taste. Gradually whisk in 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil.
Want a little departure from basic stripes, try:
- Roasted Garlic: Make Vinaigrette in a blender Add the cloves from one head roasted garlic. 2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Pulse until garlic is chopped and dressing is blended
- Shallot–White Wine: (Pictured) Make vinaigrette but use white wine vinegar in place of red, add 1 minced shallot, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, ground black pepper to taste.
- Blue Cheese, Bacon, Chive: Make Vinaigrette; adding 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese, 2-3 slices crumbled cooked bacon and 2 tablespoons chopped chives. Whisk together.
- Mixed Mediterranean: Make Vinaigrette; add 1/2 cup crumbled feta, mix in 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 diced plum tomato.
We know what you’re thinking, these sound wonderful. I’m going to make a large batch of dressings and store them so they can be on hand. Don’t. Not even in the refrigerator.
We don’t want to be a buzzkill, but storing dressings that include garlic, or shallots and some herbs in oil is very risky and not recommended. Oil provides an ideal environment for the growth of microorganisms that are naturally found on these ingredients. It’s possible for contamination to begin after only a few days. Ask anyone who’s been made sick by anaerobic bacteria. It’s nasty. And it’s unnecessary since these treasures mix up fresh in a flash.
Enjoy these dressings the day you make them! Tomorrow, wear something else.
Co-Author of Garden Candy Basics