You can have delicious unique salad dressings at a fraction of the cost of the store-bought kind. You don’t have to be some kind of cooking genius, either. All it takes is a basic recipe and a willingness to experiment.
Start by saving a couple of empty bottles of purchased dressings. Glass is better but plastic will work too. Wash them well, soaking them for a while to take the labels off and to get them totally clean. Measure how much they will hold. It may be about a pint, or it might be more. Optionally, you can use any glass jar you have, but put some water in it, shake it up, and turn it upside down to be sure it won’t leak when you shake up the dressing.
The basic components of salad dressing are oil and vinegar, with salt unless you are on a salt-restricted diet. Everything else is optional. A bit of water often helps. Occasionally, fresh-squeezed lemon juice can be used as a vinegar replacement.
You want your ingredients to be of good quality. The best oil just happens to be one of the healthiest ones for you: olive oil. Be sure you get extra virgin olive oil, as it is the highest quality. It is produced by a physical process rather than chemical treatment and it is known to have a superior taste. Extra virgin olive oil does cost more, but the flavor and the nutritional qualities are worth it.
There are many excellent vinegars. Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is very healthy and gives a fresh flavor. Balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, and others will do very well also. You don’t use much vinegar per batch of salad dressing, so you can afford good ones.
The salt can be whatever you have around the house, but sea salt or other good salts will improve the flavor.
So, finally, what is the recipe? Well, it depends. Often 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar is a good blend, but you may also like 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar and 1 part water. In other words, if you were making a pint (two cups) of salad dressing, you could use 1 1/3 cups of olive oil to 2/3 cups of vinegar to create the first ratio. For the second one, you would use 1 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of vinegar, and 1/2 cup of water.
Start with 1/4 teaspoon of salt per pint of dressing, and increase it to taste. As for other spices, of course black pepper is typically used, but hot cayenne pepper, the milder paprika, and anything else on your shelf can be tried. Dried mixed herbs do well, so long as you give them enough time in the dressing before using it for the first time. Get information about Best Vegan Food in Milano here.
Find a good basic dressing that becomes a standard, and you will be able to make it rapidly. Then when you feel like it, experiment. Lemon juice can be a good substitute for vinegar, but it’s so strong that you may want a smaller amount of lemon juice than you would of vinegar. Leftover wine can replace water. Peanut butter can be added, as can yogurt. Use a blender if you wish.
Once you start making your own salad dressings, the flavor combinations are endless. If the olive oil solidifies when you keep the salad dressing in your refrigerator door, just pull out the dressing before you cook a meal, or keep the dressing at room temperature if you are going to use it up fairly soon.