Whenever I make dinner for someone – without fail – if I serve a salad, the only thing I get compliments on is the dressing. But I’m not complaining. My salad dressing IS pretty amazing.
So good is this dressing, that people who have had it come to me years later and ask how I made it. My bridesmaid/lovely friend, Lucy, even asked me this morning (this post is dedicated to you, Lucy!).
“Get on with the recipe, Wiggs, and stop bragging about how good it is,” you say. Well, I say, you need to understand that this is no ordinary salad dressing. You may never go back to the bottle again. What’s more, it’s totally adaptable to whatever flavors you’re looking for, so you can always modify it! SHAZZAM!
Even better, you more than likely have all of the ingredients you need, just sitting there in your kitchen, crying out to be made into a delicious dressing!
The ingreeds (for the basic dressing):
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3-4 tablespoons Tamari (or soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons mustard (preferrably Dijon or stone-ground)
These amounts are completely made up because I usually eyeball it based on how much dressing I need and how much I’m loving a particular ingredient. For example, most days I would happily drink Tamari sauce straight out of the bottle. Today I added a chunk of hummus, since I love it so much.
Combine all of the ingredients and stir with a fork. Taste to see how you like it, and adjust the amounts accordingly. Since I eyeballed the dressing, I took pictures at every step to give you an idea of how yours should look.
Now, you could stop here. I almost did. But then I saw the tub of hummus and knew that I NEEDED some in my dressing. I typically add hummus when I’m doing a mediterranean-flavored salad or quinoa salad (quinoa salad is just quinoa with diced veggies – tomatoes, cukes, red onion, parsley, etc. – and dressing. And it’s amazing).
If you cut down the olive oil a bit, this also makes a great marinade for meat.
So now that you know the basics, here are some variations you can make:
- Asian: Substitute all or half of the olive oil with sesame oil (and maybe a splash of toasted sesame oil, although be careful because it’s got a strong taste); substitute some or all of the vinegar with rice wine vinegar (optional)
- Creamy: Add a little bit of plain yogurt and cut down on the rest of the ingredients (especially the vinegar and soy sauce)
- Sweet: Add some honey, and don’t use as much soy sauce or take out the soy completely and add a pinch of salt
- Tangy: Substitute lemon or lime juice for some of the vinegar
- Citrusy: Use red or white wine vinegar (or champagne vinegar), add lemon juice and a splash of orange or grapefruit juice. For an extra kick, put some zest from the sweet citrus fruit that you use
- Oniony: grate or finely dice some onion and add it to the dressing. Also consider adding some grated/crushed garlic.
Really, you can do just about anything with this shizz. People will die – DIE – with how great it is. Also, you’ll save money by making your own, which is always a plus. The only thing that I haven’t been able to replicate using this recipe as a base is berry vinaigrette. But that’s okay – I don’t really like that stuff anyway.
Got anything to add? What’s in your favorite homemade salad dressing?