Three recipes for easy homemade salad dressings. First up, Buttermilk Balsamic Dressing (pictured below) but there's also My Favorite Salad Dressing that's never the same twice except delicious, it's a classic vinaigrette, the one I make nearly every day. Finally, there's a Traditional Balsamic Dressing. For anyone who's set a goal to eat more salads, start with learning how how to make homemade salad dressing, it makes all the difference!
Ah, summer salads. What’s not to love about a plate piled high with fresh greens, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower? Throw chicken breasts on the grill and the meal is complete.
BUTTERMILK BALSAMIC DRESSING is a stock item to keep ready in the fridge nearly year-round. It’s terrific on salads but also works as a pick-me-up for steamed vegetables and grilled meats. You’ll want to use fresh buttermilk and a good balsamic vinegar. And look at the calories – it’s practically a “free” food!
TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC DRESSING is luscious too. But while its ingredients are similar to those of the first dressing, it’s a much different proposition for calorie counters.
MY FAVORITE DRESSING has no recipe, per se, but is a simple concept. For photos and detailed instructions how to make My Favorite Salad Dressing, see how to make salad dressing at A Veggie Venture, my food blog. It's mixed right in the salad bowl, one salad at a time. Do experiment: it’s fun and always worth eating.
For starters, use a garlic press or a fork to mash a garlic clove in a salad bowl – or for a bare hint of garlic, rub the clove along the bowl’s sides and then discard it. You can also substitute a dollop of a garlic-ginger mixture that’s often found in produce sections near the fresh garlic.
Add a sprinkle of salt, then a dollop of a favorite mustard. Pour in a splash of vinegar, any kind. Emulsify these with the fork.
Now add the olive oil. For a simple dressing, add a double splash of good olive oil and emulsify again. The traditional proportion is one part vinegar to three parts oil but I’ve come to prefer considerably less oil. You'll learn your own taste.
If you feel exotic, add chopped fresh herbs and/or grated parmesan and then season to taste with fresh pepper.
BUTTERMILK BALSAMIC DRESSING (pictured above)
Hands-on time: 6 minutes
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey (warmed to pour more easily)
- 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon basil (crushed)
- 1/2 teaspoon tarragon (crushed)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Gently whisk all ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a sealable glass bottle. Refrigerate overnight to blend flavors before serving.
TRADITIONAL BALSAMIC DRESSING
Hands-on time: 6 minutes
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons honey (warmed)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1-1/2 - 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3/4 cup olive oil
Blend all ingredients. That's all there is to it!
If you happen to have a Good Season’s decanter available in grocery stores, add the balsamic vinegar to the "V" (for vinegar) line. Then add the honey, mustard and garlic powder. Finally, add olive oil to the "O" (for olive oil) line.
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