One of the processed food items that annoys me the most is bottled salad dressing. If you walk down the aisle of a conventional grocery store, you’ll see, I don’t know, how many different types of salad dressing? Fifty? Low fat, no fat, light, sugar free, and on and on. The fat free ones probably contain sugar, the sugar free ones probably contain…chemicals! Most contain a long list of ingredients that are unrecognizable as foodstuffs and are meant to extend the shelf life of the product or create a specific texture.
The irony here is that people are eating salads trying to be healthy, yet the salad is being capped off with an unhealthy dressing.
The other irony is that salad dressing is the easiest thing in the world to make. Do the french buy bottled salad dressing? Mais NON!
All you need to make your own vinaigrette-style salad dressing are the following:
- a jar
- olive oil
- good quality vinegar (not white vinegar!)
- sea salt
- mustard (optional)
Put a couple tablespoons of the olive oil and vinegar into the jar. Add a dash of salt. Shake. Taste. Does it need more vinegar? Add more. Is it too tart? Add more oil. Add some mustard if you want. Shake. You’re done. This will keep in the fridge indefinitely. Ok, no need to buy salad dressing anymore!
You can zing it up a bit by switching out the vinegar for lemon juice. Or you can add some minced herbs (chives, for instance), or minced garlic or shallots. You can experiment with different types of oils and different types of vinegars. Walnut oil makes a sublime vinaigrette when paired with a lambs ear lettuce, beet, walnut and blue cheese salad. My favorite vinegar is Sherry vinegar, which also known as Xeres vinegar.
If you really love the bottled dressing stuff, well, bless your heart. But I think a lot of you out there can make a transition to homemade salad dressing with joy and ease. Making your own will be much faster than picking one out of those 50 in the super marker aisle!
Start a revolution – make your own salad dressing! This is one of the essentials of my food mantra.