“the dressing”

September 13, 2011 § 4 Comments

Growing up, we never used bottled dressing.  My mom always made dressing for our salads from scratch.  It wasn’t anything fancy, it was just the norm. As I got more into cooking during high school, I began making her dressing from time to time, slowing mastering her technique.

When I left home for college and began living on my own, I continued to make homemade salad dressing.  I began having friends over for dinner and often someone would comment about the dressing.  “Did you make this?  It’s delicious!”  This post is not a vehicle for me to brag about my salad dressing skills.  Rather, when people would say these things, I’d always reply “Oh, it’s nothing!”  And I truly meant it.  In my mind it wasn’t a big deal, it was so simple to make.

I’ve realized though, over the years, that to many the idea of making your own salad dressing seems daunting. When I make salad dressing I never measure, I just go by taste, but obviously that isn’t very helpful to someone trying to mimic the recipe. So yesterday I made our salad dressing and measured every ingredient. Some of the measurements may seem a little funny, but nonetheless this combination yields a stellar balsamic vinaigrette.

“the dressing”

This recipe make enough for a side salad for four.  You can easily double or triple the proportions and keep the salad dressing in the fridge.  Dressing can be stored up to 5 days.

1/4 c good extra virgin olive oil

1 T plus 1 tsp balsamic vinaigrette*

1 tsp good dijon mustard (I use Maille brand)

1/4 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt (a heaping 1/8, be generous)

several grinds fresh black pepper

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper until well combined.  Next pour in the olive oil, whisking to combine as you pour.  Taste for s+p flavor, may need a bit more salt.  Keep in mind, if a dressing tastes a bit salty- that’s ok.  It has to flavor a whole salad, so it won’t seem too extreme when eating the actual salad.

*This recipe calls for balsamic vinegar, but I use the same technique with different vinegars all the time.  You could sub in just 1 tablespoon white wine or red wine vinegar and keep the other proportions the same.

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