Here’s my master salad dressing that I use as a base for every salad! You just need 1 tbsp vinegar, 3 tbsp oil and 1/2 tsp mustard for thickening. Then just finish with salt and pepper, or choose from any number of flavourings – garlic, fresh or dried herbs, pinch of spice, touch of honey.
USE FOR big leafy salads, chopped salads, to add flavour to beans and lentils, and infuse boiled, steamed and roasted vegetables with flavour – they suck up the dressing when hot!
This is my recipe for a basic salad dressing that I use virtually everyday – either as it is, or as a base to add other flavourings as listed in the recipe.
1 tablespoon vinegar + 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard + 1/2 each salt and pepper
This will dress any salad for 4 people.
- Vinegar – my favourite is apple cider vinegar (also labelled just cider vinegar) and lemon juice. They are both less sharp than plain white vinegar, but more tangy than white wine vinegar – perfect balance. BUT you can make this with any vinegar at all.
- Extra virgin olive oil – the better the oil, the better the flavour of the dressing. If you make this with a flavourless oil (like peanut, vegetable, canola) then just add one of the Flavourings listed – garlic is my go to!
- Dijon Mustard – this is optional but I pretty much always add a touch because it thickens the dressing a bit more which makes it coat the lettuce better.
TWEAK THE TANG
Use the recipe below as your master, then just tweak as follows to your taste – remember, different vinegars have different levels of sharpness:
- too tangy – add more oil or a touch of sugar or honey;
- not tangy enough – add more vinegar
SALAD DRESSING is for more than just leafy salads!
Use this dressing for any salad – leafy greens, garden salads, chopped salads. It makes enough to serve 4.
It’s also terrific used to make otherwise bland steamed or boiled vegetables tastier. Toss while hot and they will suck up the flavour! Same goes for roasted vegetables.
Enjoy! – Nagi x
This is my everyday salad dressing “formula”. This recipe makes just over 1/4 cup of dressing as is enough to dress a large leafy salad for 4 people – you just want the lettuce to be lightly coated, not drowning. The trick is to make this in a jar so you can shake it really well, which will make the oil and vinegar emulsify, meaning they mix together and thicken so they will coat your salad nicely.
- 1 tbsp any vinegar or lemon juice ((my favourite is cider vinegar) (Note 1))
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or other neutral oil)
- 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard ((or other non spicy smooth mustard))
- 1/2 tsp EACH salt and pepper
Optional Flavourings – choose:
- 1/2 – 1 small garlic clove* (, pressed through crusher or smashed (Note 2))
- 1 tsp lemon zest*
- 1/4 tsp sugar ((Note 3))
- 1 tsp honey ((Note 3))
- Finely chopped fresh herbs
- 1/2 tsp dried herbs*
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Place Dressing ingredients and Optional Flavourings in a jar and shake well until mustard dissolves.
Makes enough for a big leafy salad for 4 people (4 big handfuls of lettuce), or garden salad.
Storage: Excluding garlic and fresh herbs, Dressing will keep for weeks in the fridge – just give it a good shake before using. Big batch – click servings and slide.
Use to dress any fresh salad (make sure leaves are dry otherwise it won’t stick) or steamed, boiled or roasted vegetables (douse while hot so it absorbs!). Drizzle and toss well just before serving.
* These are my favourite flavourings that I use most frequently. Though when I use good extra virgin olive oils, I tend to leave the dressing plain to let the flavour of the oil shine through.
1. Vinegars – the ratio of vinegar to oil used in this dressing is standard so you can really use any vinegar at all, including but not limited to:
- Apple cider vinegar (my most used)
- White wine vinegar (2nd most used, use a touch more as it’s milder)
- Red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, champagne vinegar
- Plain white vinegar (most sharp, so you may need touch more oil)
- Rice wine vinegar
2. Garlic – Either press 1/2 a clove through a crusher and add into jar. OR burst it open by smashing with side of knife or similar, then leave in dressing for 20 min or so for a lovely garlic “perfume” (restaurants do this because they prefer not to have garlic “bits” in the dressing).
3. Sugar and honey can take the sharp edge off dressings without using more oil. Don’t use BOTH, use one!
4. Fresh herbs – amount required depends on what you use. Use more of subtle herbs (parsley, dill, chives) and less of stronger tasting ones (sage, thyme, rosemary).
5. Dried herbs – I like using oregano (very Greek!) or thyme, or combo of both. Or mixed dried herbs.
6. BIG batch – scale it up and keep it for weeks in the fridge, just give it a good shake before using. BUT just be mindful of shelf life if you add fresh garlic (3 days) or herbs (will go brown in a few days).
Life of Dozer
He eyes off the salad like it’s a big juicy steak, then REJECTS it!! 🙄