No salad should go out undressed, no matter how “unhealthy” you might think they are. A naked salad is a boring salad; missing all the delicious flavour enhancers that a great homemade salad dressing brings. The huge amount of supermarket shelving devoted to salad dressings shows its popularity, but we think it’s time to down the readymade dressings and try making your own. There are so many reasons for making your own ones; mostly because they are super easy. They are cheap, healthier and last for ages in your fridge. Still not convinced? Check out our three easy peasy bedrock homemade salad dressings, and tell us that you aren’t convinced.
So, first things first. What do you need to make these salad dressings? A glass mixing bowl and a whisk will work well for most dressings; we like to shake ours together in a sterilised jar to avoid washing up. Blenders are very handy for creamy dressings and take any worry out of the emulsifying step of making a vinaigrette, but aren’t essential.
Perhaps the most popular of all the dressings; French Dressing is a classic vinaigrette, meaning that in it’s purest form, it is an oil and vinegar amalgamation. Ours has garlic and mustard, and you can add whatever herbs you like to yours – chives and tarragon are absolutely stunning. French dressing complements all green salad, and works well with white meat and fish too. For a cheat’s dip, serve crudité vegetables with mayonnaise mixed with homemade French dressing.
The aged flavour depth of balsamic vinegar means that a balsamic dressing can be used with just oil and vinegar. This sweet, sharp dressing will take you far – serve with peppery leaves like rocket and red meats; you can even reduce some of the dressing to make a piquant balsamic glaze.
A creamy, salty dressing like Ranch is an essential addition to your salad arsenal because it makes light work of ingredients. It complements robust leaves like romaine and baby gem without overpowering them, and is a dip that can be served happily alongside hummus. Don’t forget the best bit: Ranch can be substituted for mayo on any sandwich. Imagine. The. Joy.