Vinaigrette's Base Ingredients
Vinaigrette's two primary ingredients are oil and vinegar with a ratio of one to two parts oil to one part vinegar. The best oil to use in making vinaigrette salad dressing is extra virgin olive oil; its light flavor allows the flavor of the seasonings to be more pronounced in the dressing. The darker the oil is, usually indicates a stronger flavor which may overwhelm seasonings. A good rule of thumb is that if the olive oil has a pleasant taste by itself, it will make a great vinaigrette dressing.
Quality vinegar is important when making vinaigrette dressing. Don't compromise your results by using the cheapest vinegar. The most common types of vinegar used in vinaigrette dressings are wine vinegars. Don't worry so much about how the olive oil and vinegar will taste together apply the same taste test as with selecting olive oil. If it tastes good, it should pair well with your olive oil. Don't count out the balsamic vinegars or cider vinegars; those too are popular in making vinaigrette dressings.
Seasonings for Vinaigrette Dressing
Here's where your creativity begins. Now that you have a base of vinaigrette, adding seasonings will create your own signature dressing. Be sure to write down what you use in case it happens to be a hit with family and friends so it can easily be replicated.
Sea salt is hands down better than table salt. Flavored sea salt is available at specialty stores and will come in handy as you navigate through the comfort zone of making vinaigrette dressing. Pepper is another essential to making vinaigrette. If you do not have a pepper mill, consider getting one as there's no comparison to freshly ground peppercorns. Other herbs and seasonings used to finalize your dressing include: chives, dill, parsley, basil, mint, tarragon, thyme, garlic, mustard, sugar, and onion.
A garden salad can be a light, healthy meal in itself and if you want something with more substance, add grilled chicken, steak or tuna. Don't forget to add berries. Strawberries, raspberries and even blueberries are that special somethin'-somethin' that will make a so-so salad something special.
Published by Patricia Hill
Patricia is a part-time freelance writer and contributor for Associated Content's news and editorials. She is passionate about healthy eating, natural food, organics, holistic health, pets and gardening. Pat... View profile
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