Easy-to-Make Vinaigrettes

There are some decent salad dressings available in stores. Look at the labels and read the list of ingredients carefully.

There is so much added sugar. According to many nutritionists making salads is one area where someone can be unknowingly sabotaging their healthy eating habits.

If you’re having a salad that means you are eating healthy. Right? Maybe not.

The problem isn’t with the tender leaves. It’s everything people put on top of those salad greens.

Once you hit the salad bar toppings the blue cheese crumbles, bacon bits and other items starts to take the calorie count way up. That’s before you add the salad dressing packed with hidden sugar. That salad can ruin your healthy-eating plan.

So, here’s what you need to make your own vinaigrette. The ratio is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar or any other acid like citrus juice.

The only part of the equation you want to make sure and follow is that you want to slowly add the oil to the acid. This helps the mixture emulsify and come together.

Place a kitchen towel under a bowl to keep it from slipping and having to chase the bowl around the counter as you mix. This way you have one hand free for the whisk, or kitchen fork, and the other hand can slowly stream the olive oil as you mix.

Does it make a difference if you use extra-virgin- olive oil? It does. The extra-virgin-olive-oil is the first pressing and yields a more delicate, fruity flavor. You want to use the extra-virgin-olive-oil for your dressings and vinaigrettes and save the regular olive oil for the saute pan.

Since there a few ingredients in a vinaigrette you want them to be quality ones. Their flavors are front and center and you want the vinaigrette to have clean and clear tastes to dress the leaves.

A vinaigrette is the perfect place to let fresh herbs round out the ingredients. Some just-picked herb leaves can give a vinaigrette some perfume from basil or an added lemon flavor with lemon thyme.

Experiment with different ingredients like honey, mustard, citrus juices and zest, cream, and herb combinations. Remember, the ratio is 3 to 1 and the possibilities are endless.

Looking for ideas to get started? Stop back tomorrow when we discuss some basic vinaigrettes to get you started!


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