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Salad Dressing made by You

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Salad Dressing made by You

Postby Lily » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:26 pm

Okay, I thought fennel made a good suggestion on another food topic but I think we need to expand to include salad dressing recipes. They are very easy, and will save you some coin if you make your own salad dressing. Any decent cook book will include some recipes and I'm sure a simple google search will yield more. Best part of making your own salad dressing is you don't even need to be a good cook to make a good salad dressing. But it will probably edge you into trying new things to prepare. The basic vinegar and oil dressing is a great place to start.

Basic Oil & Vinegar Dressing
In a screw-top jar combine 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup vinegar (correction made). You can use rice wine vinegar, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, plain white vinegar, but keep in mind each vinegar will contribute a specific flavor. Add freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 t dry mustard, and 1/2 t sugar. Cover, shake well and chill in fridge.

For an Italian flavor add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (optional) and 1 T each of basil, garlic, and oregano. Red wine vinegar works well here.

If you like Mrs. Dash's herb flavors, adding a T of the Original tastes good here. With this, I really like the gentle flavor of rice wine vinegar. If you like a creamy style, add a couple scoops of non-fat plain yogurt.

Or use the recipe above and add your favorite dried herbs.

Anyway, this is a good start. What is the recipe for your favorite salad dressing?
Last edited by Lily on Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby Lily » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:41 pm

And, in a blast from the past, here's a blender recipe for

Green Goddess Dressing

In a blender combine 1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves, 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 green onion finely chopped, 2 T tarragon vinegar, 1 T anchovy paste, 1 t dried basil. Blend until smooth. Store in tightly covered glass jar in fridge.


Thousand Island Dressingng

Combine 1 cup mayo, 1/4 cup chili sauce, 2 finely chopped hard cooked eggs, 2 T each finely chopped green pepper, celery, and onion. Add 1 t paprika and 1 T sweet relish and mix well. Store in tightly covered glass jar in fridge.
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:46 pm

I've been making bucketloads of blue cheese dressing lately because there isn't a bottled variety I've yet come across that's as chunky as I like it, and they're loaded with corn syrup to boot. It's super simple to make and wonderfully delicious, but it's certainly not gonna save you much money.

Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing
1 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
2/3 cup blue cheese crumbled (I think it's best with buttermilk blue cheese, but it's certainly not necessary)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Mix everything in a bowl with a fork. Refrigerate for a few hours for tastiest results. Add fresh ground pepper just before eating. I could eat this stuff with a spoon.

Obviously, you don't need low fat or fat free ingredients, but personally, I don't notice the difference -- the wonderful creamy flavor should be coming from the actual blue cheese, not the goop. I suppose you could blend it if you don't want it chunky, but what fun would that be?
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby O.J. » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:24 am

Lily wrote:
Basic Oil & Vinegar Dressing
In a screw-top jar combine 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup vinegar.


I like vinegar, but that sounds like an acid-bomb. The basic vinaigrette ratio is roughly 3:1 oil to acid.
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby Lily » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:51 pm

O.J. wrote:
Lily wrote:
Basic Oil & Vinegar Dressing
In a screw-top jar combine 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and 1/2 cup vinegar.


I like vinegar, but that sounds like an acid-bomb. The basic vinaigrette ratio is roughly 3:1 oil to acid.


Oops. Typo. Three to one it is. 1/2 oil and 1/4 vinegar. Man, would that have been yukky.

Love the blue cheese salad dressing recipe. I must try that.
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby kittenwithawhip » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:22 pm

I absolutely hate bottled salad dressing (sooo sweet!) so I always make my own. For my go to recipe for daily use I don't really measure anything so all is approximate here.
First I soak a few Tbsp of chopped shallots or red onion in about 1/4 C vinegar, usually red wine or a mix of red and balsamic. After about 10 minutes I add about 2 tsp chopped capers (salted, soaked and chopped) some chopped parsley, basil if I have it fresh, and fresh ground pepper. Usually the capers add enough salt, but add more to taste if not. Sometimes I add some dijon mustard, sometimes not, depends on how light I want the dressing. Then I beat in 3/4 C olive oil till it is a nice emulsion. Different herbs can be used to vary, sometimes I add crushed pink pepper.

For something a bit richer I whisk together about 1/4 C oiive oil, 2 T red wine vinegar, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tsp each basil and thyme, some dried tarragon to taste and then whisk in a few tbsp of good mayo. S&P to taste until well emulsified.
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby Mean Scenester » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:25 pm

Lily wrote:Oops. Typo. Three to one it is. 1/2 oil and 1/4 vinegar.

Actually, that's two-to-one. But I'm a fan of vinegar so that suits me just fine.
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:50 pm

Penzy's has some really good salad dressing bases. Specifically this one which also double as a great dry rub for meat.

http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/ ... ypepp.html
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby fennel » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:31 pm

I like a less oily dressing, so I push the ratio closer to 50/50, generally. It depends on the particular qualities of the vinegar and the oil. If I have a really nice fruity olive oil, for example, I'll go heavier on the oil. Same thing if the vinegar is particularly sharp.

But the way you dress the salad is also important. Shake vigorously, dress the salad in a large bowl while tossing with tongs. Drizzle, toss, drizzle toss. Go for a light, even coating.

If you're adding fresh herbs, chop them finely and let them sit in the oil for a while before adding the vinegar. Experiment with your favorite prepared mustard and tiny quantities of maple syrup.

Simple vinaigrettes don't need refrigeration if their intended lifespan is a few days. Let them warm to room temperature if cold.

Lastly, if cheese is in order, try making it part of the salad, rather than the dressing. It's a simpler approach, and the cheese tends to meld well when you're tossing in the dressing.
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby NullDevice » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:32 pm

There are few salad dressings that can't be improved with the addition/substitution of a good sherry vinegar.

One of my favorites is simple: sherry vinegar, olive oil, a good mustard and blend. The mustard adds flavor and has some lecithin to help keep it from separating. (if you really want it stable, a bit of xanthan gum helps too). Best of all, it's freaking delicious.
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby city2countrygal » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:47 pm

NullDevice wrote:if you really want it stable, a bit of xanthan gum helps too

Aha, another use for my newly discovered ingredient, xanthan gum! Thanks NullDevice! About how much, 1/2 tsp?
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby NullDevice » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:42 am

Depends how much dressing you're making!

(it doesn't take much. I think even a 1/4 tsp can stabilize a lot.)

Go to khymos.org and download their "Texture" guide to using hydrocolloids. I think the exact ratio is in there. Also some other nifty uses for xanthan gum, soy lecithin, tapioca maltodextrin, etc.
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby NullDevice » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:44 am

Lily wrote:And, in a blast from the past, here's a blender recipe for

Green Goddess Dressing



Made this last night and it's better than I remember, so THANK YOU for digging this up. It's especially awesome if you use a good mayo. I had some homemade garlic-tarragon mayo in my fridge. Heaven.

I'm going to attempt to make it soon swapping out the sour cream for drained greek yogurt and see how that goes. Just cuz I like greek yogurt a lot.
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby Lily » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:57 pm

NullDevice wrote:
Lily wrote:And, in a blast from the past, here's a blender recipe for

Green Goddess Dressing



Made this last night and it's better than I remember, so THANK YOU for digging this up. It's especially awesome if you use a good mayo. I had some homemade garlic-tarragon mayo in my fridge. Heaven.

I'm going to attempt to make it soon swapping out the sour cream for drained greek yogurt and see how that goes. Just cuz I like greek yogurt a lot.


Glad you liked it. The homemade garlic-tarragon mayo sounds good too. Recipe? Do you have to make it with organic eggs?
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Re: Salad Dressing made by You

Postby NullDevice » Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:55 am

It helps to make it with organic eggs, but I've made it with regular ones, too. Egg, a little good viengar (my beloved sherry vinegar again), a good mustard (I always like the Sierra Nevada stoneground, when I can actually find it), a clove or two of garlic, a spring of tarragon, whizz up with the blender, then drizzle in a cup of oil (or two...basically as much as I can get in before it starts to not emuslify anymore. I tend to wing it). I usually use a half-and-half mix of a good olive oil and a neutral vegetable oil, since olive oil alone can get a bit excessively rich.

It's also good with smoked paprika instead of tarragon. :) But that won't make as tasty of a green goddess dressing.

Hey, Prof Wagstaff, I made the blue cheese dressing last night. Fantastic, and it does indeed also work with greek yogurt (although the batch with the sour cream was slightly better). And my hands still smell like blue cheese.
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