Making healthy, delicious, sugar-free salad dressing is easy and fun. There are endless variations and it is practically foolproof.
Why should you do it? Not only do almost all bottled salad dressings have additives, sugars, preservatives, etc., but it is very difficult to find one with really good quality oil, and that is going to make a huge difference in the taste of your salad (not to mention the nutritional value!)
The traditional proportions call for 3 parts oil to one part vinegar, but I prefer closer to 2 to 1. It will vary with the acidity of the vinegar you choose, as well as the other ingredients you add for flavor.
The most basic way to dress a salad is simply to pour a little good quality oil and vinegar on top of the salad, sprinkle a little salt, and toss thoroughly. This can be surprisingly satisfactory. Especially if your veggies are fresh and local, and your other ingredients are top quality,you won’t need more enhancement.
My favorite oils for making dressing are walnut oil, MCT oil (from coconut), and olive oil.
Salad dressing is the best use of high quality olive oil. There’s not much point in buying an expensive extra virgin cold pressed olive oil and then cooking with it. You will really appreciate its flavor in dressing.
As for vinegar, my current favorite is an organic Italian golden balsamic, but you can use apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or even fresh squeezed lemon juice. (I prefer to keep white vinegar for cleaning, and detox baths.)
My favorite salts are natural and mineral rich, like Himalayan Pink, Hawaiian Red, or Celtic Grey. You might be surprised at how varied in flavor salts can be.
I make my dressing in a wide mouthed jar, so I can get my stick blender right in there, and not have to transfer the dressing after it is finished. You will definitely want to use a blender, not just a whisk, to completely emulsify the ingredients.
Basic Salad Dressing Recipe:
2/3 cup oil
1/3 cup vinegar
pinch of salt
Here’s where you get to be creative. I like to add a heaping teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and a handful of fresh herbs from my garden. In fact, it’s the main reason I grow herbs: tarragon, oregano, rosemary, basil, parsley, cilantro may find their way into my dressing singly or in combination. Remove any stems. You can also add garlic, shallots, or chives.
Want a creamy dressing? Try adding a little coconut milk.
Blend thoroughly, taste test and adjust, if necessary. Don’t be afraid to experiment. You may never buy packaged dressing again!