For years, I would watch cooking shows where the host would wax on about how easy it is to make delicious salad dressing yourself and how much better it tastes than anything in a bottle. Sometimes (if I was alone) I would talk back to the TV and say something like, “You obviously have way more time than I do!” And then I would laugh and roll my eyes a bit.
My life is a little more manageable than it was then but I wouldn’t say I have a lot of extra time. (If you are a multi-tasking mom, then you know what I am talking about.) But I have learned the value of a simple homemade salad dressing. Note that I said simple — I like them to involve four ingredients or less unless it is a special occasion. I’m going to share with you what I’ve been serving up this week for dinner (alongside my meat-o-choice) and also my most favorite dressing ever.
I have mentioned Oil & Vinegar a few times here on the blog. You may have a place near you like this — they specialize in flavored oils and vinegars and also have gourmet specialty foods (think salts, spices, bottled marinades, etc.) The thing I like best is that they let me try before I buy — I can taste to my hearts’ content before I decide which one I want to buy and then I can decide which bottle size suits my needs. (I like all of this control — suits my Type A side.) The salespeople are all foodies too so they give you about five new ideas every visit. Even the boy — connoisseur of chicken nuggets — gets all taste-test crazy when he goes with me.
My last visit, I bought their lime riesling grapeseed oil and cherry almond balsamic vinegar. (I know, pretentious but yummy-sounding, right?) I love cherry and lime and, while my usual consumption of them comes in the form of Sonic cherry limeades — I thought this combo would go well on salad and a fancy new grilled dessert I plan to spring on you soon. Look how purty these bottles are:
For dressing, I have used two combinations using these lovely ingredients — both scaled for two side servings of salad.
– Dressing 1: 2 tsps of each plus some salt, pepper, and onion powder. It was pretty good but I like a little more bite. So…
– Dressing 2: 1 tsp lime-flavored oil, 1 tsp cherry vinegar, 2 tsp regular balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, onion powder to taste.
I saved and re-purposed a cute fig spread jar to quickly shake up my homemade dressing.
And then I drizzled it over a salad with baby romaine, avocado and red grapes like so:
Now, I realize that most of you do not have such schmancy ingredients and may not be interested in buying them. So, let me give you my MOST FAVORITE EASY DRESSING EVER. (Yes, it is that all caps fabulous.) Here it is:
Favorite Salad Dressing: Mix equal parts balsamic vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Add salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste.
How easy is that? If you want to do a batch for the week, I usually do 1/4 cup each ingredient and throw it in the fridge. Just try it once and you will be a believer, I promise.