Vinegar and olive oil-based vinaigrette is a light, zippy, heart-healthy salad dressing.
Fresh salads and healthy lifestyles go hand in hand. After all, what could be better for you than a big plate full of leafy greens, fresh vegetables, fiber-rich legumes and lean proteins? Unfortunately, you could end up negating these delicious and healthy choices if you aren’t careful about the type of salad dressing you use.
Taking a quick look at the list of ingredients on your favorite bottle of store-bought dressing can be a real eye opener. In fact, you may be surprised to see a host of ingredients you weren’t expecting, including high-fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners, trans fats, MSG, and an assortment of artificial colors and preservatives to make it all seem more fresh and natural.
Why homemade salad dressing?
Fortunately, making your own homemade salad dressing is faster and easier than you might think. Plus, you get to control how much you make at one time, so you don’t have to worry about throwing out your hard-earned money if you don’t use it all in time.
How to make homemade salad dressing?
When it comes to homemade salad dressings, vinaigrettes are fast, easy and delicious choices. One general rule of thumb to keep in mind when creating your own vinaigrettes is to use 1 part vinegar (or other acidic ingredient) to 3 parts oil. In other words, if you use ¼ cup vinegar, you’ll want to use ¾ cups of oil. If you like a little more kick to your dressing, try a 2:1 ratio instead.
Vinegar (or another acidic ingredient)
When choosing these key ingredients, don’t be afraid to get creative. Think beyond plain white, red or cider vinegar and give rice vinegars, aged or white balsamic, or fruit-infused varieties a try, as well. Citrus juices, such as lemon, lime, oranges and grapefruit, also work particularly well.
When it comes to choosing your oil, it’s hard to beat a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. However, you may want to consider other healthy alternatives, such as a more delicate grape seed oil, as well. Olive oils infused with garlic, rosemary or other herbs are also great choices.
Putting Your Homemade Salad Dressing Together
A third ingredient you may want to add to your vinaigrette is Dijon mustard. Dijon is a popular choice because it tastes great and helps bind all the other ingredients together.
Beyond these three ingredients, there are countless ways you can customize your vinaigrette recipes to complement your salad ingredients. For example, you can add minced garlic, onion, shallots, fresh or dried herbs, honey, or a variety of fruit juices or zests.
Basic Homemade Salad Dressing: Vinaigrette
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1-2 cloves finely minced garlic
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl or container with tight-fitting lid. Mix or shake vigorously to combine thoroughly.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261 Total Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 23g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 189mg Carbohydrates: 5g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 4g Protein: 0g