Time to empty out your refrigerator door of partially used salad dressing bottles. They’re probably expired anyway. You’ll never reach for those premade jars again once you learn how easy it is to make your own salad dressings with a few pantry ingredients.
Keep in mind as you begin experimenting with salad dressings, there are a few essential ingredients:
Oil – This is the key ingredient and the base of any dressing. Never skimp on the amount of oil you use. It’s crucial for the delicious creamy consistency of emulsified oil and vinegar. It’s the main component of the texture you love in all salad dressings. Make sure the oil you use tastes great and doesn’t overpower any of your other ingredients. We recommend our original grapeseed oil for most dressings because it doesn’t separate and keeps a creamy texture. Once you get comfortable whipping up dressings you can experiment with our line of infused oils like basil or lemon.
Acid – Most dressings have a vinegar component. Keep kinds of vinegar like apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar, red wine vinegar, and our Salute Santé! balsamic or golden balsamic vinegar on hand. You can also use citrus like lemon and lime in addition or instead of vinegar. We suggest in addition, nothing beats that tangy vinegar flavor.
Seasonings – Salt and pepper are almost always necessary. Adding other seasonings is where the fun begins. Seasonings are an easy way to bring basic vinaigrette to a completely custom dressing for whatever salad you’re making. Whole Spice is a Napa local spice store that sells the best seasonings, especially for dressings. They’re packed full of flavor so they go a long way. And their website has everything you will need!
Herbs – Herbs are great in dressings and you can usually use whatever you have on hand. Cilantro, parsley, tarragon, mint, you name it!
Sweetness – Sometimes it’s nice to balance out your dressing with a touch of sweetness. Honey is the best option in our opinion but you can opt for raw sugar or agave.
Creaminess – If you want an even creamier dressing you can add mayonnaise, greek yogurt, egg yolks, or even mustard for an extra dash of flavor!
Here are 5 of our favorite dressings that you can make right at home:
1. Simple Vinaigrette Recipe
A basic vinaigrette that anyone can make. Simply toss a few ingredients in a mason jar and shake away! You can put this one together in less than 5 minutes.
2. Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
This balsamic vinaigrette is a house staple of ours and a favorite of all who taste it! It’s so simple to make and only takes a few ingredients. Whip it together right before serving and save what you don’t finish in the fridge for up to a week.
3. Golden Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
The Golden balsamic is light and fruity and is perfect for lighter fare including seafood salads, savory fruit dishes, or just leafy greens.
4. Tarragon Vinaigrette Recipe
Being a family favorite, we love it on steamed green beans, potatoes, and especially leafy green salad when tarragon is in season.
5. Lemon Vinaigrette
This vinaigrette offers a sweet and savory flavor and is sure to perk up any salad! Great with our Shredded Carrot, Beet, and Pomegranate Salad.