Monday, April 26, 2010

Make Your Own Salad Dressing: Italian Dressing

I've owned this neat salad carafe for a long time and I want to get better about using it. I think I bought it at the grocery store long ago with some Italian Dressing mix. It's difficult to see, but on the side of the carafe are marked lines: V for Vinegar, W for Water, and O for Oil. It occurred to me recently that instead of using a salad dressing packet, I can make up my own herb mixture, add the appropriate fluid amounts and shake!

This is a quick and easy way to make salad dressing at home, for when you want a simple recipe that makes less of a mess. The Green Goddess dressing I made the other week contained lots of ingredients that needed to be measured or chopped, then mixed in the blender. I filled almost half the dishwasher making that dressing (it was worth it!). This dressing is made up in it's own storage container and only requires a few measuring spoons if you use dry herbs. Today I'm experimenting with some herbs from my garden, so I'll also use a cutting board and knife. Oh, and my lemon juicer; I have a few lemons to use up.

I added a little something extra to this dressing to experiment: My grandmother taught me that you can add 1/2 teaspoon of mayonnaise to a dressing and it will act as an emulsifier, meaning it will keep the oil and vinegar from separating.

After reading a variety of recipes for inspiration, here's what I made up for this dressing:
  • Tarragon Vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (will replace a bit of the water in the carafe measurement)
  • Water
  • 1/2 tsp Mayonnaise
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Parsley (from the yard)
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Oregano (from the yard)
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Basil (from the fridge, needing to be used up!)
  • Minced Garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
Measure vinegar into carafe to 'V' line. Add 1 tsp Lemon Juice (preferably fresh), and Water to 'W' line. Add mayonnaise oil to 'O' line. Add finely minced herbs and minced garlic. Close lid securely and shake to combine. Make in advance to allow flavors to blend before serving.

Here is the dressing, freshly shaken!

No comments: