Saturday, November 5, 2011

T.O.S.S. Salad Dressing - Never Buy It Again - Simple Saturday

I can't remember the last time I bought a bottle of Salad Dressing. It's so easy to whip up a tangy/sweet vinaigrette with everyday ingredients - I can't see paying those prices, and especially considering the processed junk some of them contain. Here's what I use for Salad Dressings or Vinaigrette: T.O.S.S.T- is for Tang ( acidic ingredients like cider vinegar, lemon juice, grapefruit, flavored vinegars, wine, balsamic, even buttermilk.)O - is for Oil (it goes in last and can be flavorful Olive, Grapeseed, Regular oil with a touch of flavored oil or even butter/oil.)S- is for Sweet (it can be honey, brown sugar, molasses, home-made jams or jellies, organic juices.) The "sweet" rounds out the "tang" and can bring the fruity taste alive, or accent a peppery flavor or balance the salt. S- is for seasoning (it can be fresh like garlic or scallion and it can be a paste like Harissa or Dijon mustard. It can also be dry, like spices and ground nuts, pepper flakes or flavored salts.) The combination is all up to you, or you can keep it to one major flavor note.The order of combining ingredients is not hard, it's simply: Whisk in everything one at a time, saving the oil to last. Always whisk while drizzling in the oil, so an emulsion is formed and the individual flavors become thick while creating and forming one unified tasty sauce.Now that you have your very own unique and fresh vinaigrette or salad dressing, don't forget it can be used for a marinade or a heated glaze for meats and vegetables, too.Look at you - developing your own recipes. You may discover something worth bottling and gifting to friends (so, don't forget to write it down before you forget what you used.)
Of course, keep any unused vinaigrette or salad dressing in the refrigerator and expect them to last for a few days. Because the oils were freshly whisked and you didn't use any processed stabilizers or chemicals, the oil may separate or harden when chilled. Just leave it out for a few minutes and then shake in the container or whisk back into drizzle worthy shape.RECIPE GUIDELINES: Salad Dressing and Vinaigrette
(portions given make enough to serve salad for 4-6)

2 Tbls.
Tang (Balsamic, Vinegars, Citrus, Wine)
6 Tbls. (1/4 cup)
Oil (remember to add this last)
1 Tsp
1/2-1 Tsp
Seasoning (s)
(add salt/pepper as needed)

This is definitely a "Put-n-Taste" recipe. Use the seasonings and the sweet according to your own taste and a tiny bit of common sense. If you use Chipotle Chili powder as a seasoning, maybe start small and whisk in more according to how much water you want to drink to squelch that fire.

An easy example of one of my husband's favorites at home:

Cherry Chipotle Vinaigrette

2 Tbls Balsamic Vinegar with Cherry
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle Powder
1 tsp. homemade cherry jam
6 Tbls. Olive Oil

This makes 1/3 cup of dressing and easily covers an Arugula Salad with Fuyu Persimmon for 4-6, finished with Pecorino = giant smiles and empty salad bowls.
An easy Buttermilk Green Onion Dressing uses:

1 Tbls. White Wine Vinegar
1 Tbls. Buttermilk
1 tsp. chopped green onion
1 tsp. honey
6 Tbls. Olive Oil

This makes a creamy tang dressing that balances the bite of an endive salad and the richness of a fried egg on top with crispy bacon garnish. Now, that makes a great salad, or a whole meal.
I'd love to hear about your creations. Whisk on!


Renata said...

Thanks so much for sharing this amazing little secret (great secret, I mean!) I will definitely keep it in my kitchen :)

lynn said...

brilliant post! and buttermilk in dressing is from the heavens...

Jen said...

i love tangy dressings!!! My mom usually makes my dressings [because I am SO lazy!!!] - that's my secret to a successful dressing. :)