A basic dressing recipe can be found in almost every cookbook. You will notice the standard proportion of oil to vinegar is 3:1. In our experimentation we have discovered that more vinegar and less oil makes a much more flavorful and less fattening dressing, so our Basic Dressing recipe goes like this:
1/3 cup vinegar (wine or cider)
2/3 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients and shake before pouring.
More often than not, replace all or part of the vinegar with freshly squeezed lemon juice. The oil used varied: safflower or peanut oil for general use; olive oil for Italian-style meals.
From this starting point you can add a variety of herbs and other flavoring ingredients to completely change the look and taste of your dressing. Here is a list of ideas you can employ to change the Basic Dressing to:
Garlic Dressing: mince 1 clove of garlic and add to Basic Dressing
Herb Dressing: to Basic Dressing, with or without garlic, add 1/ 4 teaspoon of dried basil, thyme, or chervil or 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs (parsley, dill). Any herb can be added or deleted to suit your taste.
Blue Cheese Dressing: beat in 3 tablespoons of crumbled Blue cheese. To make the dressing Greek, use feta cheese instead.
Cheese Dressing: gate 2 to 4 tablespoons of Parmesan or Swiss cheese into the dressing.
Creamy Dressing: make the dressing thick and creamy by mashing a hard boiled egg or egg yolk with the lemon juice or vinegar before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Indian Dressing: add 1/ 2 teaspoon of curry powder and a pinch of ginger. Raisins can be added to this dressing, along with 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley and 1 minced clove of garlic.
Chinese Dressing: for spinach salads, bean sprouts or Chinese cabbage make a soy sauce dressing. Make the Basic Dressing with peanut oil and replace the vinegar with soy sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds.
Successful Gardening ~
Kali S. Winters