I can't stand pre-packaged salad dressings. I like to dress up, not dress down, and that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. In fact, you might find it is actually cheaper to make your own salad dressings. Homemade dressings are fresh, free of additives and preservatives, and just taste better. I will admit that there are some wonderful, natural organic dressings available at health food stores.

However, I never get excited about anything on a grocery store shelf if I can make it myself. And there is nothing better than serving up an easy salad, having people comment on how yummy the dressing is, and being able to say that you made it from scratch. As opposed to grabbing for the ubiquitous, boring bottle of a generic “Fat Free Plus” variety that clogs most fridge doors. 

A quick, basic vinaigrette is like a little black dress -- a staple that gets pulled out, works for most occasions, and never goes out of style.

This vinaigrette is nothing dazzling or special. But like our favourite black dress – the simpler the better. Accessorize it, blend it with your own style, and you have a winner that matches your personality every time. I have used raw apple cider vinegar, as it has so many health benefits, and is a more alkalizing option. But you could use regular white vinegar if you prefer. You could add more garlic for more zing. You know how partial I am to a garlic hit. Feel free to add more fresh herbs and sweetener. I just keep blending and tasting until I get my perfect blend.

Add the vinegar gradually, and keep tasting in order to get your desired balance. I have put the ratios that work for my palate. But you might find you want more or less tartness. I have blended in the parsley so this vinaigrette is green, cause I love the vibrant colour. But if you want a more traditional vinaigrette – stir through the herbs at the end.

This vinaigrette will keep in the fridge in a sealed jar for a few days. But I always make it fresh, as it only takes a few minutes. Too easy!

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Basic Home Made Vinaigrette Dressing

Basic Vinaigrette

  • 3/4 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 – 4 tsp raw apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar to taste at the end
  • 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp coconut nectar (or other sweetener)
  • pinch of Celtic sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  1. Place all the ingredients in the blender (except the vinegar) and pulse until well combined. For the best results I like to use a Vitamix blender.
  2. Gradually add in the vinegar to taste.

Makes about 1 cup.

Tips!

the best way to clean your blender

After blending up something sticky, gooey or smelly, just place a few drops of soap in the carriage with some warm water and blend on high until all of the congealed food slips away from the blades and sides. Then repeat this process. Then rinse with water and presto! Clean carriage. 
If you have smells or stains repeat this process with some bicarbonate of soda or lemon juice and water. 
Check out the video on A No Hassle Way To Clean Your Blender that I did as part of the Chow Tips Series.

We have used the last of our store-bought dressings and are making our own now. Thanks!

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Love to make my own dressings. Thanks for all of these great recipes. They are going into my recipe book!

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How long does homemade salad dressing last in the fridge? I never know when its been too long… so I always throw it out and never get to finish it. :/

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I know. It’s a tough one and you don’t want to waste it. It depends on the ingredients. But, typically, about 5 to 7 days. I wouldn’t use it past that.

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