After the heat of summer sent lettuces bolting, recent cool fall temperatures and rain mean salads are back. If you don’t grow your own salad fixings, you may not have noticed the shift from sweet, tender greens to bitter, coarse leaves. But home gardeners will be well aware of the change and have transitioned from lettuce-based salads to ones featuring heat-tolerant or late-season vegetables.
In a piece for Clean Pates earlier this summer, I shared my technique and ratio for making a collection of salad dressings. Even if you don’t grow salad greens, I’m a firm believer that you should make your own dressings. Among disappearing food traditions, one of the most lamentable is scratch-made salad dressing. As Mark Kurlansky writes in The Food of a Younger Land, “What could better spell the beginning of the end than bottled salad dressing, the manufacture of a product that was so easy to make at home?”
Easy is right: Using a basic ratio, you can make so many dressings. A pinch of this and dab of that completely change a dressing’s flavor. My technique clocks in under 60 seconds, and I can now eyeball the proportions without even dirtying measuring spoons.
Learn more about making your own salad dressings and get my master recipe in this article.
Make it, share it.
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Twice as Tasty
I shared one of my favorite homegrown salads with homemade dressing this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon. I included the dressing in that recipe, and if you look closely, you’ll see it aligns with my Best DIY Salad Dressing ratio and technique: 1 part acid to 2 parts oil, with honey as an emulsifier and ginger for added flavor, all shaken or whisked together.
Here are just a few other salad recipes on the blog or from my column with dressings that use the master recipe. You can find more in the recipe index.
- Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Asian-Inspired Dressing
- Herbed Bean Salad with Fresh Mozzarella
- Quick Potato Salad
- Mushroom–Sweet Potato Salad
Once you master the basic dressing ratio, you’ll find it easy to stretch your dressing repertoire further. Adding dairy expands the range to include caesar to garlic parmesan. A few different ingredients and ratios are needed for other popular flavors, like green goddess, thousand island, cranberry, and Russian dressings, but they’re just as straightforward to make yourself.
Want more Twice as Tasty recipes? Get my books! Click here to order a personally signed, packaged, and shipped copy of The Complete Guide to Pickling directly from me. I also share tasty ways to use pickles in The Pickled Picnic; it’s only available here. You can find more of my work off the blog here.