As our Melbournian friend Laura would say: Look, this is my go-to salad dressing for dressing up simple greens, alright?
Salad Dressing in Vinaigrette Style
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1.5 tbsp olive oil (or another light veg oil, like grapeseed or avocado – NOT canola or safflower)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp mustard (I prefer a creamy dijon; use anything but plain yellow)
1 tbsp maple syrup, agave nectar, or other liquid sweetener
1/8 tsp salt & pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Taste it and adjust accordingly – want it sweeter? Add more sweetener. Too much oil? Add more vinegar. This recipe should easily make enough salad dressing for a big bowl of salad. It’ll keep indefinitely (thanks to the vinegar). Make sure to shake or stir before dressing your salad, to ensure your oil and liquids haven’t separated.
Most vinaigrette recipes use far more oil than vinegar. I usually do it the opposite way. Since balsamic is a thick and sweet vinegar, you can be a lot more liberal with it. Still, this is a very vinegary dressing. If you prefer your salad dressing a little less strongly flavoured, maybe try one tablespoon of balsamic rather than two, and adjust from there.
Salad Dressing in Creamy Style
You’re going to have to make a bigger recipe if you want to make a creamy dressing, but perhaps you can put it in a leftover bottle and keep it in the fridge. You’ll need a food processor. Depending on how big your food processor is, you may have to quadruple the recipe or more. You need to fill the processor to at least a couple centimeters so it will adequately spin.
Put all ingredients except for the oil in your food processor. Put the top on and start to spin it at high speed. Using the pouring spout, very slowly pour the oil in as the salad dressing spins. As the oil is incorporated, the dressing should become creamy and beautiful.
You could try doing this with a fork, if you are really ambitious.
Variations on a Theme
- Add orange juice and leave out mustard for an orange-balsamic dressing.
- Add fresh or defrosted raspberries to your orange dressing.
- Leave out garlic for a sweeter dressing.
- Leave out sweetener for a tangy dressing.
Just in case you have trouble thinking up excellent salad combinations:
Delicious Salad Construction
Per person, prepare:
Handful spring greens, rinsed
4 cherry tomatoes, sliced down the centre
1/4 avocado, skin and pit removed, sliced
1/4 mandarin orange, sectioned; or 1/4 mango, cubed
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
Sprinkling nuts, seeds, and dried fruit – I usually lightly toast some trail mix
Handful spinach, stems removed, rinsed
Handful raspberries or sliced strawberries
1/4 cup smoked tofu, grated
Sprinkling poppy seeds or toasted chopped walnuts