by Renée Kohlman
Homemade salad dressing is another essential kitchen hack, and it tastes better than anything that comes out of a bottle. This is more of a formula rather than a recipe. Heck, you don’t even really need measuring spoons.
The most basic formula for a vinaigrette is one-part vinegar or other acid mixed with 3-4 parts oil. For example a small salad might have 1 Tbsp lemon juice mixed with 3 Tbsp canola oil. Or if making a large batch of salad dressing, it could be 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar mixed with 3/4 cup canola oil. This is the basic acid to oil ratio. Now the fun starts. You can customize the vinegars or citrus juices to any tasty oil. Some ideas:
Vinegars and citrus juices: apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice. The only vinegar I avoid is plain white distilled vinegar as its flavour is too harsh for a vinaigrette.
Seasonings: Salt and pepper (obviously), a spoonful of mustard, a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup, finely chopped fresh herbs, minced garlic or shallots, even a spoonful of your favourite preserves can add great flavour.
Shake it Up: Place all of the ingredients in a clean jam-jar with a tight-fitting lid and vigorously shake it until all ingredients are emulsified and come together. You could use a bowl and whisk, but why make more work for yourself? This way the jar is a container for the salad dressing and you have less dishes to do. Be sure to taste the vinaigrette before you use it. Perhaps it needs more salt or sweetness. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.