Seasonal Flavors: Salad Dressing


Do you buy commercial salad dressing? Why? Have you read the label? A really good vinaigrette is easy to make, less expensive than what you can purchase and can always be on hand. If you’ve planned well, you’ll be picking your first garden greens now or you can find them at the various farmers markets that reopen this month.

I’ve had the good fortune to spend time in France, and their idea of the perfect salad is the same as mine: freshly picked mixed greens and a scant amount of perfect vinaigrette. You don’t need all the other stuff piled atop your salad, though there is at least one person in my household who doesn’t think he’s really had salad unless he sees avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers and lots of cheese on that pile of spinach and lettuce. Viva la difference!

This dressing can be whipped together by hand with a whisk, or shaken in a jar, but the very best way is to mix in a blender or a small food processor. The mustard combined with the oil at high speed makes a thick, rich dressing. Spring has sprung—back to our nightly salad!

The Very Best Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 Tsp Dijon mustard

Either whisk by hand, shake vigorously in a small jar or, optimally, mix on high speed in a blender or small food processor. Stores well for a week in the refrigerator… but I guarantee you’ll use it up before then.

Like bleu cheese? Add ½ cup of cheese crumbles either before or after mixing.


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