We eat salads just about every day. That means we go through a lot of salad dressing. I’ve found that salad dressing is usually either really expensive or a dietary nightmare. The organic stuff made of good ingredients without a bunch of preservatives and crud mixed in, is usually at least four dollars for a little bottle. The cheaper stuff is usually a complex mixture of high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and a whole bunch of synthetic junk. I stopped buying the latter years ago, but I had continued to buy (grudgingly) the really expensive stuff until recently.
A few months ago, I started making my own salad dressing. I had always done the vinegar and oil thing, but my husband prefers creamy dressings, and I like to mix it up a bit too. I got this book as a gift, and my favorite thing about it has been the salad dressings. My favorite is made of nutritional yeast, celery, hemp seeds, herbs, miso, lemon juice, and some flaxseed oil, and I always add some apple cider vinegar. It’s so tasty that I usually eat the leftovers with a spoon, straight from the blender. It’s nutritious, made entirely of ingredients that I have on hand in my kitchen (no mystery stuff), and so much less expensive than the dressings I used to buy. I can change the flavor by switching the herbs (cilantro instead of basil, for example), and I can make just enough for one or two meals so that it’s always fresh. It usually takes about five minutes to make a great dressing.
I’ve started experimenting, and have had lots of luck with adding and subtracting ingredients – most of my dressing attempts have been successful, even though I’m usually winging it, just using whatever I have on hand and tossing it in the blender, using lemon juice and/or apple cider vinegar as a base. An added bonus is that there’s no salad dressing jars to recycle or reuse afterwards – just a blender to clean.
Do any of you make your own salad dressings? Any favorite recipes or secret ingredients to share?