Ready-made dressings for your everyday salads can become much too expensive and are usually unhealthy because of some preservatives and extenders added to them. Some may even contain high calories which can ruin your supposed low-calorie salads.
Since it doesn’t take an expert cook or chef to make these dressings, we have decided to take you on a tour to the ratios of ingredients you need to enjoy your salads minus the extra cost and extra calories. You may as well learn that you don’t have to do extensive grocery shopping and just rely on your cupboard stocks to make these healthy vinaigrettes and dressings.
Mayonnaise is usually the base for most creamy dressings. In order to make it a little less thick and pourable, add a bit of water. To have a Caesar-style dressing, just mix in crushed garlic and some grated Parmesan cheese.
- Houmous or tahini
Creamy dressings also use houmous or tahini mixed with lemon juice or water and natural yogurt to achieve that Middle Eastern taste. You may also add garlic, seasoning and sweeteners such as honey, depending on your taste.
- Lemon juice or lemon zest
Here’s a helpful tip: If you’re using lemon juice, try using less vinegar to avoid having a tart dressing.
- Fresh Herbs
Believe it or not, any herb could be added to your dressing, depending on your preference. Leafy ones such as basil, parsley, tarragon, sage or coriander should be finely chopped while woody ones like thyme and rosemary should be allowed to infuse into the dressing for a little while to achieve their full effect.
- Soy Sauce or Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
Both of these sauces are perfect for Asian salads. Soy also adds depth to your dressing, making your salad more savory.
- Sugar, Honey, Maple or Agave Syrup
Adding a little bit of sugar honey, maple or agave syrup can help take the edge off of a tarty dressing.
- Garlic or Shallots
Crushed garlic as well as finely chopped shallots helps add a stronger flavor to your tasty dressings.
Mustard, whatever kind you like, would make a tasty additional to your salads. Most prefer the English mustard but using a coarse, grainy one with a small amount of honey is also a favorite choice.
Aside from using white wine vinegar, sherry, red wine, cider, and balsamic vinegars are also popular choices as salad vinaigrettes. It all depends on a person’s preference and taste buds.
The use of different oils, like mild olive or rapeseed, can be a good flavor-enhancer to your salads. Some stronger-flavored ones such as sesame oil also add that Asian flavor to your dressings while using walnut oil would give your salad that wonderful nutty taste. However, if you wish to diminish the strong tasted from these oils, simply dilute them in milder ones.
Finally, if you wish to go for the French Vinaigrette, the ratio is three parts oil and one part vinegar. You may also switch ratios of this classic recipe, depending on your taste.