Vinaigrette is an excellent salad dressing that is healthful and also has an intense flavor. It is a really good addition to salads if you are on a diet. There are no fattening ingredients used in this dressing. In addition, you can use a lot of diverse ingredients and herbs to create different flavors.
The basic vinaigrette is one of the most popular dressings used in diet salads. It is also known as French dressing. The basic ingredients are olive oil and vinegar, which are mixed in the ration of 3:1. Start by mixing oil and vinegar in the above mentioned ratio.
Then, add a dash of salt and pepper as per your taste. You can use either white or black pepper powder. If they pepper powder has been freshly grounded then it will really help to bring out the flavor of this salad dressing.
Churn the ingredients in a blender for about 15 seconds. Let the freshly prepared vinaigrette stand for about a minute before you use it. Also, ensure that you shake the mixture thoroughly every time before using it. This is important because the oil and vinegar tend to separate when you allow the dressing to remain still.
You can add mustard to this dressing also to make mustard vinaigrette. Mix salad and oil in the same ratio. About 1 tablespoon of mustard should be added to 1 cup of a mixture of salad and oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper, and then blend the ingredients together.
You can use many herbs in vinaigrette salad dressings. Herbs that enhance the flavor of vinaigrette are; basil, majoram, chives, thyme and tarragon. Parsley is added in all herbed vinaigrettes.
First mix vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper as explained in the recipe for mustard vinaigrette. To this base mixture, add about 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped parsley. Now add half teaspoon of any dried herb of your choice; i.e. basil, majoram, chives, thyme or tarragon.
It is good to first whisk mustard, vinegar and oil in a bowl. Then, mix together this mélange with herbs, salt and pepper in a blender. Always give any vinaigrette dressing a thorough shake before adding them to salads.
The Italian vinaigrette is simply sumptuous. Herbs and white wine vinegar are used in this dressing. Another vital ingredient used is extra virgin olive oil. Avoid using salad oils in Italian vinaigrette; extra virgin olive oil really brings out the taste of this dressing.
Mix olive oil and white wine vinegar in the ration of 3:1. If you have prepared 1 cup of olive oil and vinegar mixture, then add about half teaspoon of oregano as well as minced garlic. Also, 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley should be added. Sprinkle salt and pepper in this mix. Whisk in a blender for about 15 seconds, and let it stand for another 10 seconds afterwards.
Honey vinaigrette is another brilliant recipe. Blend in 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard as well as honey in 1 cup of oil and vinegar mixture. Blend all the ingredients with a dash of salt and pepper. To blend all the ingredients better, just beat Dijon mustard with vinegar first. Then, mix it with rest of the ingredients in the blender.
Balsamic vinaigrette is another absolutely yummy dressing. Two types of vinegar are required for this vinaigrette, balsamic as well as red wine vinegar. Mix in two tablespoons of balsamic and red wine vinegar each with ¼ teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
Add a teaspoon of minced fresh herb. Any herb can be used such as majoram, chives, thyme or tarragon. Beat all the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Slowly pour in about ¾ cup of extra virgin olive oil and continue to beat as you pour it. Blend all the ingredients thoroughly with a dash of salt and pepper.
Another great version of vinaigrette is made using lemon juice. Mix together 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard and juice of one medium sized lemon. Keep beating them thoroughly. Mince a few cloves of garlic finely. You can also smash the garlic pieces with a spoon. This helps them to blend well with other ingredients in the dressing. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and churn in a blender.
Olive oil is a very important ingredient and you should assure that it is of good quality. Try to use organic or extra virgin olive oil to make the dressing healthful. Instead of olive oil, you can also use soybean, canola, safflower or salad oil. Also, if you are using honey, ensure that it is organic.
The ration in which you need to mix salad and oil might differ at times. This is because vinegar is available in a number of strengths. However, the ration of 1:3 would be appropriate for most type of vinegars.
Also, you should use vinegar that brings out the flavor of the salad ingredients. A good way to assure that the vinegar will taste good is to just dip a piece of lettuce in it and taste it. If it tastes good to you, then it will most probably enhance flavor of the salad also.
It is best to use a blender to mix ingredients of any vinaigrette. If you are using a bowl, it should be a glass or stainless steel one. Avoid using aluminum bowls as they can react with the acid in the vinegar and produce a metallic flavor. Use vinaigrette when it is at room temperature. Otherwise the ingredients will not blend together when you give it a shake.
When you have added many ingredients to your vinaigrette, let it sit for a few hours. This allows all the ingredients to blend well together. The best thing about vinaigrettes is that you can prepare them in bulk.
Then, bottle them and store in the refrigerator for future use. Apart from salads, these vinaigrette recipes can be combined with many other meals. You can sprinkle them on chips and tacos. Add a dollop on baked/grilled/steamed chicken, fish and potatoes.