Just a note before you start reading: I am no expert. My knowledge of cooking stems from a few years in cooking classes, my crazy obsession with the Food Network, experimental kitchen craziness, countless hours spent reading cookbooks and passion. I am so surprised to find myself really not knowing much even though cooking and food are major pleasures of mine, and I cannot wait to go to France to learn the art in more fine detail. But…if there is anything I know, it is definitely what components should go into any salad dressings, so read on!
I like my salads super simple most of the time. Every once in a while I’ll add extra veggies or a few more ingredients to the salad dressing depending on my mood. When I add salad to a meal it is for the purpose of brightening up the plate, adding some cool, crunchy, fresh flavours to the hot meal and to, in a way, “clean” my taste buds in between bites. I don’t need my salads to be complicated, just fresh.
There are a few components that go into any salad dressing, but I rarely use all of them in all my dressings. I always make my own dressings (because they are so freaking easy to make, and way cheaper than buying that processed crap!) so I switch up the ingredients as much as possible.
The main components of a salad dressing should be:
- Oil- 3 parts oil to one part acid, generally but I NEVER MEASURE!
- Acid-vinegar or citrus
- Emulsifier- mustard, helps combine the oil and vinegar together
- Sweet- honey, maple syrup, jelly, brown sugar, etc
- Aromatic-herbs, fresh or dry
Sometimes, I leave out the sweet and emulsifier. I usually leave these components out when I do not want the salad to be a feature part of the meal but just something fresh to eat in between bites of the real deal.
My Sour Summer Salad is a great example of a fresh salad which tastes awesome as refreshing treat, leaving the main dish as the centre piece.