I don't know why I bother making homemade salad dressing. You can easily buy bottled salad dressing at any grocery store and probably some gas stations. Sure, it's expensive. And yes, a lot of dressings have terrible, unhealthy ingredients, but you can figure out which ones are healthy (ish) by reading all the nutrition labels. And so what if everybody only wants Ranch all the time -- it's not my job to expand other people's palate preferences.
And making salad dressing at home is a complicated process of dumping 4 or 5 ingredients into a bowl and blending them......
Okay, I DO know why I make my own clean and healthy salad dressing at home. If you've never tried it, a good place to start is with a simple (but delicious!) herb vinaigrette. It's easy.
Just take a small mixing bowl or a large Pyrex-type measuring cup and dump in:
- 3/4 cup of olive oil (You can use other kinds of oil, like canola or corn or whatever, BUT DON'T!)
- 1/4 cup of any kind of vinegar you like (My favorite is homemade citrus vinegar, but you can use balsamic, red wine, apple cider, whatever floats your boat.)
- Sprinkle in some salt and a few cracks of fresh pepper.
- Toss in a peeled, rough-chopped clove of garlic.
- Add a scant half teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
- Throw in some fresh herbs** (or dried herbs if that's what you've got. I'm not THAT hard to get along with.)
- Sometimes I use about a tablespoon of honey if I'm in the mood for a little sweetness.
Then take your stick blender and whir it all up for about 10 seconds, and it's done.
If you don't have a stick blender, (WHAT? I couldn't survive without mine. I use it Every. Single. Day! I know I've told you all this before.) you can certainly do all these same things in a regular blender or a food processor.
** What kind of herbs should you use? What kind you got? Basil is great. Mint is superb. (No, really!) An Italian seasoning blend is never wrong. If your family misses their Ranch dressing, go with dill weed; that's really the flavor they're looking for. What do YOU like? Give it a try, and then tell me how it worked out for you.