Without the aid of a bit of vinaigrette, summer’s salads are simply leaves. Dressing a salad turns it from something rather dreary into a thing of awesome depth and sophistication and there’s no end to the flavours you can incorporate. Furthermore, it’s so simple! Here are a couple of ideas of how to make vinaigrette to make your salads come alive.
How to Make Vinaigrette – Basic French Dressing Recipe
The concept of how to make vinaigrette in its most basic form has undergone a lot of adulteration over the years. A popular bone of contention is the ratio of oil to vinegar. The 3:1 in this recipe can easily be adjusted to 2:1 for those who prefer a more acidic tang.
- A pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon runny honey
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Add the salt, Dijon and honey to a screw top jar and stir together well to form a paste. Add the vinegar and keep stirring to combine. Add the oil last, then screw the lid on tightly and shake like mad until the mixture emulsifies. The vinaigrette can be stored in the fridge until you’re ready to use it but will separate and need to be re-shaken to serve.
How to Make Vinaigrette – Mango Vinaigrette Recipe
This elegant, fruity dressing works particularly well with a spinach leaf and avocado salad, paired with a seared steak.
- ½ a ripe mango, peeled, stoned and roughly chopped
- Juice of two limes
- 1 teaspoon runny honey
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whizz up the mango, lime juice and honey in a hand blender until they form a smooth paste. Add the oil and whizz again for a few seconds. Season well and whizz again, then serve immediately.
How to Make Vinaigrette – The Rules
There are a few basic rules to remember when dressing your salad that will keep it crispy and delicious rather than limp and pathetic. Always make sure your salad leaves are dry or the dressing will simply slide off. The idea is to give a light coating to the leaves rather than drown them, so use sparingly. Pour a little of the vinaigrette into the base of the bowl first, then add the leaves followed by a little more dressing, before tossing carefully together. This seems to give better coverage than pouring alone. Don’t dress the leaves in advance or they’ll wilt. Add your vinaigrette in the last moments before serving.