My husband’s favorite types of salad dressings are vinegar salad dressing recipes such as Girard’s Champagne, Newman’s Organics, and Ken’s salad dressing. I enjoy Hidden Valley dressing or blue cheese. It’s a simple thing in life to enjoy a particular brand of dressing. We eat salads several times a week– which means I buy salad dressing quite often. Girard’s dressing is now pushing close to $5 a bottle in our local Raleys grocery store in California. Most of these vinaigrette dressing bottles hold 12 to 16 ounces. A standard bottle of wine is about 25 ounces. Bottled salad dressing costs about the same as a $10 bottle of wine. What is in a bottle of salad dressing that makes it so expensive?
Here is an example:
Ingredients for Girard’s Champagne:
Soybean Oil, White Wine (Preserved with Sulfites)White Vinegar, Water, Salt, Sugar, Spices (including Mustard Seed)Monosodium Glutamate, Garlic (Dehydrated)Onion (Dehydrated)Xanthan gum, Molasses, Calcium Disodium EDTA Added to Protect Flavor, Corn Syrup, Chives (Dehydrated)Caramel Color, Tamarind, Natural Flavor.
Ingredients are listed in the order of their volume. This means the major ingredients in this vinaigrette dressing recipe are oil, white wine vinegar, and water. This is the base for all vinaigrette dressing recipes. These three ingredients will let you make any kind of vinegar salad dressing; all you need to do is adjust the spices and sugar.
I started making homemade salad dressing when I realized this was the base of the recipe. Now I always make my own homemade salad dressing. For a great salad recipe dressing is one of the key components to a good salad. Making your own salad dressings allows you to also make healthy salad dressing. You can leave off the MSG, the suphites, and all the other preservatives. Just start with organic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and water. Now you have the basis for a homemade salad dressing that will be inexpensive, healthy, and adjusted to your taste.
Here are some ingredients to experiment with in your vinaigrette dressing recipe:
-Sun dried tomatoes
-Cracked black pepper
-Sugar substitute (only for health reasons)
-Sesame oil (for Asian salad dressing)
-Sesame seeds toasted
-Bacon crumbles (for warm salad dressings)
-Red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
-Garlic (juice, dehydrated or fresh)
-Juice- tomato, apple, raspberry, orange, lemon, lime, pineapple
-Chili pepper flakes
-Chocolate powder (non sweetened)
-Fruit- pear, raspberries, strawberries, figs, peaches (cut up, soak the dressing, drain and remove fruit or just puree the fruit and add into the mix).
To make your own vinaigrette dressing recipe base the ratio is usually 3 to 1. Three parts oil/water to 1 part vinegar (or citrus juice). The more oil you add, the more calories. Play with your ingredients, making notes of how much you use and what you like. Be brave and experiment. You may come up with a recipe that is far superior to any bottled recipe. All of the spices are small quantities, 1 or 2 teaspoons. Put everything in a bottle and shake well. Let it sit for a few days to allow the spices to blend if you want. This is one time you get to play with your food!
I told you my husband likes vinegar salad dressing recipes, but I prefer Hidden Valley dressing or blue cheese. The bases for these kinds of dressing are: mayonnaise and buttermilk. That is it. After that, just add spices, salt, pepper, etc. For the blue cheese, make your base from 1 part buttermilk to 2 parts mayo. Add some salt, pepper, a little garlic and some blue cheese crumbles.
One other salad dressing base is ketchup. This is used for Thousand Isle dressing (base is mayo and ketchup) and for Catalina or French. Use ketchup, vinegar and water as a base.
Never buy salad dressing again! Play with these salad recipe dressing ideas and see what you come up with as a substitute for your favorite types of bottled salad dressings– whether vinegar salad dressing or Hidden Valley dressing, or Asian salad dressing–they are easy, healthy, and cheap when you make homemade salad dressing.