How to Make Your Own Salad Dressing

Well, the rosehip syrup is magnificent! I have been making salad dressing with it. As part of my determination to eat more local I have been eyeing the various condiments in my cupboard and fridge. For years I have been planning to make my own salad dressing, but have never quite got around to it. You know how it is, it always seems easier to just take another bottle off the supermarket shelf than try something new. Well, who knew, salad dressing is ridiculously easy. And, oh, my goodness, this is delicious. I have a thing about salad dressing. It has to be the perfect blend of sweet and tangy, and this is quite marvellous. Did you know that many vitamins require fat in order to be metabolised? This is why a good salad dressing is very important for your health, so spoon it on with abandon, and enjoy your garden greens with this heavenly dressing.

I stumbled upon this recipe and I have used it as a base and substitute all the ingredients at will.

Salad Dressing

1/2 cup oil. Use any oil that tastes nice. I use a Tasmanian olive oil combined with an Australian sunflower oil. If you want to store the dressing in the fridge, you must cut the olive oil with a polyunsaturated oil, or it will go gloopy. That is a technical term for solidifying in cold temperatures.

1/4 cup vinegar. Again, any nice vinegar you have on hand. I am using up a bottle of verjuice I have had for quite some time, and also use apple cider vinegar. Balsamic vinegar would make a lovely dressing, I imagine. Lemon juice would also work.

1 Tablespoon honey or other sweetener. This is where I add the rosehip syrup, which is very sweet indeed.

1 Tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard. I am using a lovely local honey mustard that my mum gave me for my birthday. It has whole mustard seeds in it, and makes the dressing look interesting.

Salt and pepper to taste. Here you can also add whichever herbs and spices seem advisable. Go crazy.

I also add a couple of tablespoons of water to this recipe to thin it out a bit. Because I am thrifty. I make it by pouring everything into a jar with a screw top lid, and shaking. Then I pour it into a bottle, and shake again before serving. I store it in the cupboard because olive oil goes thick and gloppy in the fridge, and because my fridge is already overfull of condiments and bottles of salsa that didn't seal properly. There is nothing in this recipe that requires refrigeration.

There you have it. One more product that gets made in the kitchen instead of travelling thousands of miles to a supermarket shelf near me.

And it makes me think. I know someone who makes vinegar out of apples. And I am pretty sure making mustard is not difficult..

The rose hip syrup to provide the 'sweet'.


Tracy said…
I use a 2/3 oil to 1/3 vinegar or lemon juice ratio. The half/half is a little over the top for me. Easiest, most often used here is oil, white wine vinegar, dijon and maple syrup. Mmmmmm. Best thing is, I always have those things in the cupboard, so no buying salad dressing and having it go out of date before it gets used up.
Jo said…
Tracy, I think you will find that our recipes are the same - a 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar, it's just that yours makes more. I do agree with you, most people would have all those ingredients in the cupboard. I can't believe it took me this long to try something so simple!
Treaders said…
Tracy, I never thought of adding maple syrup. I must give that a try as I'm not that fond of honey. Now stick 2 cloves of garlic in it and I would be in heaven. Anna
Pam in Virginia said…
Hi, Jo!

I've finally gotten better about making my own salad dressings, too. Bottled dressing is so expensive! And unless you spring for the very best, it has preservatives and such things. I couldn't find where you actually said how you made the rosehip syrup? We usually have at least some rosehips; maybe I could make a bit.

Fernglade Farm said…
Hi Jo,

Well done! Who knows what is in the commercial stuff. Gloopy is a great word too.

You may be interested to know that the millet beer that I made turned into a mild vinegar. I added it to Sangria and it was very nice. My current thinking is that fermented fruit drinks with a low alcohol percentage have a chance of getting taken over by bacteria which converts the stuff to vinegar. More testing is required though.

Far out, it is cold as here! 2'C tonight, with colder weather yet to come. How is it going on the apple isle?


Jo said…
Anna, you can use anything sweet for the dressing. I used rosehip syrup, and maple is a good idea. You can make any type of fruit syrup to use, or plain old sugar, which is what the supermarket brands use..

Pam, the embedded link in the post went to my post about rosehip syrup then there was a link in that post to the recipe - I agree, too complicated. I have now updated the post so that the link in the first line goes straight to the River Cottage Rose Hip Syrup recipe. The only problem is - that recipe doesn't specify the weight of rosehips. I solved that problem by deciding that the weight was exactly what I had picked. Seemed to work out..

Chris, nothing wrong with testing out all the alcoholic ferments to see if they are turning into vinegar yet. Here is my question - when you leave kombucha too long, and it starts to taste like vinegar, IS it vinegar? Any opinions valued..
Pam in Virginia said…

Thanks mucho; will do!

Jamie said…
I make a very similar salad dressing, but put onion in mine, too.

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