I am on a mission to wage a war against crappy salad dressing. Yes, I am summoning the little anger that I possess in my body and directing it at bottled liquid. I know… real effective use of my energy, right? After reading this post, it’s my goal that you never want to reach for that ‘”fat-free” junk again… partially because it isn’t as “good for you” as food companies want you to believe, but also because I’m going to teach you how to make something 10-times more delicious in your own kitchen using only the freshest ingredients and nothing artificial.
I am obsessed with making homemade dressing and how easy it is. In fact, there is hardly ever a time that I make a salad that I don’t make an interesting dressing from scratch using a few staple ingredients to go along with. When you make your own dressing, you can be confident that there aren’t any hidden additives or excessive amounts of salt… only the best herbs, oils, mustard, vinegars, spices and juices. Mmmmmm mmm.
No but seriously, this is something I want to talk about for a bit. Salad dressing has such a bad rep and that bothers me because it doesn’t have to be something unhealthy that derails the nutritional benefit of your salad. Unfortunately because of how the food system is in this country, most of the options that are on the shelves of the grocery store are loaded full of low-quality fats and sugars, preservatives, artificial colors and way too much salt. I am not surprised that salad dressing is typically regarded as something that you need to limit and enjoy in serious moderation. I am here to say that this is not how your salad experience needs to be, though. If you make salad dressing like this, you would be crazy not to be lathering up your greens like whoa.
The best homemade salad dressings (in my opinion) have a four key ingredients:
1.) High-quality oil
2.) Vinegar of some sort
3.) Grainy mustard
You can make endless variations based on the type of salad using these four basics, and then get a little fancy when you are ready to take it up a notch. Fresh-squeezed citrus, shallots, mint, garlic, fruit zest, toasted seeds… the list goes on an on.
I have had Blueberry Vinaigrette on my mind non-stop ever since a fellow blogger mentioned that she was going to experiment around with the concept. This weekend, I decided to throw a bunch of stuff in my mini food processor and see what it tasted like. Loved it on the first try! It actually came out surprisingly creamy… which I totally didn’t expect. I also got to use fresh oregano from our garden… literally picked it minutes before I put it in the food processor. It’s so satisfying to be able to walk out into the garden and eat what you harvested just a few moments later!
I made more than I was anticipating using that night and refrigerated the rest in a jar so that I could have it all week long. Alright, let’s make some dressing.
What will you need? (makes about 1.5 cups dressing)
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
10 fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp grainy mustard (pick your fave)
Ground black pepper, pinch of kosher salt
How do you make it?
Put everything in your food processor and blend until completely combined.
I ate it with mixed greens, walnuts, shaved fennel, more blueberries and wild caught salmon. Pretty much the most delicious dressing I have ever had.
What about you? Do you like to make your own homemade dressing? Any cool combinations or tricks that you’d like to share? Leave me a comment!