There’s a simple way to amp up your dinner game: Make your own salad dressing. You heard me, right? Just checking. It takes five minutes to make a super simple salad dressing, which uses only four ingredients that you should have stocked in your pantry or fridge. The return on flavor, not to mention the health benefits of ditching bottled salad dressing, is immeasurable.
Why Make Homemade Dressing?
I won’t lecture you about all the gross preservatives, sodium, thickeners and chemicals in bottled salad dressings. Just trust me, you will never regret mastering this simple vinaigrette.
With a lot of tang and zip and acidity, this simple salad dressing brings to life any type of greens. Play with the acidity if you’d like and add more olive oil to mellow it out. I truly believe cooking is a “choose your own adventure” activity. Taste your food and adjust according to how you like things to taste. Below is a quick tutorial to set you up for many happy salad days ahead, and I also have a video tutorial in case you’re a visual learner.
Five Tips For the Best Simple Salad Dressing
- Use good quality ingredients. Look for cold pressed, unfiltered, extra virgin olive oil. Definitely do not use mass-produced, clear, flavorless “light” olive oils. I’ve been using Old Country Olive Oil, which is from a family farm in Lebanon and sold locally in Houston and through their website. Each bottle is numbered and labeled by hand, and they give a portion of their proceeds to MS Society research. It’s delicious.
- Dice your shallots very small, and bonus points for letting them soak in vinegar for 10 minutes before you add the other ingredients. The shallots will mellow in flavor after they’ve taken a little bath in the acidity.
- Use a mason jar (or any glass jar with a tight fitting lid) to shake up your dressing. Instant emulsification. No more of this “slowly drizzling in olive oil while whisking” blahblah.
- Taste your dressing before you toss your salad. Use a leaf of lettuce to dip into the dressing to get a real taste test. Is it too tart? Add more olive oil. Too flat? Add a generous pinch of sea salt or a little more vinegar. You get the picture.
- Please, for the sake of all things delicious, do NOT over dress your salad. Each leaf should be lightly coated in dressing, without any extra pooling in the bottom of your bowl. If you need more dressing after you’ve tossed it well, you can always add a little more. Better yet, leave the mason jar of delicious dressing sitting by the salad bowl for heavy hitters.
Is Homemade Salad Dressing Better For You?
Yes! This super simple salad dressing is Whole30, Keto, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free! It’s full of flavor and delicious on everything from romaine to butter lettuce, kale and arugula.
What’s the Best Way to Store Salad Dressing?
I store mine in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, but it never lasts that long! If you use unfiltered olive oil, it may harden slightly when it cools in the refrigerator. Just leave it out at room temperature while you’re making your salad and mix it up before tossing with your greens.
How Long Does it Last?
Keep it refrigerated for two weeks or longer. Really, vinegar is a preservative so this salad dressing will last for a while. The shallots may break down a bit in the vinegar, but it will taste delicious for two or even three weeks.
Super Simple Salad Dressing
This dressing is equally delicious with mild butter lettuce as it is with spicier greens, such as arugula or watercress. You can also drizzle it over a rice or quinoa bowl or grilled vegetables.
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot (you can substitute 1 teaspoon minced garlic if you prefer)
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- In a mason jar with a tight fitting lid, add all the ingredients. Seal tightly and shake to emulsify.
- Alternately, in a medium size bowl add the first four ingredients. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify.
- Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. Let the salad dressing come to room temperature before shaking it well and drizzling on your greens.