Understanding Salad Dressing. {well vinegarette at least}

My Mom is one that is not afraid of salad dressing. She loves it. The more, the merrier. Growing up, I remember jars of creamy dressing, mainly blue cheese and caesar loaded into the side walls of our refrigerator. She would pull them out and blend them with balsamic vinegar then mix it with whatever salad was present on the table that night. Growing up, that is how I understood dressing.

As I matured into my early twenties, and I worked in various restaurants, knowing full well of how much dressing could be loaded onto the salads, I would ask for it on the side. I loved in house vinaigrette, and at the time, did not quite grasp why they were so good.

These days, I make dressing in stride, due to my education a la Alice Waters who, in her book The Art of Simple food, gives a basic recipe for success and explains the many variations you can work from on that. It allowed me to understand dressing, as simple may seem. 

Most basic salad dressing contain two things, oil and vinegar{or an acid of some sort, like lemon juice, or a combo of the two}, and generally speaking the proportion is 2:1. Put the vinegar in a bowl, and slowly wisk in the oil creating a creamy emulsion. I have however put vinegar in a container, added the oil and shaken it up vigorously and it works the same. Here is where it gets fun. Lets say you love vinegar... simply add more vinegar...or if you love garlic like I do... add chopped garlic to the emulsion...herb lover... add herbs... in the mood for a creamy dressing... add a TB cream or yogurt...creamy herb dressing...add both.

It is so simple. So do it.

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