Have you ever been confronted by a salad that shows up in front of you accompanied by a bottle of oil and a bottle of vinegar and thought ‘Oh, I hate this.’ How many salads have you ruined or nibbled on as rabbit food simply to avoid the dreaded DIY dressing of the salad.
Worry no more!
I confess to being a huge vinegar fan. It turns out that my passion for sharp fermented liquids was my problem—and the key to delicious tastefully dressed salads! It really is all about the vinegar, just in moderation. (Ha! A word often missing from my vocabulary.)
Perfect Salad Dressing
As counterintuitive as it sounds, the ideal mix, the perfect concoction is simply 3 to 1. That’s right: 3 olive oil to every 1 vinegar. If it’s a big salad, use a big spoon. If it’s a small salad, use a small one. It’s that simple.
As far as what kind of vinegar should be used on which type of salad. Here’s my rough guide:
Balsamic: This is my go-to vinegar because I tend to like a hardy salad of red or green leaf lettuce topped by grilled chicken of some sort.
Red wine: Surprise! Surprise! It doesn’t have to be the fancy vinegar. Store brand is just fine. Works well with a tomato focused salad or one with lots of vegetables, not just lettuce.
White wine herb (Tarragon is my favorite): When I include fish—from canned tuna to grilled salmon—I always turn to my herbed vinegars.
Fruit flavored: Not surprisingly, fruit goes well with, you got it, fruit! The key is to create complementary flavors. I make a salad that includes pears which I pair with fig infused white balsamic. The salad with pomegranate seeds is made with a citrusy vinegar. Options are limitless!
Champagne: Want your red onions their brightest and perkiest? Use champagne for a low key and tasty salad. Bonus points for including strawberries in the salad.