I was taught never to boast, but my salads are really well dressed.
The 3 parts oil to 1 part acid ratio of yore leaves my palate phlegmatic--I prefer to give them equal billing.
More often than not, I invite a third along in the name of sweetness and, sometimes, a fourth in the name of harmony.
With my patented (not really) mix-and-match formula of fineries, I can make a different salad every night!
I'm only limited by my imagination, which, in truth, ought not be let out without a chaperone anymore--especially if goat cheese is around.
MM's dressings to kill
1/2 cup (or 8 Tbsp.) dresses a salad for 4
- lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit juice--and zest (seems a waste to tap a citrus fruit without harvesting its zest first)
- vinegar (balsamic, champagne, cider, malt, red wine, rice, white wine, sherry, etc.)
- extra virgin olive
- seed (flaxseed, grapeseed, sesame, sunflower)
- nut (walnut, almond, pistachio, macadamia, hazelnut)
- maple syrup
- pomegranate molasses
- orange marmalade
- jam (fig, apricot, plum, raspberry, etc.)
- red pepper jelly
- mango chutney
- quince paste
- dijon mustard
- garlic or shallot paste
- chili paste
- anchovy paste
- buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, crème fraîche, or kefir
- coconut milk
- miso paste
- nut butter
For 2-part dressings, combine equal parts of acid and oil, seasoning with salt, pepper, herbs, or other spices.
For 3-part dressings, combine 1 part sweetener or emulsifier with 2 parts acid and 2 parts oil (plus seasonings).
For 4-part dressings, combine 1 part sweetener, 1 part emulsifier, 2 parts acid, and 2 parts oil (plus seasonings).
If you are all excited to use two items from one category, do it! Just split the "part" between the two of them. For example, the dressing pictured is 1 part grainy Dijon, 1 part fig jam, 1 part sherry vinegar, 1 part lemon juice, and 2 parts olive oil.
Because measuring is boring and evasive, build your dressing in a clear jar so that you can eyeball the amounts of each layer--and shake the living daylights out of it.
Use a miserly amount to start--you can always add more and if there's one rule in salad wardrobing, it's that overdressing strips you of all bragging rights.