This blog post is sponsored by iHerb.
A simple formula for customizing your own simple homemade salad dressings that you can whip up in moments. Learn how to balance flavors to create the perfect dressing.
One of the simplest things to do in the kitchen is to create your own salad dressings.
Sure, it is super easy to buy a bottle in the store, but when it’s homemade it is the best.
You also can then customize to your heart’s content. You can do a different dressing every night of the week.
This post is going to show you the formula to make your very own simple salad dressings that you can easily scale to the audience you are feeding – all using ingredients from iHerb.
What is iHerb?
iHerb is an online retail company that carries over 30,000 natural products and ships to 150+ countries, offering customer service 24 hours a day / 7 days a week in 10 different languages. Read everything you need to know about shipping from iHerb, especially if you are out of the US.
iHerb orders are shipped from climate-controlled distribution centers to ensure the quality of their products – got to love that dedication to quality.
Many of the products are ones you would find in health food stores or organic markets where you would pay more. If you live in a more rural location, you may not even have access to those types of stores but can surely get a package to your front door.
What I like about iHerb is the selection of products, ease of use of their website and they offer great deals, including trial sizes of many products.
Get a 5% discount on your own iHerb order. Select from over 30,000 products.
When you can break a salad dressing down to it’s parts and how much of those parts is needed, it’s super easy to create your own custom blends.
To make a simple salad dressing that you can customize I have come up with this formula to follow.
- 2 TBS Netural/mild oil
- 2 TBS Strong flavored oil
- 2 TBS Vinegar
- 1 tsp Thickener
- Salt to taste
The dressing begins with a neutral tasting oil.
Grapeseed oil is a neutral flavor oil that good for cooking and for dressing. The flavor is so delicate that it will not overpower the other flavors in your dressing.
For a little more flavor, but still a lot milder than extra virgin olive oil (which I find dominates the flavor of a dressing), give avocado oil a try. It has a very subtle avocado flavor that will not make a huge impact on the final flavor of your dressing.
Next add a strong, flavorful oil. These oils would be too strong to be the only oil you use in a dressing but when mixed in add tons of flavor.
I really like the La Tourangelle Artisan Oil Trio that I got from iHerb. In contains garlic, basil, and Herbs de Provence oils. These infused oils will infuse your dressing with incredible flavor.
Saves you time and ingredients too as you do not have to buy garlic, basil, or the herbs. I am impressed with how the infused flavor really shines through and will be using these oils to cook with as well.
Next up the vinegar. Apple cider vinegar (like this one from Jarrow) is a great go-to that works for every occasion. For a milder, different flavor give coconut vinegar a shot.
Coconut vinegar will add a slight sweet dimension, which is great for balancing out bitter elements whether they are in the dressing or the salad greens. For a great salad you want to have the bitter and sweet flavors in perfect balance with each other.
Oil and vinegar by themselves make a great dressing. However, adding a little something to extra to give it more body and boost the flavor as well is always welcomed. For that I turn to thickeners.
My top 3 choices for thickeners are:
Mayo will add a creamy element and not mess much with the flavor of the dressing. Tahini will add creaminess as well but also a nutty element. If you are a hummus fan, you will want to move Tahini to the top of your list to try – it is my wife’s favorite.
Mustard will be the most assertive. There will be no doubt that mustard is in your dressing, but I love mustard!
The final thing you will need is some salt. Without it, your dressing will be bland and all that thinking that went into crafting your flavor combination will be for nothing. Adding salt to taste is my recommendation.
You want to pick a good salt too, that is a fine grade like the Celtic Sea Salt you see above. Better flavor than regular seas salt or iodized salt (which I think taste funny).
A fine salt is important because you want it to easily incorporate into the dressing. Whenever I make dressing, I always add salt at the end and then taste it. Sometimes you need to add more and sometimes you do not. Salt to taste as words to live by.
Now to the fun part - pairing up different oils and thickeners.
How about some suggestions? For each combo start with:
- La Tourangelle Delicate Avocado Oil or La Tourangelle Expeller-Pressed Grapeseed Oil
- Jarrow Formulas Organic Apple Cider Vinegar or Coconut Secret, Raw Coconut Vinegar
Then add in:
|La Tourangelle Herbs de Provence Infused Oil||Sir Kensington's Dijon Mustard|
|Recommended Salad Greens||Baby Kale, Chopped Kale and/or Arugula|
|La Tourangelle Basil Infused Oil||Sir Kensington's Classic Mayonnaise|
|Recommended Salad Greens||Baby Spinach or Spring Mix|
|La Tourangelle Garlic Infused Oil||Dastony 100% Organic Sesame Tahini|
|Recommended Salad Greens||Sweet Baby or Butter Lettuces|
With my iHerb order, I picked out a few other items that I thought would make wonderful salad toppers. A salad cannot be greens and dressings alone, right?
Dried fruit is always on my list. It’s a way to add sweetness to balance out the bitterness of the greens and the acidity of the dressing. I like to do fruit other than raisins. I picked up Stoneridge Orchards Berry mix and Montmorency Tart Cherries.
You just got to have a crunchy element. Croutons are what most people do. I think you can get that crunch with more nutrition to boot. It’s why I picked out Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame and California Gold Nutrition Seaweed Cheese Rice Chips.
The edamame is a good source of protein that you can just throw on top. The seaweed rice chips add fiber. I break them into pieces over the salad.
In the recipe below, I show you how to make enough dressing for 2 servings. 1 serving if you like a lot of dressing or eating a huge salad.
If you want to make more than that use these amounts for the number of servings.
|4 tbsp of each oil and the vinegar||2 tsp of mayo, tahini, or mustard|
|¼ cup of each oil and the vinegar||4 tsp of mayo, tahini, or mustard|
Simple Grapeseed Oil Salad Dressing
- Measure out all the ingredients
- Add both oils, vinegar, and Tahini a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure the jar isn't completely full to the brim.
- Shake well to combine.
- Add salt to taste and shake again. Add more salt if needed.