I never, ever, buy salad dressing. Honestly, it is so easy to make and it tastes so much better. You decide what to put in it (most dressings are loaded with high fructose corn syrup) and can add ingredients to pair with whatever salad you are making. I have devised a formula that will allow you to make a million different dressings and make the most flavorful salads ever. I have a very well-stocked pantry and like to experiment with different oils and vinegars. I like to add a little sweetness to my dressings. What makes a good dressing is a balance of acid, sweet, salt, and a ratio of oil to acid. I make my dressings in mason jars and you can keep leftover dressing in the fridge for at least a week. Most vinaigrette dressings are made with a 3:1 ratio. I prefer a more acid based dressing so mine are more like 2:1. It is completely up to your palette and how you are going to use the dressing. This formula is merely a guide, play with it, and see what you like.
jams and jellies
lemon juice (orange, grapefruit, lime, pomegranate, cranberry, etc)
rice wine vinegar
apple cider vinegar
white wine vinegar
specialty vinegars (herb vinegars, white balsamic, etc.)
nut oils (walnut, hazelnut, pecan, etc.)
mustards (Dijon, honey mustard, whole grain, etc.)
fresh and dried herbs (basil, tarragon, thyme, parsley, chives, are some of my favorites to use)
dried fruits (dried cherries, cranberries, if I use these, I make the dressing in the blender or food processor to puree them)
1 mason jar
local raw honey
white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic (I use a microplane to mince it)
salt and pepper
Shake well until the dressing comes together. After it sits, it will break apart, but just shake it up again. Here is one of my best tips: taste your dressing and adjust the seasonings accordingly. You might need to sweeten it or add more salt. Dip a lettuce leaf or a piece of parsley into the dressing and taste it that way. You want to know what it will taste like on the salad, and that way you can tell.
Here are a few more salad recipes that might inspire you:
What do you like on your salad?