I used to think making my own salad dressing would be a pain in the butt. It seemed like every recipe needed a different type of vinegar–rice vinegar! balsamic! white wine vinegar! sherry vinegar!
Then I attempted balsamic vinaigrette and it was a complete disaster, confirming my suspicions. It took me about a year to get over it and try again, and now Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette is my favorite dressing.
Creamy dressings were next on my list, starting with Caesar. I found a great recipe at Good Cheap Eats and dove in. Unfortunately, it was a gritty fiasco. Pre-shredded cheese is too coarse and doesn’t break down no matter how long you blend it. Update! Jessica pointed out that her dressing doesn’t include cheese–the cheese is for topping the salad. (Guess who didn’t read the directions carefully?!?)
After many more experiments, I came up with a tasty recipe. The microplane grater is the key to helping the cheese emulsify into the dressing.
Cheesy Garlic Dressing
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
½ tsp. garlic
½ tsp. dijon mustard
¼ cup parmesan, grated extremely fine
salt and pepper (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, putting the cheese in last. “Floating” the cheese on top of the liquid helps it blend and keeps it from getting stuck on the bottom of the bowl. Blend with an immersion blender for a few seconds until all ingredients are combined. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. (I usually add more garlic.)
Making your own dressing is economical, healthy, and addictive. I spend my time in the garden thinking about different herb salad dressings. Imagine how amazing a dressing with fresh shallots, thyme, and parsley would be!