Best Recipe: Small Batch Italian Dressing

IMG_0864Makes about 2.5 oz (5.2 Tablespoons; about 3 servings). Serving size is 1 to 2 Tablespoons.

Favorite Italian Dressing

  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian herb blend without salt (such as Penzeys Pasta Sprinkle, which blends basil, oregano, thyme and minced garlic)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Place ingredients in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge for up to a week. Stir again before serving if needed.

NOTES:

The Small Batch Balsamic-Rosemary Vinaigrette recipe uses 2 Tablespoons oil to 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar. This works because Balsamic is a sweet vinegar.

The classic vinaigrette ratio for more pungent vinegars is 3 Tablespoons oil to 1 Tablespoon vinegar (white, wine, or apple cider) or citrus juice (lemon juice, orange juice). You could even reverse the ratios — 3 Tablespoons vinegar to 1 Tablespoon oil — depending on your taste. I sometimes enjoy a 1:1 ratio. Try it with 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar or Balsamic.

If you don’t use an emulsifier (a binder to disperse the oil in the vinegar), though, the oil separates out and solidifies into a hard layer in the fridge.While researching salad dressing emulsion, I found a recommendation to use 1 teaspoon mustard for each 1 Tablespoon vinegar and 2 to 3 Tablespoons oil. I used the 3:1 ratio to create this recipe. It is thick and creamy and doesn’t separate easily.

RESOURCES:

I analyzed about six different dressing recipes and scaled their ingredients to make this small batch version.

  • An article in The Guardian on homemade salad dressings is an interesting read and was a good starting point for me.
  • The Brown-Eyed Baker inspired me to radically increase the amount of black pepper (instead of having the pepper be half the amount of salt) and add 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese to my salad.
  • The Kitchn gives wonderful advice on making the perfect side salad.
  • Nosh On It has a ton of tips for making your own dressings and explains emulsifiers as simple “binders” to combine the ingredients.
  • Bon Appetit tells you a lot about emulsifying.
  • Robyn Webb recommends using a milk frother to combine your salad dressing.
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