When it comes to eating “off the grid”, one of the easiest things you can do is throw out those bottles of purchased salad dressing in favor of the homemade variety. Not only does it taste exponentially better and avoids suspicious ingredients, you can also clear out your refrigerator of all those half-empty bottles of unknown origin (just what year did I buy this, anyway?).
Most of the time, we drizzle our greens with a bit of olive oil and vinegar straight from the bottles, and only whisk up a true vinaigrette for guests. However, this trick from one of our favorite chefs makes vinaigrette so easy, our fridge is stocked and ready for surprise visitors (and our everyday salads taste even better).
Instead of the traditional method of whisking together the ingredients in a bowl, just place them in a canning jar and shake it to form the emulsion. You have an instant storage container and avoid dirty dishes at the same time. Basically, genius.
This recipe is a good starting point for a basic vinaigrette, and is easily customizable to your own taste. The combinations of different vinegars (or citrus juices), oils, and seasonings you can use are endless, and you can adjust the quantities as you see fit.
- 1 half-pint canning jar
- 1 clove garlic (1 teaspoon chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Mince 1 clove of garlic.
- Place minced garlic, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ to ½ cup red wine vinegar, and ½ cup extra virgin olive oil in the jar. (We prefer a vinaigrette on the tart side, so we use more vinegar than the traditional method. Customarily, vinaigrettes use about 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil, so you may want to start with ¼ cup vinegar and adjust to suit your own taste.)
- Shake the jar vigorously to emulsify the ingredients. Taste and adjust quantities as desired. Vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks; make sure to bring to room temperature and shake well before serving.