Dinner tonight. Nothing special, just some pasta and a salad.
Ah yes, the salad. One of my true passions. Well, not so much the salad, but the dressing. You could say that I have mastered salad dressing foo. It’s all in the science and vinegar, but you didn’t hear that from me. You did hear from me that I never use the dressing in a packet (water? no, I don’t think so) and seldom use dressing from a bottle (sometimes you just gotta have ranch).
So, I’m chopping salad and had the lad make up tonight’s dressing (under my guidance), to pass along some of that foo. And, since I’m pretty sure I’ve not done the same for you, here is a great starter.
What you need
- Olive Oil
- Vinegar – red wine and/or basalmic work best, more on this in a bit
- Parmesean Cheese. The stuff in the green can works really well.
- Mustard Powder
No measures my friends, that’s where the foo comes in.
Start with your mixing container. Put in it the dry ingredients. No, wait. Put in the dry ingredients, except the sugar. You aren’t ready for that yet, I’m sorry I mentioned it. What I do is put in about a tbls of green cheese, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper and about 1/2 tsp of mustard powder.
Next, you are going to need your oil. Start off equal parts oil and vinegar, but don’t put the oil away yet. Mix that all together very very well and give it a taste. It will probably be a bit strong and/or watery. Add the same amount of oil you started with. Mix some more and taste again. Too weak? Add a little bit of vinegar. Mix again. Taste again. Should be how you like it by this point.
Now, here is where the sugar comes in. I have some very interesting vinegar that you can’t get anywhere. My Grandfather made it years ago and I have a case hidden in a dark recess of a cabinet someplace, plus Mom has a case in the shed. Anyway, it tends to get a little strong and gives the dressing a very sharp edge. If this happens to you, you can add a very small amount of sugar, say a tablespoon, to knock that edge down a bit. You won’t get any of the sweet, but it will take away some of the bite. You can also use a bit of basalmic vinegar to do the same thing, bonus is you will get a really nice color.
Don’t get all freaked out if it sucked either. Just keep adding oil and vinegar and spices until it tastes the way you like and has the right mouth feel. Nice thing about this one too is that it will break, but unlke a fancy emulsified vinegrette, it’s supposed to. Just give it a good shake/mix before using.
Keeps in the fridge for about a month too, so get a good mason jar to store it in.