I have resorted to making most of my salad dressings these last several years because salad dressings have lots of hidden SUGAR. Just look at your favorite dressing, many have HFCS in them (high fructose corn syrup) and most are full of preservatives.
Here’s an easy dressing that is worth the prep time (~15 min) and will last about a week in your frig. Everyone who has had it raves about it, so I think I’m on to something. If, when you’re done it is too vinegary, just add a bit more oil or a teaspoon of honey.
This is an adaptation of JJ Virgin’s recipe. It is helpful to have a really good blender for this recipe. You cannot create it without one.
2016 update: I also want to add that this recipe can change VASTLY if you have huge shallot bulbs. See my notes below. A friend made this when I first posted it and it was awful, but her shallot bulbs were HUGE. I use small shallot bulbs, the size of a garlic clove. You can use the big ones, you just have to size them down. PRINTABLE COPY
3-5 shallot bulbs (the size of a garlic clove – if you have huge ones, use ½ or 1 and add more) finely chopped (at least quartered) start with 3 small and you can always add more, but they vary in intensity
½ cup champagne vinegar (or your favorite, but NOT balsamic, it is too strong)
2-3 T dijon mustard (depending on how much you like the mustard flavor to be strong or weak)
2 T capers, including liquid
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup walnut oil (my favorite oil for salad dressings, be sure it is fresh and keep it in the frig)
honey if necessary (see below)
Place all ingredients in the blender. I usually start with vinegar, capers and shallots. As you can see here, I have 4 “bulbs”, which I’ve trimmed the outer skin.
Then add mustard and salt. Finally, add oil.
This will create a light yellow dressing that coats lightly and tastes much more interesting that the usual vinaigrettes!
You may need to tweak this due to the vinegar or the shallots, which can vary in intensity.
If when you taste the dressing it is too vinegary, add 1-3 tsp of honey and check again.
If it still feels to vinegary, you can add a bit more oil. Don’t be afraid to taste it!
It should be tangy and taste faintly of mustard. If you like things spicy, you can add more pepper, or even a few drops of Tabasco.