Sunday, September 23, 2012

Stop Buying Salad Dressing

With one exception, I can honestly say I haven't bought a bottle of pre-made salad dressing in about 10 years (I have a weak spot for Mikato Ginger Soy Dressing and haven't been able to replicate it effectively on my own).  Since I moved into my first post-collegiate apartment with a full kitchen, I've had an ever growing collection of oils, vinegars and spices that create incredible concoctions to dress even the most unique flavor combinations.  Currently in our refrigerator, we have a Blood Orange Vinaigrette (fresh blood orange juice, muscat vinegar, EVOO, sea salt, lavender and fresh cracked pepper - start with a 1:1 ration of vinegar to oil and adjust quantities to taste) and a Cinnamon Apple Cider Vinaigrette (pressed apple cider, champagne vinegar, walnut oil, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and fresh cracked pepper - start with a 2:1:1 ratio with cider, vinegar and oil and adjust quantities to taste), but the possibilities of flavor profiles are endless based on what you feel like that day (can't do that with Hidden Valley).  A few of my favorite old standbys are a Dijon Vinaigrette (apple cider vinegar, EVOO, dijon mustard, herbs de provence, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper), Buttermilk Greek Ranch (a 1:1 ratio of fat free buttermilk, low fat plain Greek yogurt mixed to taste with Penzey's Buttermilk Ranch seasoning blend) and Asian Soy Miso (1 part each of low sodium soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten free option), citrus ponzu, miso paste and sesame oil with freshly ground ginger and fresh cracked pepper to taste).  There are so many flavor profiles that you can create just with what you have in your pantry right now and guess what... you'll not only be able to customize your flavor profiles but you'll also be able to pronounce every ingredient (check out a the label on one of those store bought bottles).  Let your creativity shine through and I'm willing to bet you'll surprise yourself with what you come up with.

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