Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Building A Basic Vinaigrette

yesterday, I said one of the most important things about trimming the budget is cooking from scratch. You can cook just about anything you want with a little time and patience. Homemade, salad dressing, barbeque sauces, bread, pasta, spice mixes, pies, cakes, cookies. Most of these things which cost an arm and a leg and have some strange things in them. While most basic things things are easy to learn, some  may take an investiment of time and practice to get it right. Take pie crust., I could not get a pie crust right to save my life. It was absolutely driving me crazy. I finally found a recipe after practing that worked for me. It also taught me what I was doing wrong (not adding enough water). When you are done and you have mastered the task it makes you feel so wonderful.   Wat may come easy for some people to learn may be harder for others or vice versa. Just because some people have a hard time with one skill turn you off because you might be the one that gets it the first time.
One thing about cooking from scratch is that you can customize it to your taste. If you are making spaghetti sauce and you don't like mushrooms, all you have to do is leave them out. This theory works more so for cooking than baking because baking is more of a chemistry and if you take something out it might affect the balance in the recipe and it will not work.
Today my focus will be making homemade vinaigrette. One thing about a vinaigrette it can be used for a salad dressing or double as a marinade.
I love to work with formula's it helps me know that I am on the right track but gives me room to  play.
Here is the proportions for a basic vinaigrette.
3 parts oil
1 part vinegar
THe part can be tablespoons, cups etc just keep it the same with both. Here is where your creativity comes in.

  • vegetable
  • olive
  • canola
  • walnut
  • avocado
  • grapeseed

  • white
  • apple cider
  • balsamic
  • rice vinegar
  • raspberry

Extras or Add Ins
  • sugar
  • honey
  • mustard
  • onions
  • garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic
I know there are more options, but this is just a start. Say we are making a large amount of dressing I am going to use the 1/2 cup measurement as my part.  Here is what one of my recipes would look like
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons of dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste.
That is just an example just fill in the oil and vinegar and play with the amounts of the add ins  and seasonings. Start out with little and add more as needed because you can always add but you can't take it out once it is added. Until you feel comfortable, you might want to start with a recipe already posted on the net and adjust it to your taste.
here is a video describing the process!


  1. I've been wanting to learn how to do this for some time. It looks so simple I don't know why I haven't tried sooner.

  2. I love to add the *real* french dijon mutard from trader joes to mine - never disappointed!


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