Most of us need to eat more greens, and it is much easier when you dress your greens with this perfectly simple salad dressing. The best part is that it is pretty easy once you know the basic steps. Ditch the store-bought containers and opt for uncomplicated ingredients and a mason jar.
There are just a few keys to a perfect simple salad: knowing how to properly emulsify the oil and acid, and applying just the right amount to your greens, so you don't have a soggy mess on your plate
3 tablespoons of acid (I like champagne vinegar, or you could use white wine vinegar or lemon juice)
1 tablespoon of water
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard (this is the emulsifier - try Mayonnaise for a creamy dressing or honey for a sweeter dressing)
1/2 cup neutral oil (I like canola)
1/4 cup flavored oil (I like California Olive Ranch EVOO, or try walnut oil)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Optional extras would be like minced garlic, shallot or aromatics like fresh herbs.
Prep the greens
It is important to wash and dry your greens thoroughly and I prefer to use a salad spinner for this job. Any water on the surface of the leaf will prevent the dressing from adhering properly. In a large bowl much larger than your salad, add the greens and a pinch of salt and pepper to the naked and dry greens.
Shake the dressing
A homemade vinaigrette can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be. I quickly combine all the ingredients into a mason jar, seal the container and shake vigorously until the liquid emulsifies. Shake again before each use.
Dress the salad
Drizzle the greens with a bit of dressing, then start tossing with your hands. This is why you want a big bowl to toss those greens without fear that they're going to fall out all over the counter or floor. Once the greens are thoroughly coated, give them a taste and see if they might need a touch more salt and pepper, or perhaps a few more drops of vinaigrette.
Try this delicious combo:
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup canola oil
1 small shallot, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 clove garlic, microplaned (about 1 teaspoon)
1/4 cup evoo
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
If you want to know more about the science behind WHY this works, read about the simple salad here.
When properly sealed, you can keep these homemade dressing in the fridge for a long time but I promise they will not last that long. Just shake vigorously before each use to emulsify the ingredients all over again.