Salad dressings are oh-so easy to make, and jars are the perfect vessle to combine your ingredients. If you’ve always found it intimidating or think its too much work, just give my method a try. Once you get used to it, you’ll find it’s a cinch, and you’ll never go back to bottled dressings again.
First, they can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Second, you can tailor the ingredients to compliment the salad in the best way. Most salad dressing ingredients are non-perishable, meaning a well-stocked pantry is all you need to get started.
I like to make mine in glass jars, which I wash out and save when things like mustard, jelly, or other condiments are empty. I add all the ingredients to the jar, pop on the lid and give it a good shake. Use it right away or store until dinnertime.
One of my favorite tricks to add flavor but not overwhelm, is to “cook” ingredients such as raw garlic or shallots in fresh lemon juice or vinegar before adding the rest of the ingredients. Allowing grated garlic or chopped onion or shallot to sit in the acid for a few minutes takes the edge off, without muting the flavors.
After that, put in salt, pepper, any other spices such as dried oregano, allspice, cumin, paprika, etc, then add olive oil. Always use extra virgin for your salad dressings (which has the best flavor). You are in for a treat!