Whether your are serving it as the main course or as a side dish complementing a full meal, a salad is a healthy dining choice. Keep it a healthy option by topping it with a flavor and nutrient-packed salad dressing. A drizzle of an olive oil-based dressing brings out the flavor of the vegetables in your salad and helps your body absorb more of their vitamins. Olive oil is heart healthy too, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, the Food & Drug Administration reports. Reap all of the benefits of olive oil by using it in your salad dressing.
Things You'll Need
- Oil and vinegar bottles with adjustable spouts
- 2 funnels
- Olive oil
- Balsamic, red wine or white wine vinegar
- Lemon or lime juice
- Fresh herbs
- Salad tongs or two forks
- Measuring cups
- Wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. prepackaged Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- Jar with lid
- 4 tbsp. mayonnaise
- 3 tbs. olive oil
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 minced garlic clove
- Dish soap
Oil & Vinegar
Remove the adjustable spout from your oil and vinegar bottles. Set the funnel in the top of the oil bottle. Pour olive oil from its original container through the funnel and into the oil bottle with an adjustable spout. Place a second the funnel in the top of the vinegar bottle. Pour a vinegar of your preference from its original container through the funnel into a matching vinegar bottle with an adjustable spout. Remove the funnels and put the adjustable spouts back onto both bottles.
Open the adjustable spouts, allowing a small amount of olive oil and vinegar to flow from the bottles. Turn the olive oil bottle upside down above your plate and drizzle oil onto the salad. Turn the bottle right side up and close the adjustable spout. Turn the vinegar bottle upside down above your plate and drizzle vinegar onto the salad. Turn the bottle right side up and close the adjustable spout. Use amounts of olive oil and vinegar that suit your taste.
Top the salad with other ingredients that complement the olive oil, such as a splash of lemon or lime juice and fresh herbs. Use salad tongs or two forks to mix in the olive oil, vinegar and other toppings and serve the salad.
Make a classic French vinaigrette by combining olive oil with vinegar and seasonings. Remove the adjustable spout from an oil bottle and place a funnel in the top of the bottle. Pour in 1/4 cup of vinegar; use whatever type of vinegar you prefer.
Add to the bottle salt, freshly ground pepper and any other seasonings, such as herbs, to your taste. Remove the funnel and put the adjustable spout back on the bottle, closing it tightly. Shake the bottle vigorously to combine the vinegar and seasonings.
Take off the adjustable spout again and put the funnel in the top of the bottle. Slowly pour in 3/4 cup of olive oil. Remove the funnel and replace the adjustable spout, closing it tightly. Shake the bottle vigorously to combine all ingredients. To make more than 1 cup of salad dressing, combine 1 part of vinegar to 3 parts olive oil and add seasonings to taste.
Turn the basic vinaigrette into an Italian salad dressing by using wine vinegar. Add 1/2 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder and paprika and 1 tsp. each of prepackaged Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese. Shake vigorously to combine.
Create a creamy Caesar salad dressing using olive oil and mayonnaise as the base. Combine in a jar 4 tbsp. mayonnaise, 3 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. each of Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice and 1 minced garlic clove. Put the lid on the jar. Shake vigorously to combine all ingredients.
Remove the lid from the jar and add salt and pepper to taste. Put the lid back on the jar and again shake to combine. If you like a thinner dressing, add more olive oil and then close and shake the jar again.
Set a funnel in the top of an oil bottle and pour in the creamy Caesar dressing. Secure an adjustable spout on top of the bottle.
Tips & Warnings
- If using one funnel to fill both olive oil and vinegar bottles, wash the funnel with dish soap and water before filling the second bottle.
- Any type of olive oil incorporates well into a salad dressing, but virgin or extra virgin olive oil taste best in uncooked dishes.
- Make about 1 tbsp. of salad dressing for every 2 cups of salad.
- Store salad dressing in the refrigerator and use within 1 week. It may become cloudy because of the cold but becomes clear again if you let it sit out for a few minutes. Shake the bottle again to thoroughly combine all ingredients before serving.
- Use opaque bottles to preserve the flavor of the olive oil and vinegar; light speeds up the deterioration of olive oil.
- Store bottles of pure olive oil and vinegar in a dark cabinet away from heat sources.
- Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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