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Fresh vinaigrettes to add pizzazz to your salads

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If you’ve never tried making your own vinaigrette at home, you’re missing out. Not only are the flavours more natural, fresher and better tasting, they’re also simple to whip up. Here are the basics you need to know.

Woman eating salad

We understand the convenience of buying a bottled salad dressing, but once you take the little time it takes to make one from scratch — using good, fresh ingredients, of course — and see how easily it comes together, you’ll never buy bottled dressing ever again. What’s more, many vinaigrettes can work as seasoning for fish or meat, so experiment a little and discover which flavours work best with what.

To whip up a homemade vinaigrette, some key ingredients you’ll want to have on hand include the following:

  • Lemons
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • A variety of vinegars (balsamic, red wine and cider are the main ones)
  • Sweeteners (if you want to cut acidity) like honey, maple syrup, fruit juice or just plain sugar
  • Fresh or dried herbs, along with garlic, salt and pepper

Generally the ratio of oil to vinegar is three to one, but you can adjust this to your taste as you make your dressing. The easiest way to make a vinaigrette is to drop all ingredients into a mason jar, close the lid tightly and shake to mix everything together.

Now, ready to shake up some sensational dressings? Here are some popular vinaigrettes you can easily make at home:

Green goddess dressing

This mayo-based dressing is making a comeback on restaurant menus, and with good reason — it’s creamy and delicious. To whip up this recipe, you will need a blender.

Curry vinaigrette

Give your salad that earthy taste of curry with this fragrant dressing. It works well in salads that contain the sweetness of raisins to cut through the spice.

Hummus vinaigrette

A fan of the tangy flavour of hummus? Then you’ll want to test out this recipe for a dressing inspired by the Middle Eastern chickpea dip. It’s delicious stirred into some veggies that you throw into a wrap.

Greek feta vinaigrette

Is just the thought of salty feta enough to get your taste buds going? Then crumble this Greek cheese into your dressing so you can enjoy that flavour with every bite of your salad. This dressing also works well served alongside meat and vegetable kebabs.

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