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Thread: Salad Dressings & Vinegar page

  1. #1
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    Salad Dressings & Vinegar

    I've been trying to make my own salad dressings since the bottled ones have too much weird stuff. I've mostly been working on the old "pick acid, pick an oil, pick a flavoring" formula, so I end with a lot vinegar plus an oil (balsamic and olive oil, red wine and bacon grease). However, I find my homemade vinegar-based dressings too acidic, as in they burn my lips and make my eye water, not to mention stink up my office at lunch. I'm just eyeballing the portions, but I'm trying to go for 3:1 oil to vinegar ratio.

    So does anyone have suggestions? Am I using too much vinegar? The wrong vinegar? Need to add other ingredients to smooth out the flavor? Suggestions for vinegar free dressings?

    I tried the coconut almond dressing from the PB cookbook, but I don't really like it on salad. It's a good dip for boiled shrimp, though.

  2. #2
    elwyne's Avatar
    elwyne is offline Senior Member
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    I always go 1:1 balsamic vinegar + olive oil. I eat this frequently and have served it to others with no complaints so I have no idea why it's giving you so much trouble. I think 3:1 oil to vinegar would not taste good but maybe that's just me.
    Are you buying cheap vinegar maybe? or are you extra-sensitive to it? Have others tried your dressing & had the same experience?

  3. #3
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    kennelmom is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by elwyne View Post
    I always go 1:1 balsamic vinegar + olive oil. I eat this frequently and have served it to others with no complaints so I have no idea why it's giving you so much trouble. I think 3:1 oil to vinegar would not taste good but maybe that's just me.
    Are you buying cheap vinegar maybe? or are you extra-sensitive to it? Have others tried your dressing & had the same experience?
    I do 1:1 as well, though my husband shudders when he sees it. I actually just dump a tbsp of EVOO and a tbsp of balsamic vinegar separately on my salad and then mix. I'm too lazy to whisk the two parts together LOL IIRC, per my hubby the proper ration is 3:1 oil:vinegar.

    I love balsamic vinegar though and have even put it on my salad alone, with no EVOO added at all. I tried this with other vinegars and couldn't eat it. I guess I just love the balsamic!
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  4. #4
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    The vinegars are probably mid-priced, but they are a bit old. Could that be the problem? I haven't tested on anyone else, so I'm not sure if it's just me or not.

  5. #5
    Owly's Avatar
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    You might just be more sensitive to the taste of it. There's nothing un-primal about upping the fat content of your dressing to make it more to your taste! Fat is your friend. A chef friend of mine suggests 3:1 (oil:vinegar) as the normal ratio, but he notes that you can always adapt that to your preferences. The type of oil will probably make a difference. Also, a balsamic vinegar is much milder than something like a cider or wine variety, so that will affect it too.

    Also, most commercial dressings have sugar, so if you are used to store-bought, your homemade version will taste sour in comparison.
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    It's the lip-burning and the smell more than the taste.

    Any good non-vinegar dressing ideas? I've tried lemon juice + olive oil and it's okay, but I've yet to find something that actually makes me look forward to eating my salad.

  7. #7
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    supersellen is offline Senior Member
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    I second the suggestion to try white wine vinegars or white balsamics.
    For lots of tasty recipes, check out my blog -http://lifeasadreger.wordpress.com/

  8. #8
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    I like apple cider vinegar.

  9. #9
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    naiadknight is online now Senior Member
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    Coconut oil + lime juice + ginger + garlic (1:1:1:1)= damn tasty
    Bacon grease (just bacon grease, maybe a touch of brown mustard and dill pickle juice for a bite) is also very tasty.
    As to the vinegar based dressings, try adjusting the vinegar level down or using a more flavorful oil.
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    Not realy dressing, per se, but I like mild picante sauce or Pico de gallo on my salads, when I don't have makings.
    Also, there are TWO strenths of vinegar, 9% and 5%. Are you maybe using 9%?
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