Lousy salad dressings

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strikingtwice's picture
Joined: 05/19/2011
Stella Stars: 2715
Lousy salad dressings

So, I've pretty much stopped buying salad dressing at the stores. However, I'm REALLY lukewarm on some of the things that I've been doing. I make this one killer balsamic vinaigrette. I've also had some (what I think) are great ideas, and I am just either poorly executing them or missing something. The two that I was particularly disappointed with (I had high hopes) were my cherry red wine vinaigrette and raspberry vinaigrette. I put a little bit of shallot in them, red wine vinegar, safflower oil (since it's neutral), and honey to sweeten it. I also added some greek yogurt to make it a little creamy (i really like it better than mayo for dressings in almost every case). I feel like my main gripe is that the taste of the fruit almost seemed to completely disappear. The raspberry red wine that I have right now in the fridge is actually too bland. I did put a little too much shallot, but is there any reason why the raspberry flavor would just disappear? Should i have roasted the fruits and shallots before putting them in? 


Any suggestions would be very welcome, i'm really on a quest for killer dressings. I have the savory ones a little better handled, but the fruity ones I'm having a hell of a time with. Thanks.





GreenBake's picture
Joined: 05/15/2011
Stella Stars: 3160

Try using a little bit of Xanthan Gum with an immersion blender to create a dressing that will hold together.


When the oil and water mix and stay mixed, the flavors will have a chance to blend more effectively.


Here are some related links you may find useful:


Xanthan Gum Question:
What Is An Emulsion? A Cook’s Guide:
Understanding Emulsions And How They Work:
Nina's picture
Joined: 06/14/2011
Stella Stars: 3473


 I make all sorts of vinaigrette dressings and using just a l/2 teaspoon or so of mustard and whisking or shaking it together will create an emulsion.  At a molecular level mustard can actually slip in between oil molecules and allow vinegar to get in there.  The emulsion holds together for quite awhile. Oh yes, then add fresh or dry fruit to the salad.


As far as a fruit flavored vinaigrette, I have never made one, but why not use the fruit in the salad as a back-up.  For example, a blueberry vinegar, olive oil, cinnamon, and blueberries.


Another thought is to use an extract of the flavor that you want.  Better yet, an oil.  There is a company called  I can find their oils in a few stores.  l fl dram (.l25 fl oz) is under $2.00.  They have the usual suspects almond, orange etc.  They also have flavors like cherry, root beer, raspberry.  You would only need a drop, but  I'll bet that you could incorporate this into your dressing. 


The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook.”
― Julia Child  

Joined: 09/08/2012
Stella Stars: 160

my best efforts have only been with fresh dressing, but i discovered if i make berry jam/jelly it concentrates the flavor enough to hold 3-4 days. from what i have been told the vinegar will break the fruitiness down in some chemical reaction. basically why so much artificial flavor in store dressing, and so few pickled fruits.

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