Homemade Vinaigrette

So, funny story about the leaves that are all over Midtown because of the few storms we got. As I walked home from work on Monday night, I saw a lot of City of Sacramento employees cleaning up sidewalks and storm drains and the like. I was pretty stoked, since we have a TON of leaves in front of our apartment, as I shared on Monday. A thick carpet of damp, slippery leaves. I figured since we live right by a bus stop, the city would hook us up with a clean up job too…

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Guess not. Womp womp.

Our apartment is one with the miniature white/tan staircase leading into it. Notice how the clean sidewalk stops there? (And then starts again after our apartment?) I’m starting to get the feeling maybe we have to do something about it ourselves. I think this is where our boyfriends come to the rescue 🙂

SPEAKING OF GREEN LEAFY THINGS…….. let’s talk about salad.

How’d you like that segue?

Though I like salad and eat it often, I haven’t bought salad dressing from the store in years.

Why? Because it is seriously easy and delicious to make any kind of vinaigrette you want at home. It most likely costs less too, considering you probably already have all the items you need in your kitchen. Plus, it’s a good way to control the calories and taste of your dressing. I’ve actually been wanting to share my tips for making vinaigrette for a long time, but it’s really hard to photograph a jar of salad dressing in a way that looks appealing. Regardless of the pictures, I hope you try this at home soon!

Last night, I piled together a salad with thinly sliced apples, roasted bell peppers, and crumbled pita chips. It was a last meal of sorts – I found out I’m having another procedure on Monday (in addition to the already-scheduled endoscopy…it’s gonna be a fun day, guyz) whose prep requires some, ahem, cleansing, and I’m supposed to lay low on the insoluble fiber until then.

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First, I whipped up a jar of dressing. The great thing about making your own vinaigrette is that it can be different every time depending on what kind of vinegar you use. Balsamic is my favorite, with red wine in a close second, but since I had apples in my salad, I decided to make an apple cider vinaigrette. This recipe is customizable to your tastes – I like mine a little strong on the vinegar and not too oily. If it tastes too strong for you, add some honey or sugar to tone down the vinegar. Leave out the dijon if you’re not a fan (but it makes the dressing super creamy!)

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Apple Cider Vinaigrette
dresses about 4 large single-serving salads

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic, chopped (can use jarred crushed/minced garlic)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

If you’re using a jar: Add all ingredients except oil, salt & pepper to jar and shake to mix. Add in olive oil, shake again. Add salt and pepper to taste, shake again. Keeps for 2 weeks or so in an airtight jar.

If you don’t have a jar, whisk all ingredients together in a bowl except olive oil. Once combined, drizzle in olive oil while still whisking until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

substitution ideas: soy sauce, sesame oil and chopped ginger for an Asian inspired dressing, honey & more mustard for a honey-mustard dressing, balsamic or red wine instead of apple cider vinegar, tahini or peanut butter instead of mustard… the possibilities are endless!

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So, dig in. Enjoy your salad. And ditch the store-bought dressing!

9 thoughts on “Homemade Vinaigrette

  1. coffeeandquinoa says:

    I know what you mean about trying to photograph salad dressing! At least you have a cute jar! I just use old peanut butter jars, etc. and they always have half labels stuck on – gross looking! I prefer to make my own dressing, too… I’ll try this apple cider vinegar one!

    • I love that jar! Until about a month ago, it had been filled with coconut oil my friend brought me from Costa Rica…I finally finished it all and now I can use the jar for so many things!

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