Many cooks find salad dressings a little intimidating, I know I did, which is a bit bizarre considering there is no heat involved, and very few ingredients.
In fact, the problems lie in the fact that making a dressing is an art. Thankfully, it's one you can easily master.
You just need to keep practising – trying new combinations and measurements, and, just as importantly, keeping a note of what you've used and in what quantities. In time you will come to know instinctively how to dress each salad.
A good French dressing recipe or vinaigrette is so easy to make at home using a good quality olive oil.
It is served with hors d'oeuvres, all green salads and vegetable crudités. It is so delicious and very healthy too.
By mixing in other ingredients such as mustard or fresh herbs you then turn your dressing into another beautiful French dressing!
Try them on warm and cold foods – just divine!
Once you know how to make your French dressings you will never need to buy another bottle of dressing from the supermarket!
Try them on all your French salads, meat and poultry dishes, fish and vegetable recipes as well as egg dishes.
We all have different tastes and so each individual can add
his or her own preference for a perfect French recipe.
This is a classic, and a good base from which to develop newer dressings.
To the basic vinaigrette dressing above, add 2-3 tbsps of plain yogurt or kefir.
For this dressing, simply add 1 teaspoon of French mustard before beating in the oil.
To make a vinaigrette aux fines herbes, simply add 3 tablespoons of finely chopped herbs to the above dressing.
The herbs must be fresh and consist of fennel, chervil or parsley, tarragon, chives and 4 leaves of marjoram. Do not use more marjoram as it is rather pungent.
This is a very easy dressing that is useful for strong-flavoured leaf salads, such as rocket. If necessary, you can add a teaspoon of water to this dressing to thin it slightly and give it more delicacy.
Whisk together, taste and adjust seasoning.
Blitz the mustard and vinegar in a blender. While still
running, slowly add the rapeseed oil until you have a fully emulsified
dressing. Season carefully.
Use this with roasted beetroot and lentils, topped with goat’s cheese or feta.
Combine the onion, vinegar and sugar, then season. Leave for
about an hour. Then add the olive oil and stir well.
For those who prefer something sweeter. Also a great dressing to go with avocado halves. Simply whisk it all together and season.
This is a lovely dressing for French beans. Blanch French beans and add them to the dressing while they are still warm. Finish with finely diced apple, shaved fennel and chopped chives.
Mix the walnuts with the other ingredients and bake at
350°F/180°C/Gas 4 for 5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Crush gently and add to
the honey and mustard dressing above along with 1 tbsp of walnut oil.
Best for drizzling over fresh tomatoes, grilled courgettes or a tomato salad.
Remove the leaves from the basil and blend with the rest of
It pays, in the taste department at least, to use best quality balsamic vinegar.
Whisk together vinegar and mustard. Add salt and pepper to
taste. Pour in olive oil very slowly, whisking constantly until well combined