How to Make Apple Cider Vinaigrette (Plus, Other Varities)
The fact of the matter is that I don't believe in diets. It's a very unpopular position to have at this time of year where everyone has resolved to eat healthy, exercise more frequently and shed the unwanted pounds and holiday bloat. I support you valiantly in your efforts to downsize and adjust your diets.
To me, however, a diet is a way of living. It's something I practice day in and day out as part of my daily existence. I try to eat a balanced diet that focuses on whole foods, but I also enjoy sweets and richer foods in moderation at will.
As part of that daily diet that I eat day in and day out, one thing I do focus on is the wholeness of the foods I eat. Therefore, things like green salads are a large part of my intake. To dress them, however, I don't douse them in store-bought dressings loaded with preservatives. Instead, I whip up a vinaigrette with heart healthy oils, fresh herbs and seasonings and more.
How to make vinaigrette:
A basic oil and vinegar dressing starts with 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. From there we can adjust flavors and seasonings to suit our personal taste.
3 parts oil
- high quality extra virgin olive oil is a good choice for dressings
- neutral, light-flavored oil like grapeseed, sunflower or salad oil can be used
1 part vinegar (either apple cider vinegar or other variations)
- you can use a variety of vinegars, each providing you with a new vinaigrette, including: apple cider, balsamic, white wine, champagne
- some vinegars pack more of a punch than others; adjust the oil-to-vinegar ratio as needed to suit your personal preference
Spice it up
- Dijon mustard, lemon juice, minced onion or shallot, peppers can be added for flavor
- fresh or dried herbs, garlic and salt and pepper will also help give your vinaigrette more depth and character
Start by adding all the vinegar and seasonings into the bottom of a blender or in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Whisk or pulse to combine. Slowly while whisking continuously or with the blender running, drizzle the oil into the vinegar mixture to create a temporary emulsion where the oil and vinegar will mix into one rather than remaining separate. Remember to keep a slow, steady stream while blending/whisking so the two can combine.
Your vinaigrette can now be set out to let the flavors blend at room temperature for at least an hour. Dress your salad just before serving.
Tips: Get creative with your pairings. One of my favorites is apple cider vinegar, olive oil and a bit of maple syrup for a maple vinaigrette served over a green salad with blue cheese and pecans.