Just the oil & vinegar one would be great. Mine always tastes foul. I've got nice olive oil but is bogstandard vinegar OK? My lot don't like balsamic. Have tried using a slosh of wine but still not right. Do I have to buy wine vinegar?
5 tablespoons of good olive oil, 1 tablespoon of wine or cider vinegar, salt and black pepper is the basic vinaigrette. You could use malt vinegar but it will be very harsh. If you haven't got any other vinegar, add more oil and a pinch of sugar.
You can add mustard, garlic, chopped shallots if you like.
Dh is a frenchie, and the dressing he always makes is equal parts Dijon mustard and malt vinegar and probably about four times as much sunflower oil. Doesn't sound all that French to me, but tastes lully!
I use olive oil, wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and a squirt of runny honey. I use more vinegar than others on this thread, 2/3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar and the honey takes away the sharpness.
Dijon mustard is probably the best to use (the mustard helps keep the oil and vinegar from separating completely). I sometimes use wholegrain mustard, or alternatively put a garlic clove in, squish a bit with a fork, then take it (or the broken up bits) out again for a hint of garlic. Olive oil is good, and one recipe I have uses walnut oil which is also very nice.
I tried using sugar once and DH complained - didn't like it. Honey & mustard have been OK but not anything as nice as bought dressings. I think my problem has been that the cheapo vinegar I've been using is too harsh. Have bought some white wine vinegar today & will give it a go.
Best to add a pinch of sugar to citrus based dressing or they can taste a bit harsh on salad sometimes. When you are tasting dressing, it should taste slightly too sharp/too salty when you eat it with a piece of salad. By the time you toss it with the salad, the salad should only be lightly coated with the dressing, and so will not taste as strong.
Bought dressings, IMHO, are horrible. They are full of sugar and flavourings, so if you're used to those/prefer those, you may have to experiment a bit before you make one of your own that you like.
Start with the most basic - olive oil, wine vinegar, salt and black pepper. As people have written, the ratio of oil to vinegar is variable, and down to taste. Try 3:1 first (oil:vinegar).
Use a little whisk (or shake in a bottle/jar or just stir like crazy!) so that the dressing emulsifies, and then dress the leaves gently with it, and turn them over to make sure that all the leaves are coated. Do this a little at a time, so that you're not swamping the leaves.
Also, one crucially important thing, make sure that your leaves are completely dry before you put the dressing on
Hmmm, I've always used about half and half oil and vinegar, then added pinch of english mustard powder to emulsify. Season to taste with touch of sugar, shake of salt...vary it with lemon/lime juice, orange juice, raspberries, anything really!
I've always thought the best thing about salad, is the dressing... Enjoy!