A simple vinaigrette is all you need to
dress a salad of greens. Made from a mixture of oil, vinegar and
seasonings, vinaigrettes are very easy to prepare and store indefinitely
in the refrigerator. Aside from their classic use of salads,
vinaigrettes also make great marinades and sauces.
To make a simple vinaigrette, use a small
jar, such as an old mustard jar, combine salt and ground black pepper.
Add vinegar, cover and shake until the salt has dissolved. Add the oil,
cover and shake again until the ingredients are combined. The oil and
vinegar will eventually separate, so shake the mixture just before
using. A good ration of ingredients is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar,
with salt and pepper to taste.
A smooth vinaigrette is made by using your
favorite vinaigrette recipe, combine the ingredients in a jar with a
tight-fitting lid and add 1 ice cube. Shake vigorously, then discard the
ice cube. If emulsified vinaigrette is required, add a small amount of
prepared or powdered mustard, paprika or ground nuts. Any of these
ingredients will help keep the oil and vinegar from separating.
When using salad dressing as a marinade,
marinate poultry or seafood in Italian or any garlic-and-herb dressing.
Use a tomato-based dressing for pork or beef. Ranch dressings add
richness to fish and white meat chicken. Mayonnaise-based dressings
develop a tangy crust when used to marinate a grilled chicken breast or
veal chop. You can also baste barbecued meats with salad dressing
instead of using barbecue sauce.
In a vinaigrette, yogurt could also be used
to replace sour cream. Just reduce the amount of vinegar slightly in the
dressing to balance out the yogurt's natural acidity.