Homemade Italian Dressing
Ditch the processed stuff because this homemade Italian dressing tastes 1,000x better. You’ll actually crave salad.
4 years ago, I never thought I’d post SALAD DRESSING (yawn) on my baking blog. Shocking turn of events in the past 1460 days, am I right? I realize next to mocha cheesecake brownies this is… salad dressing. But stick with me.
First, how was your weekend? Have you told me your exciting plans for 2016 yet? (It’s not too late to enter that giveaway!) My weekend was busy busy and loads of fabulous. Had my sister’s bridal shower! If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know that my 2 sisters and I all got/are getting married within 16 months of each other. It’s been a crazy 2 years of engagements, showers, and weddings. Saundra’s destination wedding at the end of this month will conclude it all and where better to celebrate than in sunny St. Lucia? 17 days until paradise!
Back to the salad dressing stuff. Many of you, myself included, likely buy your own. I mean, it’s easy, there’s variety, tastes great, etc. And the whole convenience thing. But have you ever considered making your own salad dressing? You have complete control over the ingredients and flavor.
The ingredient list of most store-bought dressings is scary. What’s with all that added sugar! It certainly doesn’t keep me from buying it every now and then, but I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of processed foods in the house for awhile. And I’ve really enjoyed the ease of making and the flavor of homemade salad dressing, like this mixed berry vinaigrette. → have you tried that yet? So fresh, so flavorful, zero added sugar.
I began making my own Italian dressing at home last year. Italian is what we use most often in the kitchen whether that’s on a healthy green salad, chicken pasta salad, or even as a marinade. This homemade italian dressing tastes a billion times better than anything you buy at the store. The fresh flavors are incredibly robust and rich. And making it from scratch is virtually effortless. Pour stuff into a jar, add herbs, shake. You’re done. And the icing on the cake (had to include dessert somehow here, people) is that you can adjust the herbs and seasonings to fit your tastes. Bottled stuff is no match.
The base ingredients of this homemade Italian dressing are extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar. You can use a neutral oil such as canola or vegetable oil, but nothing is quite like olive. The vinegar can be changed to a red wine vinegar, but the taste will be different. I find white wine to be a little more acidic, but it works in this homemade Italian dressing. Play around with what you like. From there you’ll need a bit of lemon juice, grated parmesan, and a touch of honey to help balance out the harsh vinegar. Herbs and seasonings are next like: parsley, basil, garlic salt, and oregano. Allllllll the flavors in this zesty homemade Italian salad dressing!
As I’m focusing on eating a little healthier this month, a necessary follow up to my Christmas cookie binge (I know you relate!), I’ve been making this ultra flavorful Italian dressing like it’s going out of style. Livens up my regular salads! And poured on top of roasted vegetables? Or over a small plate of fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes? I can’t even handle it. Talk about a flavor explosion!
Healthy tastes really, really good in my kitchen right now. I’m quickly becoming a salad dressing snob over here and soon, you will be too.
Homemade Italian Dressing
Ditch the processed stuff for this fabulously flavorful and zesty homemade Italian dressing. Pour over salads or use as a marinade.
- 3/4 cup (180ml) extra virgin olive oil1
- 1/4 cup (60ml) white wine vinegar2
- 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons minced onion (I use dried minced onion)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon honey or granulated sugar (imperative to balance out that vinegar)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all of the ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until the mixture well-combined. Taste the dressing and add more herbs or seasonings if desired.
- Store the dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Shake before using.
- Instead of olive oil, you can use a neutral flavored oil such as vegetable or canola.
- You can use red wine vinegar instead of white wine. I do not suggest any other vinegars.
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Try this Italian dressing in my slow cooker BBQ meatballs recipe.
And over my chicken pasta salad instead of the creamy buttermilk dressing. This is wonderful with whole wheat pasta!