My friends ask me all the time about my salad dressings. Today I’m going to show you how to make the perfect apple cider vinaigrette. It’s tangy, delicious, and easy to vary based on what you have on hand. I have noticed a lot of people seem impressed by the idea of homemade salad dressings, but they are not hard to make. You only have to learn a few simple tricks and you’re good to go. The flavor is so much better, and don’t even get me started on the sugar, preservatives and artificial ingredients in most store-bought dressings. It only takes five minutes to buzz up a jar that will last a week or more in the fridge.
What to Start With
Obviously, you’re going to need some apple cider vinegar. It’s ok if you hadn’t figured that out yet. That’s why I’m here. I like to use the raw kind that includes “the mother”- that means probiotic beasties and other good stuff. This is the brand that is a good deal at my local Costco but you can use whatever works for you. Did you know that unlike other types of vinegar, apple cider vinegar actually has a beneficial alkalizing effect on the body? Pretty cool. You can eat yummy salad and keep the ole pH balance happy too.
My flavor secrets are dijon mustard and anchovy paste. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like anchovies. I promise! I don’t even like anchovies. It adds a salty depth of flavor. The mustard adds tons of flavor and helps the dressing emulsify. I also like to add plenty of garlic and whatever herbs I have on hand. Today I used rosemary, but thyme is delicious and you can use a variety of dried herbs if you don’t have fresh.
To make this Whole30 compliant, just use an acceptable mustard such as Annie’s brand. The anchovy paste I use only contains anchovies and salt so it’s fine but check your labels.
Tricks for perfect results
When a dressing or sauce is emulsified, that means that the oil is suspended in teeny little bits and your finished dressing doesn’t separate. It is thick and creamy and coats every bite of salad perfectly. It’s pretty easy to do too. Just mix the vinegar and other ingredients first, then add the oil slowly into a running appliance or while whisking constantly. Dijon mustard also acts as an emulsifying agent here, making the process easier. Of course, if you prefer just to shake it up in a jar and don’t mind the vinaigrette separating, go for it.
I use a mini food processor to mix and emulsify the dressing, but you can also use a blender, full size food processor or immersion blender. If you don’t have any of those, you can still get the right results with some simple elbow grease. Just add the oil slowly and whisk rapidly, making sure it incorporates as you go.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the salad bowl too. This is a perfect sauce for cooked chicken or fish and makes a delicious marinade. I especially love it to marinate pork chops or pork tenderloin. Vary the template with whatever flavors you like and enjoy lots of possibilities.
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Tangy and delicious apple cider vinaigrette with dijon mustard and herbs, perfect on almost any salad.
- 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. anchovy paste
- 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary You can use thyme, tarragon, oregano, or 1 tsp. dried herbs of your choice instead.
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Put all ingredients except oil in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend until well mixed.
With the motor running, drizzle in the oil slowly until fully incorporated.
Store in the fridge for up to a week.