Oil and Vinegar ratio for dressing
The correct proportion of oil and vinegar for a salad dressing.
The classic vinaigrette dressing requires one part vinegar to three parts oil. However, the ration of oil and vinegar can be adjusted according to your personal taste. It is a good idea to experiment a little with the proportions and if you create a dressing with two parts oil to one part vinegar extra oil can always be added if you find the flavor to be too acidic. Or, if the flavor of vinegar is too sharp this can be substituted with a citrus or fruit juice.
The basis of a salad dressing is always the proportions of oil to vinegar and the agent you use to create an emulsion. When this has been decided upon and completed other ingredients can be added. To decrease the sharpness of the vinegar element in the dressing you could add natural sweeteners found in either honey, maple syrup, preserves, pureed fruit or fruit juice.
Nowadays there is an immense variety of olive oil and vinegar to choose from and the choice of choosing the right flavor to complement the salad ingredients has never been easier. For example, if you have created a salad with delicate subdued flavours you need vinegar that is not too aggressive in flavor such as rice wine vinegar. Or, if you have used ingredients with intense flavor as in the case of garlic or cranberries then an apple cider vinegar would be a good choice.
You may be a devotee of imported vinegar such as balsamic but it is worth considering the merits of red and white wine vinegars. Not only are wine vinegars more affordable but work very well in the creation of vinaigrette although they have not always been deemed fashionable in the culinary world in recent years, and are sometimes viewed as too mainstream for the more educated palate. However, a good wine vinegar can create delicious vinaigrette, and the addition of a little garlic, mustard and sliced shallot will enhance the overall taste even more. It is advisable to be a little selective when choosing wine vinegar and by paying a little extra will generally ensure a superior quality.
Italian balsamic vinegar is immensely popular and deservedly so. Balsamic is aged in a wooden cask which adds to its unique flavor and texture. This type of vinegar is thicker than most vinegar because of the evaporation that occurs during the aging process. Because this vinegar is processed like fine wine it is naturally more expensive and the more vintage the higher the price.
There are also many different types of vinegar that are fruit flavoured such as raspberry, strawberry and even fig. A dressing made of raspberry is very compatible with cucumber and strawberry vinaigrettes taste delicious with spinach. A salad of arugula, pear and Gouda or Parrano cheese is truly sublime when dressed with fig vinegar vinaigrette. The sweet fresh flavors of the fruit are popular with the young and old alike.
Once you have decided which type of vinegar will be most suitable for the salad you are creating you need to choose your oil element. It is preferable to use extra virgin olive oil to create a salad dressing but not necessary to use the most expensive. If you prefer, Canola oil can be used and will give excellent results. The ingredients added to the dressing will be central to the overall flavor. Some oils have very intense flavors and are generally quite expensive. Walnut and hazelnut oil are examples of two such oils and should only be used in minimal quantities and combined with vinegars that are subtle and delicate.
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