How to make a decent vegan salad dressing

Never buy bottled again

By Lynn Hamilton

When I hear vegans rave about bottled salad dressings, I know they must be desperate. Back in the day, people used to tell me that Amy’s green goddess dressing was the bomb.

The only thing I can conclude is that making a decent salad dressing is some kind of mystery to many vegetarians and vegans.

So, today, I’d like to uncover the mysteries of making your own dressing. In many cases, you only need two ingredients.

A successful salad dressing consists of one part fat and one part vinegar. It’s as simple as that. In an effort to always have the ingredients for a decent salad on hand, you must stock at least one of the following fats:

  • olive oil
  • canola oil
  • corn oil
  • any kind of vegetable oil, including oils that just say “vegetable oil”
  • peanut butter
  • tahini
  • vegan mayonnaise
  • regular mayonnaise (for those that don’t abhor an egg)
  • two percent or full fat yogurt
  • a raw egg, whipped in a food processor or in a mixer

and at least one of these:

  • rice vinegar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • white wine vinegar
  • red wine vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar (for the strong willed)

You get salad dressing by combining something from the first list with something from the second list. Start with two parts fat and one part vinegar, then stir and taste. If it needs more vinegar, gingerly add more until it tastes right.

Once you get the hang of this, you can start playing around with fun auxiliary ingredients like fresh chopped ginger, mango juice, mustard, sherry, and fresh vegetables and herbs.

Here’s a vegan recipe to get you started:

In a pan, heat up some oil of your choice from the above list, toss in some finely chopped onions. You can swap out garlic for this. When the vegetables have gotten cooked, turn off the heat and let it cool. Add any vinegar from the above list to taste. Voila!

Here’s a vegetarian recipe that you might make with exactly what you have on hand:

Combine mayonnaise with an equal part of rice vinegar. Taste. Add more mayonnaise or more vinegar as needed. Serve. If you want to boost the protein content of your salad, add some yogurt.

Here’s one that more or less imitates that goddess dressing that I thought was a life saver:

Combine two parts tahini with three parts of balsamic vinegar. If it’s too bitter or too much like cement, add olive oil and salt and pepper until you get the texture and taste you want.







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