My Boyfriend Taught Me to Make Salad Dressing

4 05 2014

Who knew cooking could be for regular mortals? Fine, I won’t pretend that making salad dressing is “cooking”. But still, I feel like Nigella Lawson up in here.

People hear I have a food blog and always say something along the lines of, “OMG, what’s your favorite thing to cook*?!” And I’m like, “toast!”

And for the past ten years (literally) I have stockpiled the Balsamic Vinaigrette salad dressing from Trader Joe’s since I love it so well and never ever seem to get sick of it on the myriad of salads I have jouously consumed over said decade. This salad dressing enables me to make an entire dinner (composed of a salad) in approximately five minutes, which is my general threshold for patience when making food for myself. And so, loyal salad dressing, I have enjoyed you for many moons.

Trader Joe's Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Trader Joe’s Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

But, one day, Boyfriend found a small mason jar in my cupboard and rocked my salad dressing world. His epic salad dressing recipe includes smashed fresh garlic, BUT my slightly more pathetic version can be made in under a minute. It’s amazing.

Boyfriend's Vinaigrette

Boyfriend’s Vinaigrette

The very best thing about this salad dressing recipe is that it’s relatively impervious to being messed up. I’m not good about measuring things. I know, you’d think I’d be all perfectionist about it, but laziness outweighs anal-retentiveness in this case. So every time I make this dressing I wonder if I’m going to mess it up by drastically changing the proportions. While I’m certain that it tastes slightly different each time I make it, it’s been perfectly acceptable every time. Boom! Impervious recipe!

So here is the very casual recipe for Boyfriend’s Vinaigrette Salad Dressing:

Makes: However much salad dressing you want. As pictured above, I often make single-servings for one or two people, with a total volume of just a few tablespoons. Or, you could make a whole mason jar worth and enjoy it all week (or month? I’m not good a food expiration knowledge) long. The following quantities are therefore percentage-based to let you make however much dressing you want, my free bird.


  • 50% Olive Oil
  • 40% Balsamic Vinegar
  • SECRET INGREDIENT: 10% Real Maple Syrup (see Note 1)
  • Note 1: Don’t even think of using that Log Cabin crap.

That’s it for the liquids; feel free to add a shake or a dozen shakes of any of the following spices, as you see fit:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Garlic Powder (see note 2)
  • Whatever the hell else you like

Note 2: The actual Boyfriend version of this recipe includes some relatively large amount of real garlic chopped up finely and then scraped into a paste with the sharp edge of a knife. I seem to have the culinary coordination of a four-year-old and am not deft at this procedure. Also, I hate playing with garlic cloves (so sticky!). So, if he’s not here, I use garlic powder.

Directions: Eyeball a mixture as suggested above, close the lid of the jar, shake it up, and taste it! Add more stuff until you like the taste (or skip this step like I do because it already tastes fine). Pour over salad, and feel like one pimp-ass cook. Thanks Boyfriend!


*Ok, that was the weird cheerleader version of that question. Also, that is the highest number of semi-correctly used punctuation marks I think I’ve ever placed adjacent to each other.

About these ads



One response

5 05 2014

Sounds really good! Homemade dressings are the best!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 91 other followers

%d bloggers like this: