Dressings

Lemon Oil Dressing

A classic, delicate all-round dressing that’s especially lovely on herby or smoked salmon salads. Use the dressing within 24 hours for the best flavour.

3½ Tbl fresh juice (the juice of approx 1 lemon)
10 Tbl best – quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Put the lemon juice and oil into a jam jar and season. Tighten the lid and shake. Try out your dressing on a salad leaf and adjust the seasoning to taste. 

 

Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

Brilliant for Italian salads, green salads and antipasti.

3½ tbl good aged balsamic vinegar
10 tbl best-quality extra virgin olive oi
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the balsamic and oil into a jam jar, season and shake. Taste on a salad leaf and adjust if needed.

 

Sicilian Dressing

Wonderful in a warm grilled tuna salad or with shellfish. And don’t cheat – make sure you squeeze your oranges!

1½ Tbl fresh lemon juice
1½ Tbl fresh orange or orange juice
10 Tbl best-quality extra virgin olive oil a few pinches of dried oregano
Sea salt and ground black pepper

Put all your ingredients into a jam jar and shake, mixing everything together. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

 

Creamy French Dressing

Great with green salads and bitter leaves like endive or radicchio.

5 Tbl white wine vinegar
4 Tbl walnut oil
115ml crème fraiche
1 tea Dijon mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful of chopped parsley leaves
8 Tbl best-quality extra virgin olive oil.

Put all your ingredients into a jam jar. Shake, taste and season again if needed until your dressing is perfect. You may need to add a little more vinegar or oil to balance it.

 

Spiced Vinegar Dressing

Lovely with cheesy salads or cold roast beef.

8 Tbl white wine vinegar
2 Cloves
1 Star anise
10 Tbl best-quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour the vinegar into a pan and add the cloves, star anise and a splash of water. Bring to the boil and reduce the liquid be half. Add the oil and some salt and pepper. Tighten the lid and shake your jar. Taste and add more oil or vinegar if needed.

 

Grilled Chilli Dressing

Fantastic with crunchy root vegetable salads and strong-flavoured herbs.

3 fresh red chillies
10 tbl extra virgin olive oil
3 ½ tbl fresh lemon juice
A small bunch or fresh mint, leaves picked and finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prick the chillies with the tip of a sharp knife – this stops them popping or exploding when they are cooked. Hold your chillies, one at a time, with a pair of metal tongs in a gas flame until they’re blackened and blistered all over. If you don’t have a gas hob, pop them under a hot grill instead.

Place the chillies in a small bowl, cover with cling film and leave for 15 minutes. This way they will steam in their own heat and the skins will peel off very easily.

Peel the chillies, open them up and scrape out all the white seeds. Discard these, and then finely chop the flesh of the chillies. Put in a mixing bowl, all the oil, lemon juice and mint, and mix well. Season to taste.

 

A Basic Dressing

Always start with a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 3 pats oil, with a few twists of salt and pepper. Put the ingredients in a clean jam jar and give it a good shake – or whisk them in a bowl. The more you shake or whisk, the more emulsified your dressing will be and the longer it’ll take to separate back into oil and vinegar again. Unless you have added dairy products, fresh herbs or raw garlic, homemade dressings will keep for ages in the fridge; just remember that they will split again, so always give them a good shake or whisk before using.

 

Note: The details of the dressings are taken from Cook with Jamie, “My guide to Making You a Better Cook”