A note from Chef Taylor about salad dressing. Oil, acid and flavor...choose your favorite three from the list.
Lighter oils come from the flavors of canola, safflower, sunflower, and grape seed, which will produce a lighter flavor dressing. The bigger flavors come from olive oils, avocado oil, and sesame seed, which offer more robust flavored dressings.
Most common is vinegar, and the choices are endless from balsamic to rice wine and everything in between. Choose your flavor and start building. Citrus juices are less acidic than vinegar and will add to the balance and depth of your dressin. Go beyond the lemon, try orange or lime and yes even a nice ruby grapefruit. If your dressing is too tart from the citrus you can balance it with a bit of honey or molasses.
Now for the flavor:
The trick (and key) is balance. Go beyond sweet, salty, bitter, and sour , and hink of smooth and complimentary. The sugar in honey balances the citrus acids and the vinegar. Add fresh herbs such as mint, tarragon, or basil (with a bit of onion, garlic, or dash of nutmeg seed) and a small dollop of dijon to smooth and emulsify and you'll be on your way to becoming a wonderful salad dressing maker. As Julia Child says "Bon Appetite" as I share my Tarragon Vinaigrette.
½ cup fresh Tarragon leaves: washed and patted dry
1 shallot - pealed
2 ~3 cloves roasted garlic
½ c honey or to taste
1/3 c orange marmalade
1 orange juiced
½ tsp of orange zest (to taste)
½ c apple cider vinegar
½ to 1 cup canola oil
Pinch of salt & pepper (to taste)
Load all ingredients, in order, into your blender, Ninja, or food processer and puree. Taste for balance and flavor. Asking your taste buds, too sweet? Add a bit more cider vinegar. Too orange? Add a bit more Tarragon. Where’s the garlic? Add another clove? Not smooth enough? Add a bit more canola oil. Store in a tight fitting jar in the fridge. Serve at room temperature. Shake well before using.