Homemade salad dressing is a delicious addition to a dinner salad. And even more valuable than that — the primary benefit to making your own salad dressing is that you have complete control over the ingredients.
Most commercial salad dressings use inexpensive oils such as corn and soybean oil. Olive oil is a much better choice for a salad oil, but you still need to be discerning. According to the International Journal of Molecular Science article entitled Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols, you get the greatest nutritional value when you use extra virgin olive oil.
Refined olive oil is devoid of vitamins and polyphenols. In contrast, extra virgin olive oil contains the highest level of polyphenols because it is the least processed. This is important because plant polyphenols have many health-promoting qualities. They are:
- Anti-atherogenic (working against the formation of atheromas (plaques) in arteries)
- Anti-thrombotic (reducing the formation of blood clots)
- Anti-mutagenic (reducing mutations).
That is quite an impressive list of health benefits. So, now that you are set on your choice of oil, it is a quick step to making a first-rate creamy balsamic salad dressing.
Creamy Balsamic Salad Dressing
Most commercial salad dressings use inexpensive oils such as corn and soybean oil. Olive oil is a much better choice for a salad oil.
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp flax oil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 Tbsp mustard
- 1/4 cup sesame tahini
Place all ingredients in the pint jar. (I mix this up in a wide-mouth pint-size canning jar and tend to just serve it right out of the jar.)
Shake well to mix.
The creaminess in this recipe comes from the tahini, which also helps to keep the salad dressing emulsified. This means it keeps the oil and vinegar mixed together rather than in separate layers.
The flax oil helps keep the olive oil from firming up in the refrigerator, so the salad dressing stays more pourable.