I’m a good cook (no-bake) but without any distinguished recipe inventions or any of that stuff — Just a good everyday cook. But one thing I stoutly maintain: my salad dressing is the BEST. People always comment on it, want to know what I do, and I tell them. (I’m not one of those people who groove on leaving out an ingredient so they can’t be duplicated).
But no one ever goes home and tries it. I can tell, I see their eyes kind of slide away when I relate the secret ingredient, and I know they’ve just “filed and forgot.” Weird, huh?
I’m sharing it with you, in this post about friendship, because these are the THREE ingredients whose friendship makes my excellent salad dressing. And here they are:
First of all, I use a ratio of 3:1, oil to vinegar. Otherwise dressings are too sharp, while still lacking taste. So: Take half Berio olive oil, the plain stuff, and half Goya or Colavita Extra Virgin. Let’s do easy math (I’m an innumerate), so we have 1 1/2 TB Berio, 1 1/2 TB Goya or Colavita. That’s three tablespoons. Add 1 TB Marukan Seasoned Gourmet Rice Vinegar (THAT’S the secret ingredient). A pinch of kosher salt, I use Morton’s, rubbed between your fingers, shake it up in an old lidded jar, voila!
You can grind black pepper over the dressed salad, you can rub the bowl with garlic before you start, you can shower (or daintily add) fresh herbs — Whatever you like. But it’s the 3:1 ratio (not 2:1 or anything like it, which I believe is the norm because oil is cheaper than vinegar) and the RICE WINE VINEGAR, milder yet tasty, that does the trick. And there you have it, my Three Friends of Salad. Now you can ignore it too!
(The fine print: Two kinds of oil because it’s too bland with only regular or light, too strong with only extra-virgin. And Goya’s out there because I was making a salad to accompany paella, a Spanish dish, but more usually I use the more all-around Italian extra-virgin Colavita.)