Homemade Italian Salad Dressing with Garlic
There are different ways to make a homemade Italian salad dressing. If you want to make a basic, two-ingredient dressing, you can blend one part vinegar with three parts extra-virgin olive oil, adding herbs or spices if you want to. Oil and vinegar dressings are popular in Italy. The following recipe calls for garlic, parmesan and more though, to add extra flavor, as well as a bit of water to thin it down and perhaps some salt and black pepper, or sugar, if you want to use those.
It is best to make this homemade Italian salad dressing in advance because leaving it for an hour or so, or even overnight, really blends the flavors to perfection. The dressing is tastier the following day. Make sure you keep it in the refrigerator. This homemade Italian salad dressing is based on extra-virgin olive oil and cider vinegar, which is a classic combination, and then you add garlic and parmesan cheese for a Mediterranean flavor. A pinch of sugar sweetens the homemade Italian salad dressing but some people opt to leave the sugar out and if you prefer a tarter flavor you can leave it out or decrease the amount.
- 1 teaspoon grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons white sugar (optional)
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Combine everything in a jar and seal the lid tightly.
- Shake well to blend.
- Leave the homemade Italian salad dressing for an hour (or even overnight) so the flavors can blend.
A lot of Italian salads are all about simplicity, because they are designed to be served as the ‘insalata’ course in an Italian meal, perhaps after a pasta course and a meat course, so you would expect some mixed leaves and perhaps garden vegetables in there too. A simple dressing made with parmesan cheese, extra-virgin olive oil and garlic as the main ingredients would complement such a salad perfectly. The ‘contorno’ or side dish in Italy might be hot vegetables or cold salad vegetables, and this dressing would be good with either one.
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