Spicy Blackberry Vinaigrette
I really can’t understand why people buy store bought dressings when it is so easy to make them at home. The flavors are far superior to ANYTHING store bought, quick to make and so much easier on the food budget. You can make dressings with almost anything. The trick is really in the ratios. Once you understand that you just need a couple elements to reach salad dressing success you’re golden. The Flavor Bible has taught us that every dish needs four elements: sour, sweet, salty, bitter.
This is easy to handle in a salad that will be getting “dressed”. For example, the bitterness and saltiness will come from the greens themselves and anything you might add like capers of cheese or meat. So the dressing only really needs sour and sweet to be successful. The choices for these combinations are limitless. This could be a basic starting point for you:
sour – vinegar, citrus, paling greek yogurt, etc.
sweet – fruit, fruit juice or syrups, sugar, honey
Combine these elements with a fat of some sort: olive oil, clean bacon fat, etc.
In the case of this dressing, (and most of the dressings I make) I use a 40/40/20 ratio: 40% each of sour sweet and 20% fat. If my salad will be a bit simple with mostly greens and vegetables w/ little to no additions to it, such as a meat or one of the above mentioned salty go to-s, I will add that missing element to my dressing, dividing the sour to 20% and 20% bitter.
It is actually much simpler than it sounds as your taste buds will most naturally WANT to taste theses elements. Usually when you taste food and get to a “that’s good” or “mmmhmm”, point it is because you have successfully reached this combination by direction from your pallet. I LOVE when that happens!
What you really need to take from this post is this: NO store-bought dressing can hold a candle to homemade, and it truly is as easy as tossing stuff in a jar and shaking it up. Try it!
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 shallot, very small dice
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
In a jar that has a fitted lid, add all ingredients. Tightly screw lid on to the jar and shake contents vigorously for a few second to up to a minute. Drizzle over greens or toss entire salad with 1/4 cup of dressing.
For Salad: In a medium size salad bowl, add 1/2 cup fresh blackberries, pomegranate, greens, a very thinly sliced pear and pecans in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Divide salad among plates. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve, passing remaining dressing separately.
Store remaining vinaigrette in refrigerator for up to 1 week.