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Salad dressings

There are several types of salad dressing that are categorised under the following headings:
  1. Vinaigrette
  2. Mayonnaise
  3. Dairy based dressings such as yoghurt, cheese cream and sour cream 
Vinaigrette - This is a mixture of oil, vinegar and seasoning. The ratio varies depending upon the quality of the oil and vinegar used. A general ratio if 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.  If the oil is only of moderate quality then the ratio might drop to 2:1.Vinaigrette is the basis of many derivatives and forms a temporary emulsion or suspension sauce.  It is important that the dressing needs to be stirred before serving. Dressing of this nature may be split into three groups:
  • Basic vinaigrette - a temporary emulsion or suspension dressing
  • Bound vinaigrette - with an egg yolk
  • Cooked vinaigrette - using reductions such as red wine.
Different kinds of oils and vinegar maybe used to impart flavor or provide for variations.  Other flavors may be added in the dressing to give them an altogether different character.  You may choose to add soy sauce and coconut cream to basic vinaigrette for an East Asian touch. Other ingredients such as mustard, herbs, vegetables, fruits cheese and seafood essences provide a wide range of options. 

Citrus juice may be substituted for the vinegar, but always remember to taste the dressing to ensure the correct flavor balance has been achieved. If the dressing is too acidic, sweetness such as honey sugar or palm sugar can balance the flavor.   

2. Mayonnaise - is a cold emulsion sauce in which vinegar, mustard, oil and seasoning are bound with egg yolks.  As with all emulsion sauces  the fat (in this case oil) should be added gradually to prevent the mixture from splitting.  The ingredients should be of similar temperature before mixing, ideally around 20°C. 

3. Dairy Based Dressing 
  • Yoghurt dressing - it provide a low fat alternative to traditional dressings. It is particularly suited to fruit-based salads, seafood and warm salads.  Ensure that the flavor is complementary and then mix with a variety of ingredients to change the character of the accompanying sauce.
  • Cream and sour cream dressing - these are used much in the same way as yoghurts. Cream with citrus juice is a common example and is usually combined with these fruit type salads.  
  • Cheese dressings - these can be used to provide added flavor. Usually white mould or blue vein cheeses are used.  Simply push the cheese through a strainer and whisk in vinegar and oil and season to taste- finish with fresh herbs.  This can be done easily in a food processor.  Alternatively, combine the blended cheese with yoghurt or other dairy products.
4.  Miscellaneous dressings 
  • Asian style dressing such as soy bases that are associated with East meets West style cuisine.
  • Indonesian or Malay style salads based on peanut dressing 
  • Mexican or South American dressing  based on chillies and roasted capsicum.



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