Salad Dressings

A dressing is a sauce that is added to salads to give them flavor and to help hold the ingredients together. When you plan dressings, pick ones that go well with the flavors in the salad but do not overwhelm them. Check the greens to make sure they are dry.

Vinaigrette Dressings

Vinaigrette is a mixture of vinegar and oil. Most vinaigrette salad dressings have a ratio of three parts oil to one part vinegar. For interesting flavors, try different vinegars, such as balsamic or herbed, and different oils.

Olive oil and nut oils are especially flavorful. Also, you might add chopped fresh herbs if they complement the greens or other dishes in the menu. Pasteurized eggs can be added to any vinaigrette. When the eggs are well beaten with the other ingredients, the vinaigrette does not separate and clings well to the greens.

Make Vinaigrette Dressings

Vinaigrette dressings are easy to prepare. They should sit at room temperature for several hours before they are served. They also need to be stirred well right before use. Vinaigrette dressings made with pasteurized eggs should be kept refrigerated.

Fatty Dressings

Dressings made from mayonnaise or other dairy products can be used on green salads, fruit salads, and potato or pasta salads. Fatty dressings can also be used to bind together ingredients in chicken, tuna, and egg salad. As the name suggests, however, these fatty dressings have a high fat content and should be used in moderation. Some of the most common are creamy French, Thousand Island, Russian, ranch, bleu cheese, and creamy Italian.

Make Fatty Dressings

Mayonnaise is often the key ingredient in a fatty dressing. Use these steps to make a fatty dressing:

1. Whisk together dairy products to make the base of the dressing. Mayonnaise and dairy products such as buttermilk provide a good dressing base.

2. Blend lemon juice into the creamy base.

3. Add herbs, spices, condiments, and chopped eggs or vegetables for variety.

Cooked Dressings

These dressings have a cooked ingredient as well as a thickening agent, such as corn-starch. Some cooked dressings use vinaigrette as a base. Others use little or no oil.

Make Cooked Dressings

Cooked dressings may be savory or sweet. Sweet cooked dressings may include fruit or fruit juice.

To prepare a cooked dressing:

1. Mix the sugar, starch, and flavorings in a stainless steel bowl.

2. Add the eggs as directed by the recipe and beat until smooth.

3. Place the milk or fruit juice in a saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Be careful not to scorch the milk. To scorch means to burn with too intense of a heat.

4. Gradually beat the milk or fruit juice into the egg mixture.

5. Cook the mixture until no starch flavor remains. Stir constantly.

Fruit Dressings

Fruit dressings may be sweet, tart, or spicy.

They may be made with pureed fruit or fruit juice. They make an interesting accompaniment to green salads, and even with other fruits.

I Explain How are fatty dressings made?

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Review Key Concepts

1. List the components of a salad arrangement.

2. Outline how to store salad greens.

3. Describe fruit dressing.

Practice Culinary Academics Social Studies

4. Rice vinegar is made from fermented rice or rice wine in China, Korea, and Japan. It comes in dark and light varieties. Find a recipe for a salad dressing that calls for rice vinegar. From where does the recipe originate? Write down the recipe and your research on its origins. As a class, discuss the recipes and their points of origin.


5. You observe that 40% of your first 50 customers ordered bleu cheese dressing, while 30% selected the vinaigrette and 30% selected the Thousand Island. If the next 10 customers choose the vinaigrette, what are the new percentages for each dressing?

^^^^^ Finding the Percent of a Number To find a percent of a given number, change the percent to a decimal by removing the percent sign and moving the decimal point two places to the left. Multiply this decimal by the number. Starting Hint Multiply each percent by 50 to determine the number of customers who ordered each dressing. Add 10 to the vinaigrette total, then divide each total by 60 to find the new percentages.

NCSS III H People, Places, and Environments Examine, interpret, and analyze physical and cultural patterns and their interactions.

NCTM Number and Operations Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems.

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