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Anna N

Homemade Salad Dressings

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My daughter wants to make her own salad dressings - small portions to take for her lunch. I have made her a batch of basic dressing - olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. She can now shake and pour a little of this into a small container and add the herbs/seasonings of her choice on a daily basis. My question is: Why do so many sources I search suggest that this basic dressing - nothing else but oil, vinegar and salt and pepper has a safe life-span of only 1 week refrigerated? What's to fear here? Thanks, Anna N


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Why do so many sources I search suggest that this basic dressing - nothing else but oil, vinegar and salt and pepper has a safe life-span of only 1 week refrigerated?  What's to fear here?

Good question.

I can't quite figure this out myself, either. It seems ok to keep salt, pepper, vinegar and oils for months, but add them together and all of a sudden, after one week's combined storage, eating them might lead you to death's door?

Despite my puzzlement as to why it may be dangerous, I do find myself being wary of using such dressing if they have been kept for more than a week. It must be the nagging weight of those repeated warnings. Conversely, my fiancee enjoys Feta kept in olive oil with mixed peppercorns and herbs and it lasts an age in the fridge.

It makes no sense.

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...

Despite my puzzlement as to why it may be dangerous, I do find myself being wary of using such dressing if they have been kept for more than a week. It must be the nagging weight of those repeated warnings. Conversely, my fiancee enjoys Feta kept in olive oil with mixed peppercorns and herbs and it lasts an age in the fridge.

It makes no sense.

Makes no sense to me, either but I'm not into risking anyone's health. So, I guess, I just want someone to explain what the cause for alarm is - once I understand it - I'll feel more sensible in following the prescribed precaution.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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My daughter wants to make her own salad dressings - small portions to take for her lunch.  I have made her a batch of basic dressing - olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.  She can now shake and pour a little of this into a small container and add the herbs/seasonings of her choice on a daily basis.  My question is:  Why do so many sources I search suggest that this basic dressing - nothing else but oil, vinegar and salt and pepper has a safe life-span of only 1 week refrigerated?  What's to fear here?  Thanks, Anna N

I occasionally make a large amount of dressing for a dinner party, forget to serve it, and then use it myself for weeks afterwards.

Never noticed any deterioration in taste (in fact the opposite) or life threatening food poisoning incidents.

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.....  What's to fear here?  Thanks, Anna N

Nothing to fear Anna, except "the Great American myth created by overzealous grandmothers and the "media"

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Peter

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I've been looking in food science books and none address this question. The closest I came was a comment in Russ Parson's book about oil for frying deteriorating when salt gets into it, but I don't know if that happens at room or refrigerator temp.

My books tend to say you can store vinaigrettes for 2 weeks in the fridge, unless the call for fresh herbs or citrus juice, which of course shortens their lifespan significantly.

But from what I've gathered, it's a matter of flavor, not of safety.

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Perhaps it is simply the salad oil industry using a version of the old "shampoo, rinse, repeat". If people believe that the salad dressing is more than a day old and toss it, we sell more product. Obviously fresh is always best but with good refridgeration I don't see why vinaigrette should not last for more than a week. On the other hand , in that vinaigrettes are so easy to make, do you really need to prepare a gallon at a time?

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Thanks to all for your input.

I don't want to make a gallon or even close but I would like to make a bit of a selection for her such as oil and balsamic, oil and white wine, oil and rice wine - so she can experiment. I am going to go with the 2 week thing - as long as it's oil and vinegar only I think we can be pretty safe.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I just made the HerbFarm Vinaigrette from Jerry Traunfeld. After using a handheld blender to emulsify the non-oil ingredients and then drizzling in the olive oil whilst blending, I followed his comments: if you're not using it within a few hours to store it tightly covered in the refrigerator, keeping for several weeks. Even with a tablespoon of shallots, I think this won't last a few weeks only because I'll be using it every night on the greens....

memesuze

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13 minutes ago, TicTac said:

My guess (and based on my experience with ramps) is that if you used a combination of fresh and pickled ramps, this dressing would be significantly improved.

 

As @Margaret Pilgrim eluded to, there is much hype over this, quite frankly, because it has Chang's name linked to it.  From the looks of it, it is certainly not groundbreaking stuff!

 

I'll take Green Goddess anyday over this.  https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014134-green-goddess-dressing  https://www.splendidtable.org/story/melissa-clark-shares-recipes-that-showcase-the-flavors-of-spring

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25 minutes ago, TicTac said:

From the looks of it, it is certainly not groundbreaking stuff!

No it certainly isn’t groundbreaking but on the other hand it is completely doable by most people in terms of the limited number of ingredients required. Green goddess might be a better salad dressing but it’s unlikely to ever show up around here because of the requirement for fresh herbs. I was certainly not blown away by the Momofuku ranch but I will give it its due —  I could  pull it together almost any day. Might need to sub for the buttermilk mind you but I suspect I wouldn’t miss it much if I just left it out. 

 


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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13 minutes ago, Anna N said:

No it certainly isn’t groundbreaking but on the other hand it is completely doable by most people in terms of the limited number of ingredients required. Green goddess might be a better salad dressing but it’s unlikely to ever show up around here because of the requirement for fresh herbs. I was certainly not blown away by the Momofuku ranch but I will give it its due —  I could  pull it together almost any day. Might need to sub for the buttermilk mind you but I suspect I wouldn’t miss it much if I just left it out. 

 

While doable, as many people have noted, certainly not easily replicated with the required pickled ramps...

 

I would modify a number of things in it and most assuredly produce a far more flavorful end product! :)

 

Pickling ramps removes much of the beauty of the ramp - the sweetness and to some extent, garlic notes are much removed.  It basically ends up tasting like a pickled onion.

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3 minutes ago, TicTac said:

Pickling ramps removes much of the beauty of the ramp - the sweetness and to some extent, garlic notes are much removed.  It basically ends up tasting like a pickled onion.

😂

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I like green goddess, Joy of Cooking recipe -- even Kraft.  I used to say green goddess was my favorite dressing.  But now when I lie in bed at night what my thoughts turn to is that bowl of Momofuku in the refrigerator.

 

Let me put it a different way:  a bottle of Kraft green goddess will delight me, whereas before Momofuku no ranch dressing really would.

 

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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I like green goddess, Joy of Cooking recipe -- even Kraft.  I used to say green goddess was my favorite dressing.  But now when I lie in bed at night what my thoughts turn to is that bowl of Momofuku in the refrigerator.

 

Let me put it a different way:  a bottle of Kraft green goddess will delight me, whereas before Momofuku no ranch dressing really would.

 

 

You killed it with the phrase "bottled Kraft" - not so much in the lust category

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1 hour ago, heidih said:

 

You killed it with the phrase "bottled Kraft" - not so much in the lust category

 

I like it.

 

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40 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I like it.

 

I will look for it.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I was almost surprised to find Kraft Green Goddess on amazon.  But it looks different and I'm not at all sure it is the same product I remember from the 1970's.  Apparently Kraft Green Goddess has no anchovies.

 

Oh, well, there's always Momofuku.

 

 

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7 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I was almost surprised to find Kraft Green Goddess on amazon.  But it looks different and I'm not at all sure it is the same product I remember from the 1970's.  Apparently Kraft Green Goddess has no anchovies.

 

Oh, well, there's always Momofuku.

 

 

I also looked on Amazon.ca and it shows the bottle and then announces that it is no longer available!  Darn. I was very curious and anxious to try it. 
 

Edited to add:

 

it is available according to the Internet from Walmart.com but not from Walmart.ca. 


Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Green Goddess is so easy to make, ingredients so easy to source, unlike the elusive pickled ramp.    Just chuck it all in the blender and pour.

Back mid-Century, this used to be my cocktail party veg dip.  

 

Edited because NYT swooped in with the paywall again.


Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)

eGullet member #80.

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12 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

ingredients so easy to source, unlike the elusive pickled ramp.   

Always provided, of course, that you have access to fresh herbs. Scallions are a much better option when you don’t. They keep far better than cut herbs and are available just about everywhere.  I have seen times when even parsley isn’t available at the grocery store and tarragon is extremely elusive. So, what is easy for some is challenging for others. Southern Ontario is not California.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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27 minutes ago, Anna N said:

Always provided, of course, that you have access to fresh herbs. Scallions are a much better option when you don’t. They keep far better than cut herbs and are available just about everywhere.  I have seen times when even parsley isn’t available at the grocery store and tarragon is extremely elusive. So, what is easy for some is challenging for others. Southern Ontario is not California.

 

Ya think? We are so entitled. The concept is even dried - herby (hi Herb) creamy,  I often can not get to a store but I've embraced the dred guys and you can make it work :) Life challenges but we adapt. 

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