Not all salad dressings are the same, I had to learn.
Up to now, especially when camping, I was more the type who quickly tore open the salad dressing bag, mixed it with the appropriate ingredients and dumped it lovelessly over the green something that was colloquially known as a salad. Mix briefly with the salad servers – done! Yes, that’s what my salad dressing creation looked like. And quite honestly: I actually didn’t even like her. But salad is healthy, they said. You didn’t say it had to taste good 😁.
But I say now: Salad tastes mega delicious – if you have the RIGHT salad dressing.
Because that has always been my mistake too. I just didn’t have the right one. One that really tastes good. One that is easy to prepare. A salad dressing that you can also prepare on the road when camping and on the boat without any fuss, but with a lot of “is that yummy”.
When camping, in addition to cooking with the Omnia oven, people also like to fire up the grill. Especially since a great salad always goes well with it, of course. So it’s only natural that I will now also publish recipes for salad dressings for my camping food blog.
What is the difference between dressing and vinaigrette?
So they both have one thing in common: they’re both called salad dressings 😁. But there is a serious difference between the two salad dressings.
Vinaigrette derives from the French word vinaigre and means vinegar. The vinaigrette is always based on the same basic recipe. It is in fact a finely acidic vinegar-based sauce made with oil, salt, pepper and, if required, herbs. The vinaigrette has a thin consistency. If you want it to have a more stable consistency, you can stir in mustard or egg yolk.
The dressing, on the other hand, is not as fixed in its basic ingredient as the vinaigrette. There are numerous variations here, such as those used in Caesar’s Salad or Thousand Island Dressing. The term has become established above all for creamy sauces that can also be used as a dip or spread. Dressings are therefore mostly based on yoghurt, milk, cream and mayonnaise – so they have a thick, emulsion-like consistency. In the case of Caesar’s dressing, this is grated Parmesan mixed with the other ingredients, whereas yoghurt and mayonnaise dominate the Thousand Island dressing.
Another difference between vinaigrette and dressing is that a classic dressing does not go exclusively with salad, but also with meat dishes.
A vinaigrette is also more calorie-friendly because it is not prepared with dairy products or mayonnaise. However, a thick dressing is a flavourful change that goes perfectly with green salad with raw vegetables, such as tomatoes, snake cucumber or grated carrots.
As with my other recipes, it is just as important to me with the salad dressings in that the preparation is not so elaborate. Especially when camping, time is our most important leisure factor. And we want to shape this with recreation. But we also have to eat 😁. With the right equipment, the work is even easier.
In addition, with the recipes for the salad dressings, I also make sure again that you don’t need an infinite number of different ingredients. After all, in a motorhome, caravan or on a boat, we are also bound by the terrible components of “payload” and “space” 🙄.
That’s why you’ll find many ingredients that are repeated in my recipes – but without becoming boring 😉.
You always need the following ingredients for salad dressings:
For the oil, I use either neutral sunflower or rapeseed oil, which we usually have with us anyway. In addition, a high-quality olive oil is always important for salad dressings. I have had good experience with Jordan* olive oil. It’s not cheap, but it’s incredibly good and, above all, it doesn’t have a pungent olive flavour that can destroy any salad pleasure, like Trump did the US.
Of course, you can also use oils with a more intense flavour, such as pumpkin oil or linseed oil, for salad dressings. However, everyone has to decide for themselves whether they have the space and the weight potential in the vehicle. Whereas the bottles, which are mostly made of glass, already have a weight of their own.
Therefore, I have limited my recipes to the following oils:
In addition to oil, acid, in the form of vinegar or fruit acid, also belongs in your salad dressings.
My grandma always used the infamous “vinegar essence” for salad dressings. This vinegar not only destroyed all your taste buds, but also irritated your olfactory organ to the extreme beforehand, thinking that now the embalming would be done Egyptian style 😂.
Although grannies always have the best recipes, in this case I’ll forego this type of preparation and use a milder type of vinegar as an alternative.
I like to use orange juice and/or lemon juice from fresh fruit in my salad dressings. Alternatively, there is nothing wrong with using bottled lemon juice or orange juice. Especially as some recipes only require 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. It is often “too bad” to cut open a fresh lemon when you might not need the rest afterwards (unless you have another salad dressing recipe that you want to prepare the next day). You will find instructions on how to do this in the respective recipes.
When it comes to vinegars, I have had good experience with white and dark balsamic vinegar. Moreover, these two varieties are versatile.
Another type of vinegar is “apple cider vinegar”. This one has a fruity note. I also use this vinegar for baking bread and therefore always have it with me.
Either fill the vinegars in smaller bottles or buy smaller bottles directly. They are a bit more expensive, but you can easily refill them afterwards. This saves space and weight with the “little brothers”.
Besides acid, a sweetener is just as important for salad dressings.
While sugar is often the 1st thought with sweeteners, with sugar you have to know that you have to stir until the sugar has actually dissolved. This can take some time.
A good alternative is honey or maple syrup. In addition, both honey and maple syrup are natural sweeteners. Especially if you have an allergy to honey, maple syrup is a good alternative.
Both sweeteners combine well with the ingredients of the salad dressings, as the sugar crystals are already dissolved in the liquid form of honey or maple syrup.
Of course, you can also use other sweeteners such as sweetener, birch sugar, xylitol/sugar, brown sugar or conventional household sugar.
In my recipes, I have limited myself to liquid honey and maple syrup for sweetening the salad dressings.
For the honey, I used blossom honey because I have always liked its taste. However, there is nothing wrong with someone using other flavours, such as acacia honey or the like.
Emulsifiers are essential for combining vinegar and oil.
Oil and vinegar are difficult to combine. However, in order to make the salad dressings homogeneous, emulsifiers are needed.
Here, an ingredient such as mustard (alternatively egg yolk) is used to form a “bridge” between oil and vinegar, making the salad dressings perfect and homogeneous. Add to this vigorous mixing in a dressing shaker or whisking with a hand blender and you have a perfect base for all your salad dressings.
I used mustard as an emulsifier for the salad dressings. I did not use egg yolk as an emulsifier because it might not be stored properly in the vehicle.
I recommend using Dijon mustard. With its distinctive pungency, it is ideal for seasoning and refining salad dressings.
Dijon mustard is also made from brown mustard seeds and mixed with spirit vinegar. The special thing about the production of Dijon mustard is that the grains remain whole during the maceration process. They are only ground at the end to develop their full spiciness.
You will find both Dijon mustard and sweet mustard in my recipes for salad dressings.
If you don’t necessarily want to buy “sweet mustard”, you can alternatively mix Dijon mustard with honey. You will find instructions for this in the respective salad dressing recipe.
If you don’t have Dijon mustard available, you can of course use any mustard you have. Just put your two cents in 😉….
The best that nature has to offer: Herbs in all variations
I always like to use fresh herbs in cooking. I also use fresh herbs whenever possible in salad dressings. If I don’t have any fresh herbs to hand, I also like to use frozen herbs. These come in small packets that also fit in the icebox of the camper van or similar. I find frozen goods a little more aromatic than dried herbs. It may just be my imagination 🤷♀️. Of course, you can also use dried herbs.
With herbs, you can always give every salad dressing a new flavour. For example, I always have a packet of 8-herb mix or even parsley or Italian herbs in the freezer. It is important not to be afraid of “herbs”. You’ll find some really wild combinations in my recipes. Who would dare to make strawberry and rosemary dressing so easily? Me 😁. And now also….YOU😁. Try it too. I always give serving suggestions with my salad dressing recipes too. So you’re not alone 😉.
Herbs only develop their full aroma after a short “infusion time”. In addition, fresh herbs have more aroma than frozen or dried herbs. Dried herbs have the least aroma. That’s why you always have to use a little more dried herbs for salad dressings.
And as with many things, what tastes good and what doesn’t is purely a matter of taste when it comes to salad dressings. One likes it very tart, the other rather sweet. It’s the same with the dressing. And so I can only recommend that you experiment with the vinegar/fruit acid and the sweetener. If you don’t like honey or maple syrup or don’t have it to hand, use sugar or another sweetener of your choice.
If you don’t have anything to do with walnut oil or apple cider vinegar…. exchange it 😊.
I can only give you suggestions and ideas along the way. You have to eat it all by yourselves 😉.
You read correctly 😁: Salad dressing for FRUIT SALAD!
Have you always added sugar and lemon juice to your fruit salad? That’s not entirely wrong. But there’s another way: It’s delicious 🤤.
Why not make a pina colada dressing as a salad dressing for your fruit salad? Or how about a sweet yoghurt dressing? You won’t believe how you can give your fruit salad a flavourful zing with this. Frank always almost fell off his chair at so many “ohhh”… “ahhhh”… “how delicious”. And by the way, I gave him lots of vitamins 😁.
The great recipe book for mega simple but fantastically delicious dressings and vinaigrettes is available here.
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Dies ist ein Rezept aus
In diesem Rezeptbuch hat das kreative Team von 4 REIFEN 1 KLO ein Potpourri von unterschiedlichen Salatsoßen, Dressings und Vinaigrettes zusammengestellt, die ruck-zuck zubereitet sind. Auch Obstsalate kommen, mit süße Dressingideen für erfrischende Obstsalate, nicht zu kurz.
Camping, Wohnmobil, Caravan, Backpacker, Dachzelte, Zelte, Segler, Kochen unterwegs, Grillen, Omnia-Backofen, Technik, Freunde finden – Hier gehts rund um unser Hobby!