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Best Dressed: How To Build A Killer Capsule Wardrobe For Your Salad

Having moved around my whole life, I never cared much for clothes. (More clothes = more packing.) My salads, on the other hand, are really well dressed.

The common recommendation of three parts oil to one part acid leaves my palate feeling flat. I prefer things zippier, so I tend to give them equal billing.

More often than not, I invite a third component along in the name of sweetness and, sometimes, a fourth in the name of harmony.

With a pantry and fridge full of indie fineries, I can make a different salad every night!

Because no respectable salad should be caught wearing the same thing twice.

To dress a salad for four, you’ll want to make about a half cup (or eight tablespoons). But because measuring is no fun, build your dressing in a clear jar so that you can eyeball the amounts of each layer (plus a chef-sized pinch of salt and pepper) – and then shake the living daylights out of it. When dressing your salad, start with a restrained amount and add more from there. No matter how stunning its wardrobe, soggy greens automatically land your salad on the worst dressed list.

Here are five of my favorite looks these days:  

BERRY BERRY BEAUTIFUL 2 parts Hoskins Berry Farm’s Blackberry Vinegar + 2 parts Other Brother’s Grower’s Blend Olive Oil + 1 part Anarchy in a Jar’s Herb Mustard + 1 part Republic of Jam’s Blackberry Vanilla Jam

HOT STUFF 2 parts Mikuni Wild Harvest’s Heirloom Lemon White Wine Vinegar + 2 parts Enzo’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 1 part Nyshuk’s Sun-Dried Chili Pepper Harissa + 1 part Mike’s Hot Honey

PLUM TASTY 2 parts Wölffer Estate’s Rosé Vinegar + 2 parts Baja Precious’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 1 part Lemon Bird Preserves’ Satsuma Plum and Sichuan Pepper Jam

SOY DELICIOUS 2 parts Wei Kitchen’s Shallot Safflower Oil + 2 parts Wei Kitchen’s Amber Rice Vinegar + 1 part Big Spoon Roasters’ Ginger Almond Nut Butter + 1 part Bourbon Barrel Foods’ Small Batch Soy Sauce (omit the salt on this one!)

APPLE OF MY EYE 2 parts Stony Brook Wholehearted’s Butternut Squash Seed Oil + 2 parts Carr’s Ciderhouse Apple Cider Vinegar + ½ part Tin Mustard’s Smooth Whole Grain Mustard + ½ part Carr’s Ciderhouse Apple Cider Syrup

Lookin’ good salad, lookin’ good!

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