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Throw out Recycle the ten different salad dressings you have in the frig. Making your own vinaigrette is easy peasy. You don’t need to consume the 5-syllable chemical compounds, corn syrup or water. Yes, you need to consume water but it needn’t be one of the main ingredients in your salad dressing. All you need is good EVOO, vinegar, fresh herbs, spices and an imagination.

I enjoy experimenting with flavors and have a cabinet stocked with an international smorgasbord of EVOOs and balsamics. From Chipotle EVOO to Japanese sesame seed oil and fig balsamic to jalapeno white balsamic, I cross cultural borders and blend Italian products with Latino, Japanese with Greek, and so on. Most of my oils and balsamics are from Devo Olive Oil; I’m a DEVO-tee.

For today I made a blood orange and jalapeno white balsamic vinaigrette; both oil and balsamic are from Devo Olive Oil. Then I added some fresh thyme, cilantro, salt and pepper.

grilled peach and pineapple saladThe vinaigrette topped a salad of arugula, grilled peach and pineapplegrilled peaches and pineapple, radish and red onion. I brushed the peach and pineapple with some of the blood orange EVOO. The grilled sweetness paired nicely with the peppery arugula and radish. The blood orange in the vinaigrette didn’t compete with the salad flavors and the jalapeno added a nice kick.

The most important thing to remember is the ratio of oil to vinegar. While not a steadfast rule, using the 3:1 ratio will usually result in the right combination. Sometimes it depends on the strengths and flavors of the oil and/or vinegar you use. Start with 3:1 and adjust depending on taste.  (Easy to remember: 3-2-1 done)

Your salad will thank you for it.