Spicy salad dressings

Spicy salads with chillies

The perfect spicy dressing

Sometimes in a spicy salad, Chillies are not added to the salad leaves and other ingredients being used. Instead, spiciness is introduced through a dressing.

Making a simple salad dressing follows a basic formula. Two parts of oil are mixed with one part of acid - like vinegar or lemon - in a blender or jar with a screw-on lid. Some salt is added, and once everything is blended, there you are – an easy to make, excellent tasting vinaigrette.

Using a jar is a great way to mix all the ingredients. Once everything is in the jar, all that is needed is to screw on the lid and give it a good shake.  An added benefit of using a jar is that it facilitates judging whether oil and acid have been added in the correct proportions

Now that you have a basic vinaigrette, you can start adding other ingredients. Add a bit of mustard, and you have a French dressing. Add some mayonnaise and buttermilk for a Ranch dressing. You can add some garlic, some herbs and chopped chillies to these bases for even more flavour.

The type of oil you use is vital to the success of a salad. It is best to use extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil to make a spicy salad dressing, but grapeseed oil, nut oils (like walnut oil) and other seed oils like canola are also great options

The acid you use can be lemon or lime juice, cider or wine vinegar. The quality and freshness of these acids will be important for your final result.

When it comes to salt, use salt flakes, or one that will quickly dissolve into the dressing

Lastly, one thing to remember is that creating a salad dressing is like making a work of art.   Use your imagination to come up with something different. Try different Chillies,add chilli flakes, add a dash of hot sauce, or use a sweet chilli sauce as a flavouring. There is no limiting factor

Happy salad dressing making