In my family, if a food could be made instead of bought, it was made. It wasn't until I went to college and started eating dorm food that I tasted the store-bought versions of many kitchen staples. I quickly learned that there is an enormous quality difference between homemade dressing and the kind that comes in a bottle at the supermarket.
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Yet as delicious as homemade dressings are, they're not always the quickest or easiest things to make. Which is why I was justifiably giddy when I found out about this hack: delicious dressing that requires just three ingredients and a blender.
Add two lemons cut in quarters, a ¾ cup of olive oil, and a hefty pinch of kosher salt in a blender. I recommend either using normal olive oil, or adding a few tablespoons of water if you're using extra virgin olive oil.
If you have a super-powerful blender, like a Vitamix, you can put the lemons in whole. But if you don't, just quarter them. Don't bother seeding or peeling them; that just takes time and decreases flavor. Even an older blender can handle quarters of lemons easily.
If you want to make your life much easier, you could also upend a Mason jar and use it on your blender—that way your dressing will already be inside a storage container, and that means fewer dishes for you to wash.
Turn the blender on and let it do its work for a few minutes, until you can see that the mixture inside is smooth and devoid of chunks.
The pith of the lemon won't fully break down in the blender, so you'll have to strain the mixture to get a fully smooth product.
Because lemons come in many varieties and multiple sizes, each batch of this dressing will taste a little different, and there's no one ratio that will be perfect every time. If it's too tart, just stir in some more oil; too bland, add in an extra squeeze of lemon juice or salt (I always think it needs extra salt, but I love salt).
After you've adjusted the taste, your dressing is ready to enjoy! It's delicious as a salad dressing, but I also mix it with roasted potatoes and veggies, or with a pasta salad. Because the oil emulsifies the dressing, it's a great viscosity to use as a dipping sauce for artichokes or asparagus, too.
While the best part of this dressing is how easy it is, there are a lot of variations you can make to really enhance the flavor. Garlic goes brilliantly with lemon, for instance, but my favorite addition is a tablespoon of Dijon mustard and a pinch of white pepper. I highly recommend playing around with ingredients such as chilies, honey, and fresh herbs.
You can make a large batch of this dressing, and keep it in the fridge for weeks. Couldn't be easier!
All of them require three ingredients or fewer, whether you want to make quick and easy homemade cheese, Marcella Hazan's classic pasta sauce, high-protein, low-carb, and gluten-free pancakes, fresh pizza dough, or spicy kimchi and pork stew (kimchi jjigae).
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