I’ve been asked about salad dressings, so the following is taken from the BBC food website, giving advice about making your own dressings:
“All salad dressings are a combination of oil and vinegar, balanced to add richness and sharpness in the right measures and emulsified to coat the salad leaves evenly.
Oil and vinegar mixed together will naturally separate, but some substances will cause them to hold together, or emulsify, for long enough to dress and eat a salad.
For a classic French vinaigrette, combine three parts oil with one part vinegar – usually wine vinegar or cider vinegar. Pour into a clean jam jar. Add mustard to help bring it together; plus salt and pepper to taste. Then whisk or close the lid tightly and shake until completely mixed. Taste and adjust any of the ingredients to your liking.
Mayonnaise, double cream or egg yolk can be used as emulsifiers for creamier dressings. Flavour your dressing with your favourite soft herbs – parsley, mint, chives or basil – or a little garlic.”
Most of the ingredients mentioned above are safe for the majority of us.
Plainer vinegars are safe for most people, unless you also have a citric acid intolerance, but some people may find they react to more strongly-flavoured vinegars e.g. balsamic. Many of us react to mustard. If you are one of them, consider using a pinch of ground fennel seeds, ground coriander or ground cumin – these would give a slightly different flavour to mustard of course, but would be okay if used sparingly.