Why Ina Garten Thinks You Should Make Your Own Vinaigrette

When it comes to anything homemade, Ina Garten is the person you call. She is the woman who practically trademarked the phrase "Store bought is fine," and has always been onto something (via Cheat Sheet). From her endless salad recipes, be it with lettuce as the foundation, pasta, cucumber, potatoes, or even rice, the dressing takes the dish from good to great. If tossed correctly, it's the first thing people taste, so it's best to put some love into it.

Love My Salad states that not only does a homemade vinaigrette wake up the flavor, it's also fresh, has wholesome ingredients without all the additives and preservatives, and is much cheaper. The Cookful has a unique guide on how to pair different lettuces with different dressings, stating that spinach pairs well with a light vinaigrette, radicchio goes best with a mustard-based or ranch dressing, kale needs a vinaigrette more on the acidic side, and romaine can stand up to pretty much any dressing you give it, with Caesar, of course, being a no-brainer. Now that we've mastered the matchmaking of lettuce to dressings, the Barefoot Contessa star reveals her take on why homemade dressing is simply better.

It's much faster, more simple, and delicious

When it comes to salads, a homemade dressing will take the flavor of the dish well over the top compared to a bottled dressing and is "so much faster to make versus going to the store to buy it," says Ina. She shows PBS NewsHour how she likes to prepare her vinaigrettes — in a glass measuring cup with a small whisk (via YouTube). Once the dressing is made and the greens are coated, she asks, "Now, wasn't that faster than going to the store and buying bottled dressing?" After nearly five minutes, she's prepared a salad that could feed up to four people, proving her point.

An even faster method the Food Network chef has shared, which is more unconventional than you'd expect, is that she doesn't always mix her dressings before tossing them. That's right — according to The Kitchn, Garten's first published cookbook under her recipe for grilled salmon salad states that whisking the dressing is not necessary, as it gets mixed up enough when tossing it with the greens. She simply adds the vinaigrette ingredients straight to the bowl with the lettuce and lets the tongs or mixing spoons do the work. This goes to show that it's tough to beat a from-scratch dressing.