The Flavorful Ingredient Giada De Laurentiis Uses To Boost Vinaigrette

A salad without dressing is like pasta without sauce — dry, bland, and just plain boring. According to Eating Expired, salad dressing and vinaigrette are actually defined differently. Salad dressing is basically just anything you coat your lettuce in, whereas vinaigrette is a type of dressing. Although, vinaigrette is categorized as a dressing that uses vinegar and oil as the base, compared to creamy dressings like ranch or blue cheese that use mayonnaise or buttermilk as the base.

When it comes to making a phenomenal salad, dressing is a crucial step. Vinaigrettes are typically a balance of tangy, fatty, savory, and slightly sweet. According to Fustini's, the perfect recipe uses three parts oil to one part vinegar. Furthermore, an emulsion must occur in order for the two ingredients to come together, which is typically done by vigorously whisking, pulsing in a blender, or shaking in a sealed jar.

Because oil is such a prominent ingredient in a vinaigrette, the type you use can determine the outcome of your dressing. Food Network's Giada De Laurentiis has many cooking tips and tricks up her sleeve, including this one for choosing a special oil to transform her vinaigrettes.

Infused olive oils are a game changer in vinaigrettes

According to Giadzy, the celebrity chef herself uses infused olive oil in her vinaigrettes to take these dressings up a notch. In her go-to vinaigrette recipe, she uses garlic-infused olive oil, which is likely available at your local grocery store. However, there isn't one in particular that she fancies, as there are so many different kinds to choose from. It all depends on what flavor you're going for, and how it will accompany the other ingredients. For an earthy note, try basil, oregano, rosemary, or thyme-infused olive oils, which are often sold by the bottle in specialty stores.

If you can't find infused olive oils locally, and making them yourself isn't feasible, adding essential oils into your vinaigrettes along with any olive oil you have on hand is a great way to spruce up a dressing. According to The Lavender Life, you can add drops of grapefruit, lemon, lime, or orange essential oil to a sweet and tangy balsamic vinaigrette, or even ginger essential oil into a ginger-honey soy dressing. These additions will make guests question what the hidden ingredient is that tastes so delicious and unique.