This Secret Ingredient Will Take Your Salad Dressing Up A Notch

Some flavor pairings are just indisputably good. Take one of Ina Garten's favorites for example: the chef uses a touch of coffee in many of her chocolate desserts because the flavors compliment one another so well, according to CheatSheet. But these pairings are not just about flavors complementing one another, it's about how they help your ingredients taste even better than each would on its own.

It's the same idea behind a very unusual ingredient that can enhance the flavor of almost any salad dressing. Whether you love fruity salad dressings that are sweet and creamy or a tart blend of citrus in a delicious vinaigrette, there is one pantry staple that you likely use for baking that can actually improve any of these salad choices. As it turns out, vanilla is the perfect ingredient to make salad dressings taste even better, according to Lifehacker.

Vanilla can do wonders for salad dressing

While the thought of adding vanilla extract to your salad dressings might be difficult to imagine, there is good reason to give it a try. According to The Kitchn, who tested out the unexpected Lifehacker tip, vanilla not only enhances the flavor of salad dressings by making them taste sweeter; The ingredient also balances other flavors you likely don't want too much of in your salad dressing, including bitter, strong aromatics like garlic and acidity.

Clearly those who want to make sure the stronger flavors of their dressings stay in check should give this surprising ingredient a try. But to add it into your salad dressing, you need to start with just a quarter of a teaspoon and taste the salad dressing. If it still has strong flavors that you want to balance out even more with sweet vanilla extract, add another quarter teaspoon until you reach the balance you like.