Why Ina Garten Doesn't Bother Mixing Her Salad Vinaigrette

When Ina Garten says "store bought is fine," it's definitely not salad dressing she's talking about. When it comes to that ingredient, there's no excuse not to make it yourself. "It's faster to make it than it is to go to the store and buy a bottle of dressing. And it's so much better," she explained in an interview with PBS Newshour (via YouTube). It's also easier to make than you might've thought.

Garten's basic vinaigrette recipe starts off with 3 tablespoons of good quality vinegar — either champagne or white wine vinegar — and a clove of finely minced garlic. To this she adds a half teaspoon of mustard, salt and pepper, as well as an optional raw egg yolk. A generous pour of olive oil is the finishing touch.

In the PBS segment, Garten demonstrates how she whisks these ingredients together until they're fully combined, before pouring the finished vinaigrette over her salad. Had she chosen not to add the raw egg yolk, however, she would've skipped that step. According to Garten (via The Kitchn), mixing salad vinaigrette isn't always necessary.

Ina Garten's tip is a time saver

Salads can be simple, but they also require a good amount of prep if you're using a lot of mix-ins or making the dressing from scratch. That's where Ina Garten's tip comes in handy. In a recipe for grilled salmon salad published in "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook" (via The Kitchn) the celebrity chef revealed that she prepares her vinaigrettes in an unconventional way.

Whereas traditional vinaigrette recipes all follow the same formula of adding the ingredients into a bowl and whisking them vigorously to emulsify the vinegar and oil (via Cook's Illustrated), Garten doesn't do any mixing at all. She also doesn't opt for a separate bowl, instead she adds everything to the same one, leaves included. Per Garten's explanation, the vinaigrette gets mixed as you toss the salad. Just make sure to toss until every leaf is evenly coated in dressing. There's no whisk necessary, and the result is equally tasty without the extra effort or dirty dishes.