t’s hard to find a good commercial vinaigrette salad dressing, and it’s a bit of a mystery because the ingredients are simple enough: vinegar and olive oil. Most taste a bit rancid or gluey and sweet. And while the dressing is simple enough to make, there’s something irksome about making it every day if you like to have a green salad with dinner. I have found that making a whole bottle of it once a week is time-saving and it tastes delicious. To make, look for an inexpensive bottle of extra virgin olive oil and either red or white wine vinegar. The proportions of a good vinaigrette are a bit controversial, with lovers of fine olive oil calling for only one tablespoon wine vinegar per 2/3 cup olive oil. I was pretty sure my $3.99 bottle of Racconto Extra Virgin Olive Oil wasn’t quite good enough to be so dominant, so I went with Joyce Goldstein’s recipe in her book “Mediterranean Fresh,” which calls for three to four tablespoons of vinegar per 2/3 cup olive oil. I took an impeccably clean bottle that had held about 13 oz. commercial dressing. I poured in one cup of extra virgin olive oil, made a mark with a Sharpie on the side of the bottle, and then added 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, and marked that depth with a Sharpie. This way, I never will have to measure again. I also added about a tablespoon of chopped parsley and salt and pepper. The limpid pools of golden olive oil and the pale gold of the white wine vinegar are quite pretty, especially if you decorate your bottle.
How to Decorate Your Bottle
You can paint an olive sprig on your bottle if you want to be fancy. The pattern is provided below. I used shades of green, grey, black and purple acrylic craft paint. When painting glass be sure the surface is squeaky clean. I find that it works to lightly paint the design, let dry, and then paint over it a second time. This way there aren’t any streaks. I then painted over it with an outdoor varnish.