Giada De Laurentiis' Easy Tip For A Mouthwatering Salad Dressing

giada de laurentiis smiling
giada de laurentiis smiling - Eric Charbonneau/Getty Images

A salad isn't complete until you add dressing. After all, dry lettuce leaves aren't exactly appetizing. Even if you use a basic vinaigrette made with just oil and vinegar, this classic combination does wonders in tying all the salad ingredients together. While you can add an assortment of herbs, spices, and emulsifiers such as Dijon mustard to add more flavor to a vinaigrette, Giada De Laurentiis swears by a simple upgrade. As detailed on the Instagram account for her food and lifestyle brand Giadzy, her recipe calls for many conventional vinaigrette ingredients, including olive oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, and salt. However, instead of using plain olive oil and regular honey, she specifically uses infused olive oil and wildflower honey.

Infused olive oil is exactly what you'd think it is — aromatics such as garlic, rosemary, or chili peppers, are left to sit in olive oil until it becomes infused with their flavors. Wildflower honey, unlike regular honey, comes from bees that pollinate not just clovers but all kinds of wildflowers.

You might not expect these ingredient swaps to make much of a difference for a salad, but there's a reason the celebrity chef uses them to elevate her salad dressing.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

Why It Makes A Difference

glass bowl filled with vinaigrette next to spoon resting on dish
glass bowl filled with vinaigrette next to spoon resting on dish - Irigri8/Getty Images

The simplicity of its ingredients is what makes vinaigrette so complementary to a salad. It can effectively dress a salad without overbalancing the taste of all the salad greens and mix-ins. Unfortunately, this also means that vinaigrettes don't always have much depth of flavor. Giada De Laurentiis' technique, on the other hand, works because it adds complexity while still letting the salad ingredients shine like a traditional vinaigrette. By adding her go-to of garlic-infused oil (which you can make on your own), you're able to incorporate a subtle garlic flavor into your salad rather than potentially overwhelming it with the intensity of raw garlic.

As for the honey, both wildflower and regular honey (commonly sold as clover honey) introduce a sweet element to a vinaigrette that balances out the tanginess of the vinegar. The difference is that the flavor of wildflower honey is naturally stronger and it's not quite as sugary, ultimately giving salad dressing much more dimension.

The Best Wildflower Honey And Infused Oil To Use For A Vinaigrette

drizzling honey over salad
drizzling honey over salad - Andrew Angelov/Shutterstock

Giada De Laurentiis may prefer garlic infused oil for her vinaigrettes, but she also mentioned that you can realistically use any flavor you think would pair well with your salad. There are plenty of options you can buy at the store, but it's worth noting that many infused oil products are made with flavor extracts rather than whole ingredients and therefore may not be the best quality. For the best-tasting vinaigrette and salad, consider making your own infusion, such as sun-dried tomato oil.

When it comes to the wildflower honey, De Laurentiis recommends Italian Alpine wildflower honey, which is raw and has floral notes. Raw honey is not filtered or pasteurized, meaning it's packed with more flavor. With a raw instead of processed honey, you'll be able to taste more of the honey in your vinaigrette. If you're not sure what wildflower honey to go with, look for any labeled as Grade A, as this indicates the highest quality.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.