add vinegar to a dressing before olive oil

1 June 2015

Salt, vinegar and olive oil: the three basic components in any salad dressing. However, the amount and quality of each one, and the order in which they are added, could be the difference between culinary success and failure. When it comes to making dressings, the order you add the ingredients is everything.

You should add the salt or vinegar first. No doubt about it. But in what order? Well, the experts disagree on this point. Some say you should add the salt first; others argue that you should dissolve the salt in the vinegar, which you therefore need to add first. In any case, go easy on both ingredients: you don’t want an acidic or overpowering salad.

If you’re not a great vinegar fan, you probably prefer the milder, less acidic balsamic vinegar, from Modena. But this isn’t the only alternative on the market: Borges also makes cava vinegar, cider vinegar and honey vinegar. Try them out and see which you like best.

The olive oil comes last. Everyone agrees on that. This “liquid gold” is very dense, which helps it bind the three ingredients together. If you add the olive oil first, you’ll create a film around the food that will stop it absorbing the salt and vinegar; and if the three ingredients don’t mix together, they’ll leave a taste in the mouth.

A final piece of advice: if you’ve chosen the three products carefully and added them to the salad in the right order, don’t hang around: get eating immediately or your perfect salad will lose its shine. Vegetables start to wilt the minute you add the dressing.

So, prepare the dressing in a separate bowl and add it just before you’re about to eat. Mix the salt and vinegar, and when all the salt has dissolved, add the olive oil. You can make a basic vinaigrette from four parts olive oil to one part vinegar (or three parts olive oil if the vinegar isn’t that strong) and salt.

If you’re going to share the salad, and some of you want dressing while others don’t, leave the three ingredients on the table and everyone can add as much as they like. Or try one of the four special Borges vinaigrettes (Modena, nuts, mustard and soy), which are ideal for salads.

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