The Oil You Should Be Using To Make Homemade Salad Dressing

A good salad is fresh, crisp, full of vegetables and perfectly dressed with something that complements all the components. A bad salad is, well, terrible and sadly all too common. Upping your salad game is easy though–all you need to do is master the art of making the perfect dressing. The skill pays off time and time again because once you've worked out the basics, it's easy to expand on them to create all kinds of luxurious dressings.

Making dressing at home is very simple and only requires a handful of ingredients to get started: oil, vinegar, and some seasonings, for example. Choosing the right oil for your dressing is important because it provides the base for a dressing that gets noticed. We're here to tell you that the best one to use on your next salad is walnut oil. If it's not already in your cabinet, it's worth hitting the store because it's a complete game changer.

Walnut oil makes the ideal salad dressing

Because it's such a light oil, it's best in cold preparations. Heat can change the flavor and give it a bitter taste. It's a fantastic choice for salad dressings because it has a rich, nutty flavor that it will add to the other ingredients. It mingles nicely with vinegar for a simple vinaigrette but also provides a solid base for more layered flavors.

Walnut dressings are bold enough to work with big flavors like bitter winter greens and leeks. Its nutty flavor also loves fruit and mild cheeses, like manchego and Mahon atop a salad. Of course, just like it makes an excellent topping for salad, the flavors of walnut oil can have other uses too. Seamus Mullen, a chef and culinary director in California told We Like LA the other way he utilizes walnut oil, saying, "for finishing delicate fish dishes, I love the aromatic flavors of walnut." Anywhere that you need a rich oil with a delicate nutty flavor, walnut oil is the way to go.

Walnut oil is also a healthy choice

Walnut oil should be on your next shopping list, but if you have a hard time finding it there's no reason to despair. You can get the same toasty flavor for your salad as long as you have some walnuts and another light oil. According to chef Mike Lata and Southern Living, canola oil infused with toasted walnuts will have a similar impact in your salad dressing as the authentic stuff.

It's impossible to talk about walnut oil without touching on its health benefits. Often, the word "oil" can come with negative health connotations. It's something we're told to use sparingly, and some oils are decidedly worse than others. Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts you can eat and they are full of antioxidants. Walnut oil is one of the healthier oils out there– it's packed with Omega-3 fatty acids which are important for healthy brain function. It's even healthier than olive oil when it comes to containing those beneficial fats. With the powerful combination of being delicious and good for you, it's time to make walnut oil a regular in your kitchen.