Store-bought salad dressing is a crime against humanity.
'Ranch', '1000 Island' and other industrial monstrosities are a good way to put yourself underground in a hurry. From bottom-rung oils to artificial preservatives, they contain some of the most frightening ingredients you're likely to see in a grocery store.
Homemade salad dressing is one of the simplest, tastiest and healthiest recipes I know. If made properly, it's creamy, light and flavorful. I consider it my civic duty to spread the word about homemade salad dressing, also known as vinaigrette.
For a medium-sized salad, put two tablespoons of vinegar into your empty salad bowl. Add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of dijon mustard. Add three tablespoons of olive oil and stir until it's creamy and homogenous. That's it! Add your salad, toss and enjoy. The tossing is essential.
I always use extra-virgin olive oil. My favorite vinegar is unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. You may add garlic, tarragon, mint, basil, green onions or miso to your dressing for extra flavor.