Italian dressing for American cuisine is a type of salad dressing that is vinaigrette. It's made of water, vinegar or lemon juice, some kind of oil, finely chopped bell peppers and minced onions, black pepper and often has some kind of sugar in it, as well as herbs and spices that might include oregano, fennel, dill, salt and garlic. When it comes to Italian style dressings, this vinaigrette takes its flavor from different herbs, whether fresh or dried. There aren't really any rules as to which herbs should be used, but oregano, dill and basil are some of the most popular ingredients. Not only are herbs used in Italian dressings, but onion and garlic are also often used to increase the flavor in these dressings. Adding ingredients such as black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and even red pepper can add some spice to the salad dressing. You can also use lemon juice in place of vinegar when making an Italian dressing.
You can make Italian dressing at home in just a little amount of time. While many of these recipes will include ingredients such as olive oil and white wine vinegar, you can change that depending on your tastes. In other words, replace the white wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar to change up the flavor. You can also substitute vegetable, or canola oil for the olive oil to cut back on fat and calories. If you want to make a creamy Italian dressing, you might want to add buttermilk or mayonnaise. Keep in mind that doing this can increase your fat and calories.
Italian dressings are most often used for salads, but they can also be a wonderful marinade for meats or even be used as a sauce. You can use an Italian dressing to flavor your burger or moisten it before putting it on the grill. You might also love to add these dressings to stir-fry's and consider brushing it on your bread when making sandwiches. You might also want to add your Italian dressing to a pasta salad.
In Italy, salads are most often covered with olive oil, salt and vinegar, as well as the occasional black pepper and American types of Italian dressings that are pre-made are unheard of in the country side of Italy.