The formula for a good homemade salad dressing is simple: You need some sort of oil, more acid than you probably think, a sweetener, and some mustard (for emulsifying purposes). Add a pinch of salt, and whatever other seasonings you desire, and you have a lovely, punchy vinaigrette.
A good vinaigrette should punch your tongue with a potent combination of salty, sweet, and acidic flavours. Err too much in one direction or another, and your salad will suffer. Making a great tasting vinaigrette isn’t hard, however, and using the template above (and below) can help you nail it...Read more
But sometimes a salad calls for something creamier, thicker, and richer. Luckily, you do not need to completely overhaul your dressing recipe — you simply have to swap out the oil for sour cream.
Sour cream is thick, rich, and obviously creamy. It’s all of those things because of the fat it contains, and fat is the whole reason you add oil to a dressing in the first place. By using sour cream instead of oil, we’re simply switching up our source of fat, and it works out great. Unlike heavy cream, sour cream increases the viscosity and ups the richness without obscuring or dulling the rest of your dressing ingredients, while providing a nice lactic tang of its own.
I tried this swap using my vinaigrette template, and found that a one-to-one substitution worked out quite well, though you could decrease the acid by a tablespoon if you wanted something even creamier. I also recommend adding a little MSG, because MSG is a natural pairing for creamy dressing in my ranch-addled mind.
Do not, however, under any circumstances, try this with low-fat or no-fat sour cream (two horrible products that should not be). The whole point is to celebrate sour creams indulgent, fattier properties, and reduced fat misses that point entirely.