Dressing your salad the Spanish way: Olive oil, vinegar and salt.
After living in Andalusia for years you begin to recognize the same repeated conversations that often turn into heated debates. Most of these debates are about food and its preparation (especially salads and gazpacho). There is no dispute that I like most than the one about how to dress a salad. It can go on for an extended period of time and the conclusion is almost always the same.
A good complete mixed salad in Andalusia is usually: lettuce, canned corn, tomato, onion, tuna, hard boiled egg, grated and marinated carrot, and cooked beets.
Folks here as a rule do not dress their salads with bottled dressing. At most you will find homemade Russian dressing or blue cheese to top a salad. Bottled dressings are often loaded with refined fats like soy bean and vegetable oil so I think that the Spanish have maintained their obsession for the plain and simple olive oil and vinegar has been a real blessing to help them eating healthy.
According to a friend´s grandmother the saying goes: “Be prudent with the salt, generous with the olive oil, and stingy with the vinegar”. These are the three ingredients to a good salad dressing. The vinegar can be substituted for lemon but there is no pepper, or herbs in a true Spanish salad.
Everyone seems to agree that the most important step is the order that you add these ingredients. There is no whisking prior in a bowl. It is quite simple. Once the salad is made and you are just ready to serve it: add the salt, then vinegar, and lastly a generous amount of EVOO. The salad should then be mixed to extend and homogenize the ingredients.
Salads are usually dressed at the table. All eyes turn at this moment to the one doing the dressing and I guarantee you that if the order is not maintained, someone will say something and the eternal debate will begin.