How Do I Save a Broken Salad Dressing?

updated May 1, 2019
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Q: I made a salad dressing a couple of days ago from lime juice and zest, olive oil, shallots, garlic, and cilantro. I used some on a salad and stored the rest in a Mason jar in the fridge. Today it’s solid on the top and liquid on bottom — it that the olive oil? Is it safe to eat?

If so, how do I make it into a dressing again? Shaking the jar is doing nothing.

Sent by Gail

Editor: Don’t fret. There’s nothing wrong with your dressing, and as it sounds, there’s nothing wrong with your fridge as well. The chilly temps inside your fridge turned the olive oil in this dressing into a solid. Unlike purchased salad dressings, which often include emulsifiers to prevent this from happening, homemade dressing requires the extra step of re-emulsifying after you pull it from the fridge.

If the salad jar is still cold to the touch, you’ll need to do quite a bit of shaking to first warm up the olive oil, and then blend it with the acid. Next time, pull the dressing out of the fridge 15 to 20 minutes before you want to use it and wait until the olive oil liquefies. Then you can proceed to shake, shake, shake to turn that oil and acid back into an emulsified dressing.