Yes, we know. It’s easy to grab that beautiful salad dressing bottle and be done with it. But it is (almost) as easy to make it from scratch, and avoid all those artificial flavors, thickeners, sweeteners, bad fats and preservatives while you’re at it.
Here are a few dressings for you to choose from, should you decide that a simple olive oil, salt and pepper combo is not enough. We use extra virgin olive oil, but you can use other oils such as walnut or avocado, and experiment with the taste differences. My favorite dressing is the Clear French Dressing, a recipe I received from my mother-in-law Anne, a great cook and who has shared many recipes with me over the years. This is a staple in her kitchen and spikes up any salad. Make a large batch and keep it in the refrigerator.
Clear French Dressing
1 cup oil (canola or extra virgin olive oil – or a combination thereof)
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar (or honey)
2 teaspoons salt – (as per Anne’s comment below, 1 teaspoon is probably enough)
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon grated onion
1 small clove garlic, chopped
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Add the vinegar, onion and garlic.
Set aside until you are ready to dress the salad.
Just before dressing the salad, add the olive oil to the vinegar spice mixture, whisking the sauce vigorously as you slowly pour in the oil. This will result in the oil emulsifying which gives the dressing its creamy texture.
Daily Salad Dressing
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vinegar (can be white or red wine, sherry or even apple cider)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Mix the mustard, vinegar salt, pepper well.
Add the olive oil, whisking slowly to obtain a creamy sauce.
This dressing can be used with pretty much any salad.
1/2 cup natural yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup of fresh herbs (chives, mint or basil)
Salt and pepper
Stir yogurt with lemon juice or vinegar and oil and add salt and pepper.
Wash the herbs, pad them dry with a fresh kitchen towel and mince them before adding them to the yogurt mixture.
This dressing works great with lettuce, tomato, cucumber or pasta salads and grilled vegetables.
Basic Asian Dressing
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar (or honey)
1/2 red chili (optional)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (optional)
Place all ingredients in a jar and vigorously shake to combine.
It’s that easy.
Works great with chicken salad, or coleslaw (adding carrots and fresh spinach).
Top with a handful of roasted sesame seeds.
Carrot and Ginger Dressing
2 medium-sized carrots
1 chopped small shallot
1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons of miso
2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
In a food processor mince the carrots, shallots and ginger adding the miso, rice vinegar and water until smooth. Switch the processor to low slowly adding the oil. Season with a little salt.
Juice of 1/2 lemon (organic is best when using the peel, as in this recipe)
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic
4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
Wash outside of lemon thoroughly with hot water.
Grate the peel, and juice the lemon into a bowl.
Mix in mustard, add a little salt and pepper.
Finely mince the garlic and add it.
Just before dressing the salad, add the olive oil slowly while vigorously whisking the sauce to emulsify.
Works great with grilled eggplant, zucchini, white beans, tuna, etc.