Simple Salad Dressings

March 24, 2011 in Salad, The Daily Blog, Vegetarian


I love a good salad. Fresh, green, tangy, sweet, crunchy, creamy – a salad is the perfect accompaniment to any meal. The key to a great salad is homemade dressing. Seriously. Ditch the bottled stuff, friends. Homemade dressing are as simple as you can imagine and take no time to whip up. They’re made with ingredients you usually have on hand, and you can sleep easy knowing exactly what went into them. Plus, you won’t have to worry about them filling up your fridge shelves and can use that space for other things. Like Whole Foods ketchup. (Yes, I’m being serious. It is the most fabulous ketchup ever. I might make homemade salad dressings, but for ketchup, I’m a Whole Foods 365 non-organic kinda gal.)

I make the dressings in tupperwares, and then just store them in the same one. Give it a good shake before reusing later in the week. These will keep in a sealed tupperware for about 2 weeks. Typically, I make double or triple this and then store it and use it multiple times. Also – don’t worry about being too precise with your measurements. You can eyeball all quantities and keep those measuring spoons clean. As far as what to toss these dressings with – I prefer red-leaf lettuce, spinach, or a nice spring mix as the base; then I add toasted or candied nuts (typically walnuts, because I buy them in bulk); a crumbled cheese like blue cheese, feta, or shaved parmesan; and red onions with the 2nd dressing (no extra onions for the first one, because there are shallots already mixed in).

Okay. Enough chit chat. Here are two of my favorite salad dressings. Be sure to notice their super-fancy names.

The dijon-base salad dressing:

2 tsp. dijon mustard

2 tbs. sherry vinegar (or red wine)

2 tbs. finely chopped shallot

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Combine everything except the grapeseed oil into a medium-sized tupperware. Whisk to combine, then add the grapeseed oil slowly, whisking as you go. This is the dressing I use on the shrimp and spinach salad.

The orange-marmalade dressing:

2 tbs. orange marmalade

1 tsp. chopped fresh (or 1/2 tsp. dried) rosemary sprigs

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

2 tbs. basalmic vinegar

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Combine everything except the grapeseed oil into a medium-sized tupperware. Whisk to combine (make sure to really break up the marmalade), then add the grapeseed oil slowly, whisking as you go. This dressing is great with the addition of chicken, too!

When it comes to dressing up your salads, feel free to mix and match whatever you have on hand!

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