I don’t know why anyone would buy salad dressing. It’s expensive, not that tasty, and usually has a bunch of bad-for-you ingredients. In short, it’s another processed food. Here are a few of my favorite salad and vegetable dressings and vinaigrettes. They are dead simple to make. Relatively cheap. And they are all delicious. Use them on your salads, roasted vegetables (especially the tahini one), roasted fish or chicken (they add a nice bright sauciness), beans and rice (I like a dash of vinaigrette at the end of cooking to my beans. It makes all the flavors bolder, better.). Try these dressings on grilled meats, as a marinade, in chick pea salad, or really anything you feel needs a little improvement in the flavor department.
Vinaigrettes & Dressings
My Favorite (and easiest) Salad Dressing
- ½ lemon squeezed (seeds removed)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil, in the salad bowl, until emulsified into an opaque lemony green yellow. Add greens and other salad components.
* Sometimes I’ll add ½ an avocado to the base for a little texture and richness. Cut the avocado into bite sized chunks, lightly whisk with dressing and add greens. The avocado will retain its shape, though part of it will get added to the dressing.
(makes about ¾ cup of dressing)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons or more of unfiltered apple cider vinegar (you can also add an extra tablespoon of a good balsamic vinegar if you have it)
- 1 clove of garlic smashed
- 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon or whole grain mustard
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 shallot, finely minced
Whisk together oil and vinegar, in a bowl, until emulsified, add mustard, continue whisking, add finely minced shallot, smashed garlic, salt and pepper to taste. If you want a thinner dressing, add more vinegar. Add fresh herbs like tarragon, basil or parsley if you have them and are using this vinaigrette immediately.
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or Champagne vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- ¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Sea salt, freshly ground pepper
Combine first 6 ingredients in a small jar; season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. With the lid on, shake to blend. Vinaigrette will keep up to a week.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
(makes about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- ½ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- ¼ cup or more of fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Purée garlic, tahini, lemon juice, salt, paprika, and 3/4 cup water in a blender until smooth, adding water and lemon juice if needed to thin dressing.
About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.