Salad Dressing Roundup: Make Your Own!

Nicole Straight

Often, when I peek into peoples' refrigerators, I see upon the shelves a multitude of bottled salad dressings.  Everyone loves salad but many don't know how easy it is to make a delicious homemade vinaigrette.  The basic proportion of a vinaigrette are 3 parts oil, 1 part tangy (vinegar, citrus). Add some salt and pepper, find yourself a left over jam jar with a good lid, and you are ready to start dressing. Note: I can not stress the importance of having a tightly fitted lid, as I’ve spilled more dressings when I’ve gone to shake it.

Here are a few tried and true recipes I make in my house. You'll never buy bottled again!

Try these simple recipes for Classic French Dijon Vinaigrette, Asian Balsamic Vinaigrette, Latin VinaigretteCreamy Blue Cheese Vinaigrette and Caesar Salad Dressing. 

Classic French Dijon Vinaigrette

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

2 Tbs. minced shallot (frozen works well)

½ tsp. sugar

Pinch of kosher salt and black pepper

1/4 C. white-wine vinegar (option-substitute the juice from 1 lemon)

1/3 C. extra-virgin olive oil

optional- 1 tsp. Greek or Italian seasoning, 1 cube frozen garlic, 1 cube frozen basil.

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitted lid and shake until thoroughly combined.

Asian Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 tbs. balsamic vinegar

1 tbs. soy sauce

½ Tbs. agave or honey

1 tsp. minced shallots (frozen works well)

½ C. vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake thoroughly.

Latin Vinaigrette

2 cubes frozen garlic

Juice from 1 lime

3 cubes frozen cilantro (or ¼ C. chopped fresh cilantro leaves)

½ c. olive oil

2 Tbs. sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar is also fine)

½ tsp. dried oregano

pinch of each- kosher salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake thoroughly.

Creamy Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

1 cube frozen garlic

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

2 Tbs. lemon juice

2 Tbs. white-wine vinegar

1/3 C. olive oil

1/3 C. light sour cream

3/4 C. crumbled blue cheese (about 3 ounces) 

kosher salt and pepper to taste

In a blender or small food processor blend together garlic, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. With the motor running add the oil and blend the mixture until it is combined well. Add sour cream, blue cheese, and 2 tablespoons water, or enough to obtain the desired consistency, blend the dressing until it is combined well, and transfer it to a bowl. The dressing keeps, covered and chilled, for about 1 week.

Caesar Salad Dressing

1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)

2 tbs. anchovy paste

3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

3 cubes frozen garlic 

2 Tbs. Dijon mustard

3/4 cup olive oil

kosher salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid.  Shake thoroughly to combine.