Fresh, vitamin-rich salads are a great way to give your meals a healthy boost. However, the thought of a plain salad isn’t always the most enticing. But don’t worry, the right kind of dressing can bring a new dimension to your salad dishes. Not only does a sauce introduce another texture to the meal, but it can also pack in some punchy flavors. What’s more, salad dressings can be healthy, too.
Many pre-made dressings in stores contain artificial flavors and preservatives and high levels of salt and sugar. Homemade sauces and dressings give you more control over the ingredients so you can be sure your salads are packed with nutrition and free from nasties.
Some salad dressings have a thick creamy consistency, while others are vinaigrettes with a higher liquid content. When poured over salads - whether a classic Caesar or a colorful Greek salad - a dressing can enhance the flavors of the other ingredients. Creamy dressings often start with mayonnaise, yogurt, or cream. In contrast, vinaigrette salad dressings begin with a base of oil and vinegar, blended into an emulsion. The addition of herbs and spices, and juice from citrus fruits can create varied tastes and textures. Once you’ve learned the fundamental elements of how to make a salad dressing, you can experiment with flavors and come up with exciting concoctions.
You’ve washed and drained your crisp iceberg lettuce, and now it’s just begging for a delicious lashing of French dressing. This classic condiment blends Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. You can either whisk it together in a bowl or give it a good shake in a jam jar. Add a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper to season. It’ll be good to go on a house salad and can complement some crunchy croutons.
The perfect combination of sweetness and heat. Honey and mustard dressing is a versatile sauce for all sorts of dishes. It works particularly well in chicken salads or veggie options containing avocado. As well as adding a great flavor to salads, you can use honey and mustard for marinating meat, too. All you need to make a peppery yet sweet honey and mustard dressing is a mixture of 2 tsp of wholegrain mustard, 2 tsp honey and the juice of 1 lemon. Slowly pour in 6 tbsp of olive oil, stirring as you go. Then season with salt and pepper.
Are you looking to add a tangy, spicy kick to your salad? A chilli and lime dressing is an excellent addition to any salad with a Mexican influence. Whether you’re eating your dish on a bed of lettuce or scooping it into tacos, you can incorporate some zesty flavors into a mixed bean salad. This chilli and lime salad dressing recipe combines olive oil, fresh lime juice, chilli powder and finely chopped garlic for a fusion of fresh, summery flavors. A pinch of Himalayan salt will enhance them even more (plus, Himalayan rock salt is considered a healthier alternative to table salt).
For something a little cooler, try mixing up a batch of tahini. The savory sesame-based sauce pairs beautifully with Middle Eastern salads and prevents falafels from tasting too dry. It’s also quick and easy to make. You’ll need 2 tbsp of tahini, the juice of 1 lemon, and 6 tbsp water. Whisk the ingredients together, then season with salt and pepper. If you want an extra bit of texture, why not use our adjustable mills to achieve a coarse grind for your salt and pepper?
If you fancy a creamy salad dressing but want to avoid overloading on the mayo, why not try making a ranch dressing with a Greek yogurt base? The yogurt will give you a nice protein boost as well as yielding a rich, satisfying texture. Mixing the Greek yogurt with lemon juice, garlic powder, and onion powder will give you a smooth consistency. You can then add either fresh or dried dill and a pinch of salt. If the mixture is too thick, you can thin it with a dash of water.
With its strong acidic flavor, balsamic vinegar makes a great addition to any salad on its own. However, it blends beautifully with olive oil and dijon mustard to create a delightful balsamic vinaigrette. If you like, you can add a teaspoon of honey to balance out the tart flavor, and a pinch of salt will tie all the components together.
If you’ve been wondering how to make salad dressing at home, we hope this list has given you a few ideas. But how should you store your creative condiments? Our duo oil & vinegar pourer is an excellent way to store oil-based salad dressings in the fridge. If your dressing contains a lot of oil, you may notice it solidifies or separates when refrigerated. It can be helpful to take oil-based vinaigrettes out before each use so they can get to room temperature. Give them another gentle shake, and they should be good to go!
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