Dressing is an obvious way to spruce up some greens. Sometimes salad dressing is overlooked and ignored, but I am confident ES followers won’t let that happen. Below are some of my favorite dressings. I always eyeball dressings and measurements; so be sure to taste along the way and at the end. Tweaking is essential.
Olive oil and lemon
- You guessed it, olive oil & lemon! Start with 2:1 parts olive oil to lemon and then go from there. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Salad Pairing: I like this simple dressing with a simple salad such as butter lettuce with shaved parmesan and shaved fennel.
Balsamic, Honey and Dijon Mustard Dressing
- Balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey (sugar or maple syrup work as substitutes), salt and pepper, and olive oil [emulsified into dressing].
- Add garlic and/or lemon juice [fresh] if you like. Start with 2:1 parts olive oil to balsamic vinegar, but always whisk in the olive oil last for emulsification [i.e., allowing the oil to mix]. 1:1 parts of honey and mustard.
- Salad Pairing: I like this dressing with baby spinach, cranberries, toasted walnuts, blue cheese, pears and thinly sliced red onion. Improvisation encouraged!
- In all honesty, I resort to the one and only Barefoot Contessa on this. Raw egg warning!
- Salad Pairing: The obvious is Caesar salad, but I also like this on plain butter lettuce or plain romaine lettuce with heirloom tomatoes.
Sesame Ginger Dressing
- Vegetable oil, toasted sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, low-sodium soy sauce, chopped garlic, honey or brown sugar, and minced ginger.
- 1:1 parts garlic to ginger; 1:1 parts of soy sauce to honey; 2:1 parts of vegetable oil to rice wine vinegar [vegetable oil is tasteless so it works well in this dressing so that the other ingredients really come through]. Add toasted sesame oil to taste; this has intense flavor so a small amount goes a long way, start with 1 tbsp.
- Salad Pairing: I like this dressing best with Chinese chicken salad. Ellie Krieger has a good and light recipe for this. Use any Asian-inspired salad OR
- To keep it simple, use this dressing on shredded cabbage [Napa and red], carrots, scallions and crushed peanuts; shrimp or chicken work well with this.
Really not inclined to make your own dressing?? Check out Real Simple’s Top Ten Pre-made dressings.