Four Salad Dressings

salad dressing

We have been eating huge platefuls of salad all spring, which led to a serious need for some new salad dressing recipes. You see, we are picky about eating things with recognizable ingredients, which leaves out most of the bottled dressings. And we are are convinced we do not have a great nutritional need for corn syrup, which has the same effect. Some people think salad dressing is intimidating, but that is probably because they don’t have a good recipe. All you need now is a blender and a few common ingredients and you are in business!

This first one is definitely NOT gourmet, but it gets points for being convenient and a tried and true kid pleaser. The secret ingredient is ketchup, which mysteriously makes salad easier for a kid to choke down. There is a lot of sugar in this mix. If that bothers you, let me point out that you only use 1/4 cup of mix per recipe and then just a few tablespoons per serving. If it still bothers you, please read the ingredients on the French dressing you usually buy. 

DSC_0019_4French dressing mix


1 C. sugar

2 Tbs. dry mustard

1/4 tsp. onion powder 

4 tsp. paprika

2 Tbs. salt

Combine all ingredients and stir to distribute evenly. Store in dry container with tight fitting lid. Shake mix before measuring for prepared dressing.

To make :

Combine 1/4 C. of mix with 3/4 C. oil, 6 Tbs. ketchup and 1/4 C. vinegar. Shake or blend in blender. Chill. Makes 1 1/4 cups of dressing.

The next dressing is a step up for the adult taste buds, but youngsters will still be happy with this one. 

CREAMY ITALIAN DRESSING                            

1/2 C. olive oil

1/2 C. mayonnaise

2 tsp. dry onion

2-3 Tbs. vinegar

1 Tbs. sugar or honey

1/2 tsp. basil

1/4 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Blend well. 

Now this one can become an obsession.  It is worth it to buy the smoked paprika rather than the usual bland stuff. Don’t bother chopping the onion, just cut off a piece that looks close to two tablespoons and toss it in the blender with everything else.  


1/2 C. red balsamic vinegar

1/3 C. honey 

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

1 Tbs. lime juice

3/4 tsp. pepper

3/4 tsp. salt

1 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika

3 cloves garlic

2 Tbs. chopped onion

1/4 tsp. oregano

1 pinch sugar

1/2 C. olive oil

Blend all except oil in blender to puree. Slowly add oil to emulsify.

I found this one on the internet and we can’t get enough of it. Don’t let the jalapeno scare you. If you discard the seeds, it will have a little kick, but you won’t be breathing fire. Estimate the 3/4 teaspoon of gingerroot and toss that in to get chopped with the other ingredients. 


1 jalapeno pepper, seeded

2 cloves garlic

3/4 tsp. fresh gingerroot

1/4 tsp. lime juice

1/3 C. honey

2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 C. cilantro leaves, packed

1/2 C. olive oil

Whirl pepper, garlic and ginger in blender. Add everything except oil. Blend, then slowly add oil to emulsify.

Suppose you have leftover salad and you save it for tomorrow. Do you get grossed out because it has turned brown overnight? You can make a really big bowl of salad and eat it all week if you do this. 

First, layer several paper towels on top of the bowl. 

DSC_0015_3saving salad

Next, find a dinner plate or plastic lid that is a little bigger than the top of your bowl.

DSC_0016_4saving salald

Flip it upside down. Store in the fridge and enjoy again.

DSC_0017_5saving salad

From what I understand, the water on the lettuce is what makes it “rust”. A salad spinner will also do the trick. I don’t have a salad spinner and I am not convinced I need one because this works so well. You could also make your own salad spinner with a lingerie bag and a few minutes on the spin cycle in your washing machine. This doesn’t work in a front loader, though, so too bad for me. 

Sometimes I will not want to make a recipe that has fresh gingerroot because I have to peel that knobby thing and then chop it up. It takes too long if I just want to EAT. And other times I will be sure I have gingerroot in the vegetable drawer, but I don’t, or it has gotten slimy.  One day when I had nothing pressing to do, I peeled several large pieces, chopped them up in the food processor, scooped it onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet with the teaspoon, then froze it and bagged it. Now I can pull out what I need, all prepped and ready to go. I don’t even thaw it if it is going into the blender. 


© Being Fruitful, 2012