Dressing 101: Transform Your Salad With 3 Easy Recipes
Helpful Tips For Making Salad Dressings
A good dressing can transform a dish into something magical, plus it’s easy to do! Making a dressing or even a sauce can be very creative, and it can also feel like a science experiment while you’re combining all the flavors together. The fun thing is that you can control the ingredients, and add in whatever you like. It’s exciting to come up with your own signature dressing, and by using these simple steps and putting your creative hat on, it’s easy!
Starting off, a very basic and simple dressing to master is a vinaigrette. A vinaigrette is simply an oil and vinegar mix that uses 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar and then is shaken to blend everything together. Usually, other ingredients are added such as salt and pepper, herbs, shallots or onions, and spices or mustard. However, there are endless possibilities on what you can add. A vinaigrette can be used as a marinade too!
A nice thing about using a vinaigrette on salads is that the fat (oil) has been shown to help enhance the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, E, and K.
Walnut Basil Vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons Walnut oil
- 1 tablespoon White wine vinegar
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1 tablespoon Mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon Nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Basil
- Dash maple syrup * add as much as you need to sweeten to your personal preference
Place ingredients into a mason jar, place the lid on, and shake until everything is mixed together.
If any fresh ingredients are used in the vinaigrette such as lemon or herbs, then refrigeration is necessary. Make sure to store in an airtight container. Lasts in the fridge for 5 days. If no fresh ingredients are used, no refrigeration is necessary.
How To Build A Basic Dressing That Is NOT A Vinaigrette
Step 1 is to pick a fat for the base of the dressing. Examples of fat are any sort of nut butters, seed butters, avocado, or even vegan mayo.
Step 2 is to pick a liquid. Water is a great option to use here. If you want to use oil, simply use no more than 2 tablespoons and then use water as the rest of the liquid. Oil can add in a lot of extra fat and calories into the dressing on top of the fat base that was already chosen in step 1. The key is that you want more fat than liquid (depending on how watery you want the dressing to be).
For step 3 just get creative and add in any flavorings that you want! This can be herbs, spices, garlic or ginger, vinegar, or condiments. It’s really that simple. You can play around with tons of different foods that offer a variety of different flavors and nutrients. Tips for making a delicious dressing is to find flavors that you love and try to pair them together.
Equipment for building great dressings:
- Mason jar
- Small food processor – (especially awesome if you dislike chopping – no knife skills required)
Here are 2 easy dressings as examples.
Garlic Tahini Dressing:
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup water (depending on how thick you want the dressing) • 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- Ginger knob
- Salt and pepper
Add all the ingredients into a ceramic bowl first, except for the water. Slowly add in the water, a little at a time, while whisking. Once water is fully incorporated, and everything looks smooth, store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
For use on salads, tacos, roasted veggies.
Avocado Cilantro Dressing:
- 1/2 large avocado
- 1 cloves garlic diced
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 handful cilantro (around 1/3 cup)
- 2 slices of fresh jalapeño (optional)
- Juice of half a lime
- Salt and Pepper
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and process for 1 minute until all the ingredients are blended into a smooth dressing. Great for use on salads or tacos! Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.