Homemade salad dressings

Any time is the perfect time for a salad

Creamy Dressing Base with flavorings:

  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • ½ c. sour cream
  • ¼ c. mayonnaise

Substitute any or all of these with pureed ricotta, cottage cheese and/or yogurt for a lighter dressing

Process in blender until smooth. Make a few hours ahead of eating to let the flavors blend. Store up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Additions – add some or all according to your tastes. Change as your tastes dictate. 

Option 1
  • ½ avocado, mashed smooth
  • ¼ c. chives
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic, skinned and mashed 
Option 2
  • 1 ½ t. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • pinch of cayenne
Option 3
  • 3 oz blue cheese, crumbled
Option 4
  • 2/3 c. parmesan
  • 1 t. coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 c. chopped scallions
  • 3 T. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 T. prepared horseradish
  • salt and pepper
Option 5
  • 1/3 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 c. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 T. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 T. minced shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


Ingredients to make a vinaigrette salad dressing

Plan on half oil and half acid for any vinaigrette, your choice of which oils and which kinds of vinegar to use. There is a myriad of choices from olive, peanut and safflower oils to avocado, walnut and sesame oils. Vinegars vary from aged balsamic to red wine to apple cider to rice. Other acids include lemon, lime, orange and tangerine juices. For a lighter dressing, use only ¼ oil and ¾ acid with half of the acid being citrus juice.  Pour the acid and vinegar into a shaker bottle and add whatever ingredients sound good to you. And don’t forget the salt and pepper. 

Lemon dressing
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 c. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 t. dry mustard
  • 1 T. chopped fresh herbs
  • 1 t. salt or to taste
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
Tomato Vinaigrette 
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and peeled
  • 2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 t. dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Blend tomatoes and add the rest of the ingredients. 

Vinaigrette with carrot puree for fall salads
  • 1/2 c. apple cider
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard 
  • 2 T. minced shallots or onions 
  • 1 T. sugar 
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 1/3 c. cider vinegar 
  • 1 cup roasted carrot puree (drizzle carrots with olive oil and roast at 375 until soft)

Combine ingredients through cumin in a heavy saucepan. Over low heat, simmer gently to thicken and reduce the mixture. Mix in the vinegar and puree. Serve over a salad of shredded apples, chopped walnuts and bitter greens. 

Sun-dried tomato vinaigrette
  • ¼ c. dry sun-dried tomatoes 
  • ½ c. boiling water
  • 1 c. tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ¼ t. pepper

Combine sun-dried tomatoes and boiling water in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes. Drain and reserve water. Chop sun-dried tomatoes. Combine ingredients in blender and process until smooth.

Asian Vinaigrette
  • small garlic clove, mashed into a paste
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 2 t. unseasoned rice vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 t. lime juice
  • 1 T. honey
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 t. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 t. freshly grated ginger (don’t be tempted to use powdered – it really won’t taste the same. I keep whole ginger in the freezer and then simply grate it frozen – it keeps forever)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously.