Friday, August 23, 2013

Homemade Salad Dressings

I love salad.  I love sauce.  I love salad with a good sauce.  Good salad dressings cannot be purchased from the store.  Best news: they're all so easy to make!  Just blend up the ingredients and enjoy!  Here are a few I like.

Avocado Dressing

1 large avocado
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon hot sauce (or cayenne pepper to taste)
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh basil to taste

Avocado Dressing (even healthier)

This comes from the May 2010 RealSimple Magazine.

2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 English cucumber
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
1 c baby spinach
1/2 c fresh mint leaves
2 spring onions or regular green onions
Fresh juice of 1 lemon
2 T olive oil
1/2 t freshly ground white pepper (a white pepper grinder? I used pre-ground)
1 t sea salt
3/4 c water (or to desired consistency)

Ginger-Sesame Dressing

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, or Braggs
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon raw honey
2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

And finally,

Mom's Lemon Dressing

1/2 c. olive oil
1/3 c. lemon juice (fresh only please)
2 cloves of garlic
whatever fresh herbs you have--basil and parsley work great
water to taste if you want to tone it down a little

 What are your favorite homemade dressing recipes?  I had a great ranch replacement, but I can't find it (Rachel, did I send it to you?).  Happy salad eating!


  1. These look so delicious, Ariel. Most of the ones I make are pretty basic (read: last minute), so I can't wait to try these. I recently minced up some of those preserved lemons into one of mine, and it added an amazing zestiness (haha) to the dressing. It's so crucial to make your own these days where you're hard-pressed to find one at the store that doesn't contain vegetable oil, often sugar, and whatever preservatives.

    (Warning: Bragg spoiler alert ahead.). Sad news about Bragg liquid aminos: I recently read that it's manufacturing process (protein hydrolysis) is quite similar to the one that produces MSG. It releases enough free glutamate to have MSG-like effects on the nervous system. For true umami, it seems best to go for a naturally brewed soy sauce like Kikkoman or Ohsawa Nama Shoyu. Sorry to make a tangent. Anyone else know something about that?

    The ranch recipe I use goes something like this. We like it.
    3/4 c. homemade mayo
    1/2 c. cultured sour cream or yogurt (or some of each)
    1 T. red wine vinegar
    2 cloves crushed garlic
    1/2 tsp. onion powder
    1/4 tsp. each: parsley, dill weed, chives (more if using fresh)
    A few shakes cayenne
    Black pepper to taste
    Salt to taste, if needed

    1. Btw, the source of that info was "Food Rules: A Doctor's Guide to Healthy Eating" by Catherine Shanahan. She has a good discussion on MSG in pages 20-24.

    2. Nonsie, I have read that before, though I don't recall where. I was bummed because I'd heard good things about their flavor.

  2. These look very yummy. I LOVE fresh ginger. Too bad Fred and I are the only ones so far in our house who do. I'm excited to try these! we can't seem to get good Avos here... Otherwise I'd be bathing in that one ;)

  3. I made the second avocado recipe for our salad tonight, and it was a revelation. Never thought to eat so many MORE veggies straight from the dressing. :).