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Got a good salad dressing recipe?

Whosyerkitty Jan 25, 2009 02:21 PM

I think I've had enough of commercial salad dressing and all the junk that's in it, not to mention cost. This is one area where the decent ones are also the priciest.

I basically do the tired but true balsamic vinegar and olive oil otherwise. ..zzzz.....

I know I can easily search this in a multitude of sites, but I'd like first hand experience :)

  1. Antilope Jul 3, 2013 09:05 AM

    Thai Style Peanut Dipping Sauce

    4 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
    2 tbsp salad oil
    4 tbsp soy sauce
    4 tbsp granulated sugar
    4 tbsp distilled vinegar
    1 tsp toasted sesame oil
    2 tsp Sriracha hot chili sauce (more or less to taste)
    1/8 tsp ground coriander

    Mix well with whisk.

    Serve over hot or cold noodles, spaghetti pasta, pot stickers, Chicken salad, rice or as a spring roll dipping sauce.

    1. Antilope Jul 3, 2013 08:43 AM

      Peanutless "Peanut" Sauce Dressing

      Good on a Chinese chicken salad.

      1 cup mayonnaise
      1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
      1 1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
      3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
      2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
      1 teaspoon soy sauce

      Combine ingredients. Mix well.
      Tastes like a peanut sauce dressing, but has no peanut products.

      1. Antilope Jul 3, 2013 08:39 AM

        Ken's Steakhouse Apple Cider Vinaigrette Copycat

        1/2 tsp Spiced Cider Apple Flavor Drink Mix powder (sugar-free like Alpine or Mott's)
        1/3 cup Vanilla Yogurt (like Dannon)
        1/2 cup Mayonnaise
        2 tsp Cider Vinegar

        Add ingredients to a small mixing bowl. Mix well.
        Use on Chicken, Apple & Cranberry Garden Fresh Salad, etc. This salad dressing also served at Burger King.

        Makes about 1 cup.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Antilope
          linguafood Jul 3, 2013 09:15 AM

          Vanilla yogurt? Oy.

          1. re: linguafood
            Antilope Jul 3, 2013 10:40 AM

            Glad you like it. The vanilla adds a nice touch instead of just plain sour yogurt.

            1. re: Antilope
              linguafood Jul 3, 2013 10:42 AM

              I think you misunderstood. I can't fathom vanilla yogurt in salad dressing.

              But then I'm generally not a fan of sweet dressings.

              1. re: linguafood
                c oliver Jul 3, 2013 12:15 PM

                I'm with you. I'm pretty much a some kind of oil, some kind of vinegar and then herbs and spices. Maybe a little mustard, garlic etc. I don't even like those raspberry dressings.

        2. Aravisea Jun 20, 2013 01:39 PM

          I had a big salad dressing light-bulb moment yesterday. I had made Ina Garten's recipe for Asian Grilled Salmon, which calls for a simple marinade of olive oil, soy, garlic & Dijon. Half is used for a brief marination on the fish and the other half for a drizzle once it's off the grill. We had extra left over, so I thinned it out with more olive oil and tossed greens in that. Awesome! Wonder why I didn't think of this sooner!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Aravisea
            fldhkybnva Jun 20, 2013 06:59 PM

            Sounds great, thanks for the tip.

            1. re: fldhkybnva
              v
              Viking Blood Jul 1, 2013 05:06 PM

              One idea would be to try adding a little honey and sesame oil tot hat too.

          2. j
            juster Apr 23, 2012 05:53 PM

            I have a few. This first one was posted by someone on the food52 website. I'm hooked.
            Equal parts mayo, ketchup, lemon juice, sugar, and horseradish.

            This next one is vegan. It's one of the only things I add MSG to, because it really helps the flavor, but you can omit it (it wasn't in the original recipe). I sometimes eat this plain with a spoon.

            Blend in blender:
            1 cup unsweetened soymilk
            3 cloves garlic
            1/2 cup raw cashews
            1/2 tsp ground black pepper
            2 TBS lemon juice
            1 TBS dijon mustard
            salt and/or MSG to taste

            This is a green goddess that's really good as a veggie dip. It doesn't say to, but I think it's more flavorful when you do it in a blender.
            1/2 cup mayo
            1/4 cup sour cream
            1/4 cup heavy cream
            1/4 cup chopped green onions
            2 TBS chopped chives
            2 TBBS chopped Italian parsely
            1 TBS (or more!) chopped tarragon
            1 anchovy
            1 TBS lemon juice
            1 TBS white wine vinegar
            1/4 tsp salt
            1/8 tsp ground black pepper

            Finally, I just found this one in an old cookbook and haven't tried it yet, but I'm wondering if it's like Dorothy Lynch (which I'm sure is not for everybody). It's from the White Drum Restaurant in Orange, MA, 1950. Includes the salad, so I'll type that in, too. Anyone made anything like this?

            dressing (1 qt):
            1 can Campbell's tomato soup
            3/4 cup vinegar
            1/2 cup oil
            1/4 cup sugar
            1 TBS worcestershire
            1 sm onion, chopped
            1 green pepper, chopped
            1 tsp salt
            1 tsp paprika

            salad (serves 6-8):
            rub bowl with garlic and add:
            1 head lettuce, broken in pieces
            1 sliced Chinese cabbage
            1 unpeeled cucumber in thick slices
            tomato wedges
            sliced radishes
            raw cauliflower florets
            sliced celery
            watercress

            I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes you guys have posted!

            1. Antilope Apr 22, 2012 08:21 AM

              This makes a decent ranch dressing from ingredients I usually have around the kitchen:

              USDA School Lunch Ranch Dressing

              Makes about 3 cups

              1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp Buttermilk
              2 tsp Lemon juice
              1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (5 oz ) Plain lowfat yogurt
              1/4 cup Sour cream
              3/4 cup + 1 Tbsp (6 1/2 oz ) Lowfat mayonnaise
              1 Tbsp Onion powder
              1 Tbsp Garlic powder
              1/4 tsp Ground black or white pepper
              1/2 tsp Dried chives
              1 1/2 tsp Dried parsley
              1 tsp Salt

              1. Combine buttermilk and lemon juice in a mixing bowl.
              Allow mixture to rest for 10 minutes.

              2. Using a paddle attachment, blend in the yogurt and
              sour cream. Let mixture rest for 5 more minutes.

              3. Add rest of ingredients to mixture in mixing bowl.
              Mix on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes until blended.

              4. Chill at least 12 hours before serving to allow to thicken.

              SERVING: 2 tablespoons (1-oz ladle)

              YIELD: 25 Servings: 1 lb 10 oz

              VOLUME: 25 Servings: 3 cups

              Source: USDA 1999 Child Care & School Lunch Recipes

              1. p
                pie22 Mar 12, 2012 12:59 PM

                my go to is (i don't measure) but for your sake, 1 spoonful each olive oil and vinegar (red wine or apple cider but feel free to play around with it), a hit of lemon juice (fresh is best), fresh chopped garlic (just a little goes a long way), salt and pepper and then either a few grates of parm cheese or a fork mustard (preferably dijon) whisked together...really just a baseline recipe but i love it. those measurements dresses 2 salads usually, i don't like too much dressing.

                1. p
                  Puffin3 Mar 11, 2012 09:02 AM

                  In a glass jar I put a teaspoon of Kosher salt a tablespoon of 'Grey' mustard one and a half tablespoons of fresh lemon juice a tablespoon of honey a pinch of lemon zest a pinch of smoked paprika a pinch of celery seeds and fresh ground pepper and two room temperature egg yolks. Screw the lid on tight and shake vigorously for a minute or so. Note: no olive oil. You get a creamy tasty dressing. Use it right away. If you want to adjust the flavor just add a bit of whatever and give it another shake.

                  1. linguafood Mar 10, 2012 12:21 PM

                    Need to add a Caesar dressing I recently discovered and am in love with:

                    1 head romaine lettuce, outer leaves discarded
                    1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
                    4 anchovy filets
                    2 cloves garlic, minced
                    1 egg
                    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
                    1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
                    2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
                    1/2 lemon, juiced

                    1. In large bowl, mash garlic, salt, anchovies, chopped cilantro and mustard with 2 forks to form a chunky paste, season with fresh ground black pepper
                    2. Crack egg into mixture and beat briefly, add the lemon juice and beat until smooth
                    3. Slowly add the olive oil while continuing to beat mixture with fork — should be a light, creamy consistency 
                    4. Add the grated cheese mixture and stir to combine

                    It's lovely.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: linguafood
                      b
                      Bryan Pepperseed Mar 11, 2012 07:14 AM

                      Always thought Ceasar dressing was "complcated" before seeing Anne Burrell (who I usually don't pay any attention to) do an eggless version of yours. I tried it and liked it, but I'm no "ceasar expert". She said that the omission of the raw egg is not noticable and produces a recipe that not only can be made days/weeks in advance, but can also be enjoyed by people who don't eat eggs.

                      Perhaps you could go eggless for the sake of science and let us know what you think.

                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/an...

                      1. re: Bryan Pepperseed
                        linguafood Mar 11, 2012 08:51 AM

                        Hm. I wonder if it wouldn't change the consistency of the dressing. It does get very light and creamy before one adds the olive oil.

                        But sure. I'll make it tonight or tomorrow (just had it yesterday, but it's *that* good) sans egg and letcha know.

                        1. re: linguafood
                          nomadchowwoman Mar 12, 2012 12:37 PM

                          Q--I made your dressing Sat. night and put what I didn't use in the fridge. Since I coddled the (organic, free range, local, etc) egg (for one minute), I'm assuming it's till good two days later. Any thoughts?

                          1. re: nomadchowwoman
                            linguafood Mar 12, 2012 12:43 PM

                            Excellent question.... alas, I have no clue. I use farmer's market eggs, didn't coddle, and had no leftover dressing, so I'm afraid you're on your own.

                            Should be fine, tho -- at least that's the side I tend to err on.

                            Making Caesar again tonight, but can't bring myself to leave the egg out. Maybe next time......

                      2. re: linguafood
                        opinionatedchef Apr 22, 2012 12:35 AM

                        good, but mine has to have lots of Worcestershire Sauce and coarse freshly ground pepper.

                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                          linguafood Apr 22, 2012 09:12 AM

                          Huh - I just noticed I left that out for some reason. But yes to lots of ground black pepper.

                          But I don't know that I need W sauce if I got anchovy filets in there already.

                      3. m
                        missthyst Mar 10, 2012 09:12 AM

                        I make a pear, gorganzola, walnut salad that I pear with a really simple dressing. I don't usually measure. I heat about 1/2 a cup of maple syrup in a saucepan. Then, I whisk about three tablespoons of cider vinegar with some good oive oil. When the maple syrup has thinned I slowly whisk it into the oil mix....very easy. People love this salad.

                        1. LifeOfSpice Mar 8, 2012 05:34 AM

                          Here's a good and easy one to remember I had at a ski-to-a-yurt gourmet dinner at one of the ski resorts in Utah:
                          Equal Parts Of:
                          -- Balsamic vinegar
                          -- Soy Sauce
                          -- Oil (not olive with a conflicting flavor, but a tasteless oil like canola)
                          -- Maple syrup
                          Shake in a jar or whisk.

                          1. opinionatedchef Nov 15, 2011 12:48 AM

                            (Is that a striking face or what?!! I've never seen a forehead like that!)

                            kitty, while there are a lot of good ideas on this thread, i must admit that i am surprised to see that the majority of recipes contain sugar and/or mayo/cream and/or onion salt and garlic powder.
                            Probably because i look to salad to provide a badly needed healthy course for us(i'm def no angel w/regards to healthy), my dressings are not sweet or mayo/cream based.

                            On this recent gifting thread, if you scroll down 1/2way and look for my name, you will see a few of my vinaigrette recipes. Also, a few that i listed -were not requested, so if you want any of those, let me know.hope they might be helpful:

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/802307

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                              d
                              divadmas Mar 7, 2012 08:39 PM

                              where do you get your vinegar? i got some red wine vinegar (pompeii brand i think, what supermarket carried) and it was terrible. costco has a red wine flavored vinegar but i hate to risk getting a gallon.

                              1. re: divadmas
                                opinionatedchef Mar 8, 2012 02:29 AM

                                i have bought and liked Barbera brand (i think) in supermarket, but also have ventured into a cabernet and a zinfandel vinegar, both from our local Boston food emporium extraordinaire, Formaggio Kitchen. Sherry vinegar, black currant vinegar, etc from any gourmet food store.

                                1. re: divadmas
                                  c
                                  cstout Apr 21, 2012 09:39 AM

                                  Yep, I too wasted my money on that pompeii junk!! I thought all red wine vinegars tasted like that & swore not to get anymore, but these folks are saying there are other brands out there that are better. Well, I still would not risk getting a large bottle of anything that said "red wine vinegar".

                                  1. re: cstout
                                    linguafood Apr 21, 2012 10:19 AM

                                    The Wegmans brand is pretty dec.

                                    1. re: linguafood
                                      c
                                      cstout Apr 21, 2012 10:50 AM

                                      Wish I was in an area where I could get that brand.

                                2. re: opinionatedchef
                                  ski_gpsy Mar 9, 2012 11:28 PM

                                  Hi opinionatedchef, I just wanted to thank you for sharing all those recipes. I just finished reading the thread you linked to so I haven't had a chance to try the recipes yet, but I wanted to take a moment and thank you because I know how much effort goes into posting recipes.

                                  I'm very excited to try them all but Mindy's Mom's Curry Vinaigrette is definitely first on my list!

                                  Thanks again opinionatedchef. Sincerely, Ski_Gpsy

                                  1. re: ski_gpsy
                                    opinionatedchef Mar 10, 2012 09:00 PM

                                    i am so psyched re your and nomadchow's responses!

                                  2. re: opinionatedchef
                                    nomadchowwoman Mar 10, 2012 03:41 PM

                                    BTW, I love your orange-chipotle vinaigrette. I had a recipe for one that I've used often, but I like yours even better.

                                  3. sfumato May 30, 2011 11:12 AM

                                    I adore Nigella Lawson's macerated red onion recipe and use them (+ the liquid, of course) as salad dressing all the time:

                                    http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/t...

                                    1. Antilope May 30, 2011 09:21 AM

                                      Miracle Whip Salad Dressing emergency copycat

                                      1 cup regular mayonnaise
                                      2 or 3 teaspoons powdered sugar
                                      1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
                                      1/4 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
                                      dash of paprika
                                      dash of garlic powder

                                      For people that want to cut back on sugar, I've found you can substitute 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of Stevia for the powdered sugar.

                                      Mix well. Use in an emergency then hurry to the store to get more Miracle Whip. ;-)

                                      1. Antilope May 29, 2011 09:39 PM

                                        "Peanut" Sauce Dressing

                                        1 cup mayonnaise
                                        1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
                                        1 1/2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
                                        3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
                                        2 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
                                        1 teaspoon soy sauce

                                        Combine ingredients. Mix well.
                                        Tastes like a peanut sauce dressing,
                                        but has no peanut products.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Antilope
                                          Antilope Mar 10, 2012 12:14 PM

                                          Yogurt Fruit Salad Dressing

                                          I also use this dressing on fruit salad, on carrot and celery sticks
                                          and on packaged broccoli slaw.

                                          3/4 cup Vanilla flavored Yogurt
                                          1/4 cup mayonnaise (or to taste)

                                          Mix well. It's that simple

                                        2. v
                                          Viking Blood Feb 12, 2011 07:11 AM

                                          Several people have mentioned doctoring up Good Seasons Italian dressing which I frequently do using various vinegars. My Weight Watchers favorite trick is to use V-8 juice to replace most of the oil. It is quite good and tomato-ey

                                          1. j
                                            jessinEC Feb 10, 2011 09:00 PM

                                            I was also going to start asking about salad dressing and found this long-time thread! So many good ideas. I did want to ask about poppy seed dressing. My kids like Brianna's brand and I'd like to try to replicate it -- making it a bit less sweet and saving a bunch of $ in the process. It has canola oil, sugar, water, onions, vinegar, salt, apple cider vinegar, poppy seeds, mustard flour, xantham gum, something untypeable and citric acid. I'm sure I could play around with those ingredients, but does anyone have an actual recipe? And the weird thing is -- it's white. What would make it white? The mustard flour? (what is that anyway?) Thanks!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: jessinEC
                                              ski_gpsy Feb 11, 2011 01:19 AM

                                              Hi JessinEC, Here is my favorite Poppy Seed dressing recipe. It's flexible, you can add more sugar, or less, or try it with different vinegars.

                                              POPPY SEED VINAIGRETTE

                                              1/3c Raspberry vinegar
                                              3/4tsp salt
                                              1/3c sugar
                                              1tsp dry mustard (or 1Tbs dijon)
                                              2/3c vegetable oil
                                              1 ½ Tbs minced shallot
                                              1 1/2 Tbs poppy seeds
                                              Put vinegar, salt, sugar, mustard and shallot in blender. Slowly blend while adding oil until thickened. Stop blender and add poppy seeds.
                                              NOTE: Poppy seeds are delicate, keep them in the freezer after opening.

                                              1. re: ski_gpsy
                                                j
                                                jessinEC Feb 11, 2011 11:21 AM

                                                Thank you so much! Someone gave me blueberry vinegar once, have never known what to do with it! I'll try it here.

                                                1. re: jessinEC
                                                  j
                                                  jcristi Feb 12, 2011 06:40 AM

                                                  Thanks for reviving this thread jessinEC. I'm also a fan of poppy seed dressing... In the past I have I had a couple of green deli salads with a slab of salmon on top from Target and poppy seed dressing is what they packaged with it. I love it but haven't taken time to figure out how to make it.

                                                  And did you know it's a snap to make your own fruit vinegars? Fill a jar or bottle with the fruit you want to use. Fresh or frozen. It's a great use for bruised or broken raspberries, blackberries, strawberries,... whatever might be ugly.
                                                  Pour vinegar over the fruit, you can heat the vinegar or just use it room temp. Then let the fruit and vinegar steep a few weeks.
                                                  The original recipe I used called for white wine vinegar, but it's expensive when you go through it like I do, so I started using regular white vinegar, and I've also used cider vinegar with good results. Apple cider vinegar and cranberries makes a great vinegar.

                                                  When you're ready to use it strain a few times: first with a strainer to get the big chunks, then through several layers of cheese cloth.
                                                  When you start making your own fruit vinegars you'll use them in more recipes and you'll be delighted with the surprising flavors they add when you use it instead of unflavored vinegar.
                                                  Jan

                                            2. v
                                              Viking Blood Jan 6, 2011 01:42 PM

                                              Great topic. Thanks to everyone for all the suggestions. My favorite blue cheese recipe is so simple: equal parts sour cream and mayonnaise, granulated garlic, Saga Blue and pepper to taste. This is great on a sweet wedge of Iceberg or as an appetizer on Belgian Endive spears.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Viking Blood
                                                v
                                                Viking Blood Feb 12, 2011 07:08 AM

                                                I forgot to add the dash of Worcestershire.

                                              2. EM23 Jan 2, 2011 08:26 AM

                                                My everyday dressing is just lemon juice, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil whisked together until creamy. If I happen to have a cut up tomato I add a bit of its juice and sometimes a grating of garlic if handy.

                                                But my favorite dressing is from Jacques Pepin's Fast Food My Way.

                                                1/4 cup heavy cream
                                                1/4 tsp. salt
                                                1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
                                                1 1/2 tsps. red wine vinegar

                                                I like to add a few gratings of garlic as well

                                                Whisk cream, salt and pepper together until a little thickened - maybe a minute or two. Stir in the vinegar and garlic to combine. Add lettuce, toss and serve.

                                                So delicious! Also nice on a sweet tomato or steamed asparagus.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: EM23
                                                  iL Divo Jan 2, 2011 12:00 PM

                                                  ...how about just on a spoon into my awaiting "taster" :)

                                                  1. re: iL Divo
                                                    EM23 Jan 2, 2011 05:50 PM

                                                    Of course! We all know how important it is to taste our food before serving - it's a burden but...

                                                2. chef chicklet Jan 2, 2011 06:45 AM

                                                  There's this old recipe I found in one of my employee cookbooks that everyone I make it for loves. Its mainly for fresh spinach, or baby greens, grated hardboil eggs, red onions, and mandarin oranges. I'm sure some of you've had this before. It involves tomato soup, vinager, sugar, olive oil, fresh garlic, minced shallot, white pepper, and salt. Everyone I've ever made it for, loves it. Anyway, last night I made myself a fresh spinach salad, and when I looked in the fridge I saw the leftover hummus (store purchased at Costco). I added a few tablespoons to some of the dressing, and what a nice surprise. It really updated this dressing. You can use honey or splenda if you don't want to use white sugar. Actually really enjoyed this combo and found a use for the leftover hummus.

                                                  1. iL Divo Jan 2, 2011 06:00 AM

                                                    My English girlfriends' parents had me over for dinner a few times a week, usually always the same meal, which I liked just fine. One thing I loved was the easy salad dressing used for the greens and tomato bits.

                                                    Oil and vinegar
                                                    salt and pepper
                                                    smallest amount of garlic powder and same for onion powder
                                                    small shake of green can parmesan cheese

                                                    shake up really well and drizzle over the salad.
                                                    so refreshing

                                                    1. r
                                                      resips Dec 30, 2010 09:45 PM

                                                      I am surprised only one person has discussed Green Goddess Dressing. It is a wonderful old dressing that is easily made at home. It is incredibly delicious on romaine or butter lettuce salads. From Helen Evans Brown's West Coast Cookbook, orig. published 1952.

                                                      Green Goddess Dressing

                                                      1 C. mayo
                                                      1/4 C. minced flat leaf parsley
                                                      1/4 C. tarragon vinegar
                                                      2 tsp. minced fresh tarragon
                                                      4 minced anchovies or 2 tsp. anchovy paste
                                                      2 tsp. minced chives
                                                      2 tsp. thinly sliced green onion

                                                      Fresh herbs are a necessity. Mix well in a small bowl until a lovely pale green. Thin with a bit of cream, if necessary.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: resips
                                                        iL Divo Jan 2, 2011 05:55 AM

                                                        the green goddess dressing we 'used' to have at work has been gone for years.
                                                        it was my favorite dressing at the time of all we served.
                                                        not sure what went into it but the color was this lovely shade of light green with the slightest tint of a drop of sea foam. gad it was good but I question what it's ingredients were and having been gone so long now, there's no way of checking any longer, that chef has been replaced several times over.

                                                        if it was similar to this one, maybe I like tarragon in some forms. I'd be surprised :?

                                                        1. re: iL Divo
                                                          alkapal Nov 14, 2011 07:19 AM

                                                          we had a nice long thread about green goddess dressing, if you want to have fun reading about the recipe's origins and the like.

                                                          i too love green goddess dressing!

                                                      2. p
                                                        panarosmith Nov 5, 2010 08:34 AM

                                                        When I am watching calories ( olive oil has 120 calories per TBSP) I mix up a batch of this:
                                                        I really don't miss the oil.

                                                        2 TBSP dijon mustard
                                                        1/4 cup vinegar ( apple, white wine or champagne)
                                                        splash balsamic
                                                        1 tsp honey or maple syrup
                                                        1/4 cup orange juice
                                                        1 or 2 cloves crushed garlic
                                                        S & P

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: panarosmith
                                                          iL Divo Nov 5, 2010 06:07 PM

                                                          I do a similar one to yours.
                                                          Can't tell measurements but contains:
                                                          OJ
                                                          FF mayo
                                                          Dijon
                                                          salt and pepper
                                                          garlic powder
                                                          minced shallots
                                                          rice vinegar
                                                          a leaf fine chopped basil
                                                          tsp apricot jam

                                                        2. eclecticsynergy Oct 24, 2010 10:41 PM

                                                          My favorite simplest salad: toss greens with a little sesame oil (cold-pressed, not the strongly flavored toasted kind used in Asian food) and sprinkle with Vegit, an herb/spice/yeast blend available at health food stores.

                                                          It's light, tasty, healthy, and requires no preparation.

                                                          1. iL Divo Oct 19, 2010 08:43 AM

                                                            As I'm about to start a thread on salad dressings thought I'd get proactive & look up already posted ones first. Good thing I did as I see many. And I thought I was being so original.

                                                            We're not big on ranch dressings on our salad so it's something we keep in frig for when others are here and it's their preference. You gotta know you'll run out [and then what?] so decided to attempt it on my own. Didn't have any ranch or buttermilk dressing for last nights' salad and it is our son's favorite, he got a makeshift "lemon mustard something" I concocted and it sufficed. So this morning I opened the pantry. Was surprised that I could wing it and have it actually taste close.

                                                            This was what went into my:
                                                            "Buttermilky Ranch-esque Dressing"
                                                            1 c Knudsen half and half
                                                            1 teaspoon Valari red wine vinegar
                                                            3/4 c Hellmans mayo
                                                            1/8 t celery seed
                                                            1/2 t coarse salt
                                                            9 grinds of black pepper
                                                            1/2 t dill weed
                                                            1/2 t dried parsley
                                                            1/4 t Hungarian Paprika
                                                            1/2 t onion powder
                                                            1/4 t garlic powder
                                                            1/2 t dried minced onion
                                                            1/2 t dried chives
                                                            1/4 t white soy sauce
                                                            1 drop worchestershire
                                                            1 6" sprig fresh basil stem w/leaves
                                                            Put it all [except the basil] in a quart sized jar and shook really well. Placed the stem of basil in there for 5 minutes [just for fusion] then took it out and chucked. The flavor is lovely.

                                                            Now I know how to make that kind of salad dressing and suprised it's ready right away. Happy with myself so thought I'd share.
                                                            Anyone know how to make the Spaghetti Factory house creamy basil salad dressing? Love the stuff.......TIA

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: iL Divo
                                                              iL Divo Jun 21, 2013 12:02 AM

                                                              think I'll make this again tomorrow night for our kitchen sink salad.

                                                            2. ski_gpsy Oct 13, 2010 03:34 AM

                                                              My "HAVE ZERO TIME- QUICK&EASY - GUESTS WILL COMMENT" Salad Dressing
                                                              Okay, don't laugh...
                                                              Braggs Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (seriously, must be Braggs)
                                                              Lite Olive Oil
                                                              1 whole clove garlic
                                                              1 pkg Good Seasons Italian dressing
                                                              Follow the instructions on the package (or GS cruet if you have one- even easier). Place whole garlic clove in dressing, let set 1 hour (even better if it sits longer). Serve over torn Romaine and sprinkle with grated swiss cheese and slivered almonds. My guests always ask....

                                                              1. mamachef Sep 25, 2010 02:56 PM

                                                                A huge favorite around these parts is very ripe peeled tomatoes (seeded, if it bothers you) that you just pummel in the blender with snipped fresh basil, a good slug of red wine vinegar, 3 good slugs olive oil, 1/2 clove minced garlic, 1/2 t. sugar, and salt and pepper to taste (start small here because the acids etc. lend it a salty flavor to begin with) and whir away until well-blended. sooooo good on shredded romaine with crunchy bacon bits, sourdough croutons and a dusting of shredded parm, or any mixture of greens, or poured over steamed broccoli, or eaten with a spoon. : )

                                                                1. tim irvine Sep 25, 2010 01:28 PM

                                                                  I have three very different vinaigrettes I use:

                                                                  a really bright one for sliced avocados, tomatoes, and onion
                                                                  2 parts peanut oil, 1 part white wine vinegar, and 1 part Dijon (I like Maille)...shaken in a small jar and finished with a little coarse grey salt

                                                                  a really traditional one for a big mixed salad
                                                                  2-3 parts EVOO and 1 part red wine vinegar with a small amount of Dijon, again shaken in the little jar...the bleu cheese just gets crumbled on the salad, not incorporated in the dressing

                                                                  one when I have a spectacular head of leaf lettuce as the sole salad ingredient
                                                                  2 parts walnut oil and one part Sherry vinegar. Toss the leaves in the oil alone and then add the vinegar and toss again

                                                                  I love a citronette of two parts EVOO with one part lemon and coarse grey salt for fresh tomatoes, dusted with a little chiffonade of basil

                                                                  and of course Ken's Ranch out of the bottle with frozen pepperoni pizza

                                                                  1. kattyeyes Sep 24, 2010 07:50 PM

                                                                    Another good one--just made it this week from Food & Wine (Marcia Kiesel)--
                                                                    Creamy Lemon Dressing. DEEEEEEELICIOUS!
                                                                    http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ro...

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                      linguafood Sep 25, 2010 08:23 AM

                                                                      That does sound great. Is it really lemony? One teaspoon of lemon zest doesn't sound like a lot...

                                                                      1. re: linguafood
                                                                        kattyeyes Sep 25, 2010 12:18 PM

                                                                        I just took a taste--yes, definitely lemony...as lemony as avgolemono, for example. Don't forget the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in addition to the zest. But if you want more zest, well, be zesty! :)

                                                                    2. d
                                                                      damiano Jun 7, 2010 07:49 AM

                                                                      Actually, I have some Champagne vinegar at home now and it's excellent. This is what I do.

                                                                      Provided I have some fresh and excellent quality vegetables, I use the best white wine vinegar and olive oil I can afford, and some salt (no pepper). Start with the salt, add some vinegar, followed by the oil. Only do this at the last moment just before serving.

                                                                      One other alternative I sometimes use when I'm eating my salad with some strong flavoured meat, is to use the beforementioned Champagne vinaigrette. Just add some good quality French dijon musterd and honey to the mix of vinegar, olive oil and salt.

                                                                      1. kattyeyes Jun 6, 2010 03:37 PM

                                                                        Yes, here's another goodie: Champagne Vinaigrette from Southern Living:
                                                                        http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1553037

                                                                        Instead of olive oil, I used hazelnut oil (for the first time!)...it's spectacular. Yum!

                                                                        I made an Italian version on my sexy salad theme: fresh picked lettuces and herbs with goat ricotta insalata, sopressata and prosciuttini. It looked like this:
                                                                        http://kattyskitchen.wordpress.com/20...

                                                                        1. ChristinaMason Jun 3, 2010 06:16 AM

                                                                          I made a Greek salad yesterday with a dressing I adapted from RecipeZaar (http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Kitt... ). It was delicious; one of our guests couldn't stop eating it.

                                                                          1/2 cup olive oil
                                                                          juice from one large lemon
                                                                          1 teaspoon dried oregano
                                                                          1/2 teaspoon dried basil
                                                                          1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
                                                                          salt and pepper to taste
                                                                          1/4 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
                                                                          3 cloves garlic, minced and mashed to a paste with salt
                                                                          1/4 c. finely grated parmesan
                                                                          hot pepper flakes, to taste

                                                                          Refrigerate a few hours or overnight before serving.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                            linguafood Jun 3, 2010 06:19 AM

                                                                            Parm in Greek dressing? That's an interesting spin.... did you not add feta to the salad itself?

                                                                            1. re: linguafood
                                                                              ChristinaMason Jun 3, 2010 06:59 AM

                                                                              I did. I don't know if the dressing "needed" the extra cheese...but it sure was tasty!

                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                Whosyerkitty Jun 4, 2010 07:36 AM

                                                                                Hi again, all! I'm delighted that this thread is still going and there are some wonderful ideas on it. And now that summer's basically here, we're doing salads ALL the time.

                                                                                One comment though: I NEVER salt greens, because I always thought that they got too limp, although I can see it adds to flavor. What/why/how do you do this without them seeming like they've been sitting out for 3 days?

                                                                                1. re: Whosyerkitty
                                                                                  linguafood Jun 4, 2010 08:29 AM

                                                                                  Don't use too much salt (which I've done >shudder<), and don't let it wilt too long.

                                                                                  I never used to do this either, and only do it when I just plan on tossing with some o & v. If you make a vinaigrette or other dressing that contains salt, the salad will also wilt if you let it sit a bit.

                                                                                  1. re: Whosyerkitty
                                                                                    ChristinaMason Jun 5, 2010 04:19 PM

                                                                                    I assume you did not intend to reply to my post? I did not mention salting greens.

                                                                            2. Ashley12 Jun 1, 2010 10:52 PM

                                                                              1 tsp minced garlic
                                                                              1 tbsp dijon mustard
                                                                              2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar
                                                                              1 tsp cracked black pepper
                                                                              1/2 tsp salt
                                                                              1/4 - 1/2 c. olive oil

                                                                              mix all ingredients together and then whisk in the olive oil until desired consistency and flavor is reached. I find that different people like different levels of acid and mustard....

                                                                              1. l
                                                                                lexpatti Feb 17, 2010 07:39 AM

                                                                                recently made a quick fantastic dressing with this jelly from paris as the inspiration:
                                                                                Violet petals jelly, rasp vinegar, oilive oil and some braggs liq amino. It was very yummy!

                                                                                I haven't used bottle dressing in quite a while, that was one of my foodie goals!!!!

                                                                                1. j
                                                                                  jcristi Feb 16, 2010 07:56 PM

                                                                                  I just found this board... what a treasure! I've made my own salad dressings for years. I've even started making my own fruit vinegars to use... strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, cranberry... whatever I have. I've learned most salad dressings consist of sort of equal parts of oil/water and vinegar/lemon/lime juice; some kind of mustard (it acts as an emulsifier and adds flavor); something sweet: granulated or confectioners sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup, or even corn syrup (it cuts the sharpness of the vinegar without diminishing the flavor); and seasonings: salt, pepper, herbs, garlic, and my favorite, Tabasco, which I add at least a splash to everything.
                                                                                  Now I have to figure out a way to print this string, or at least copy all the recipes/ideas/suggestions so I can incorporate some of these into my salads. So much fun!

                                                                                  1. g
                                                                                    gfr1111 Jan 14, 2010 12:39 PM

                                                                                    Tarragon Salad Dressing

                                                                                    16 ounces of full fat, large curd cottage cheese
                                                                                    2 Tablespoons tarragon vinegar
                                                                                    1/2 cup chopped taragon leaves
                                                                                    1/2 cup chopped chives or green onions
                                                                                    5 cloves of garlic, squooshed in a garlic press or finely minced
                                                                                    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
                                                                                    salt to taste

                                                                                    Blend the cottage cheese and the tarragon vinegar in a blender until smooth but not liquid. Stir in all the other ingredients. This dressing thickens up and tastes better if you refrigerate it for 24 hours before serving. But don't let that discourage you. It tastes pretty darn good straight out of the blender.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: gfr1111
                                                                                      alkapal Jan 16, 2010 12:33 AM

                                                                                      this sounds just delicious! like a green goddess! YUM!

                                                                                    2. y
                                                                                      yummyrice Jan 10, 2010 08:10 PM

                                                                                      Here's a low-carb recipe for a delicious Lao watercress salad with a kind of Lao egg dressing. It's also known as a "Luang Prabang salad", which is quite popular amongst foreign tourists in Luang Prabang, Laos.

                                                                                      http://www.lowcarb.ca/karen/recipe026...

                                                                                      1. alkapal Dec 3, 2009 03:47 AM

                                                                                        here's my latest for spinach salad:
                                                                                        apple cider vinegar
                                                                                        ketchup
                                                                                        mustard powder or mustard (i'm using creole mustard)
                                                                                        oil (regular salad oil....and may not even need much)
                                                                                        sugar
                                                                                        worcestershire sauce
                                                                                        toasted sesame oil
                                                                                        onion juice, minced onions or onion powder
                                                                                        minced garlic or garlic powder.

                                                                                        it's a riff on the "korean spinach salad" recipe, which is basically this: http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1843,...
                                                                                        once you make it according to these ratios, i think you will do as i do and eyeball it, but reduce the amount of oil and sugar (in fact, start with just half of the amounts in the "recipe" -- then adjust).

                                                                                        serve it over the spinach, on which there is also sliced boiled egg, water chestnuts, mushrooms (if you like), fresh bean sprouts, crumbled crispy bacon. i think that's it. last night i added shredded carrots and slivered celery.

                                                                                        the dressing lasts well in the fridge.

                                                                                        it is so delicious (and addictive) that it makes even mr. alka want more -- and he is definitely *not* a salad or veggie person.

                                                                                        1. Ima Wurdibitsch Nov 30, 2009 07:58 AM

                                                                                          What a wonderful thread! I usually just wing it on my dressings (no measuring, just adding whatever seems right) but I'll try to pay more attention the next couple of times so I can add to this.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Ima Wurdibitsch
                                                                                            kattyeyes Dec 2, 2009 04:08 PM

                                                                                            Here is one of my recent wing-its for bringing salad for lunch to work:
                                                                                            Pomegranate balsamic vinegar + dijon mustard + a tiny bit of agave nectar = yummy dressing

                                                                                            I don't even add oil. Just vinegar and mustard. Tasty!

                                                                                          2. free sample addict aka Tracy L Nov 24, 2009 11:18 PM

                                                                                            Orange rosemary vinegarette. It's my go to dressing for special occasions, company and potlucks. I always get requests for the recipe.

                                                                                            http://homecooking.about.com/od/condi...

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                                                                              alkapal Nov 30, 2009 04:19 AM

                                                                                              tracy, that vinaigrette dressing would be good with pork and chicken, too -- either hot or cold, as for a cold meat salad.

                                                                                              right now, i'm thinking of it drizzled over leftover roast pork on mesclun, with fresh navel orange segments, or crispy apple slices. maybe some scattered pistachios or toasted pecans on top.

                                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                free sample addict aka Tracy L Nov 30, 2009 06:53 PM

                                                                                                ooh, I like that idea! I have been thinking about making roasted pork loin. Thanks for the idea.

                                                                                                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                                                                                                  alkapal Dec 1, 2009 03:26 AM

                                                                                                  if you have the interest, i can recommend (swoon over) the niman ranch pork loin. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/648829

                                                                                                2. re: alkapal
                                                                                                  ChristinaMason Jan 21, 2010 09:24 AM

                                                                                                  Great idea. There's not (that I know of) frozen OJ concentrate here in Germany. Think I could sub a similar amount of juice?

                                                                                                  1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                                                                    alkapal Feb 17, 2010 03:45 AM

                                                                                                    christina, that'll make a thin vinaigrette. to get a similar texture, you'd need to reduce a larger volume of fresh juice by simmering or evaporation; this would destroy the "fresh" brightness of the vinaigrette. you could instead use fresh-squeezed juice as is, and add some zest, to increase the "orange" intensity.

                                                                                                    i'd check a larger chain market for the concentrate. i find it difficult to believe that the germans don't have frozen juice concentrates, as concentrates are much more energy-efficient to transport.

                                                                                              2. l
                                                                                                lil magill Nov 24, 2009 03:33 PM

                                                                                                why not try a greek twist on your vinaigrette? as a change, i stir a little calamata olive brine into hellman's and toss it over romaine, scallions, capers and parsley. it's good!

                                                                                                1. h
                                                                                                  Hunicsz Oct 6, 2009 11:43 PM

                                                                                                  I've recently discovered Annie's Woodstock dressing, and man, is that stuff good. No way am I paying $4 for a little bottle, though. I found this knockoff recipe, which seems pretty right on. I'm going to try it tomorrow. This really is a fantastic dressing, for those who haven't tried it. Don't be put off by the "crunchiness" of the ingredients. It's got great creaminess and nuttiness from the tahini, acid from the tomatoes,and the nutritional yeast adds that great, savory umami kick.

                                                                                                  http://leadenhallshire.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Hunicsz
                                                                                                    v
                                                                                                    Val Oct 7, 2009 03:57 AM

                                                                                                    Thanks for that recipe link! Looks different and good! Kind of a lot of oils going on in there, canola, evoo AND tahini...but I'll play and try it this weekend.

                                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                                    schmoopy Sep 14, 2009 10:10 PM

                                                                                                    This is a GREAT recipe from Ina Garten. It has become our absolute favorite. My husband surprised me one evening with a beautiful dinner and this was the dressing that he used on the salad. I literally licked the bowl clean afterwards. I don't remember the others parts of that dinner but the salad dressing is now a permanent part of our household.

                                                                                                    CREAMY VINAIGRETTE

                                                                                                    1/2 cup good olive oil
                                                                                                    1 Tbl. red wine vinegar
                                                                                                    1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
                                                                                                    1/4 tsp. honey (I actually use just a tad more, not quite 1/2 tsp.)
                                                                                                    1 tsp. kosher salt
                                                                                                    1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (I use Lawry's seasoned pepper)
                                                                                                    1 Tbl. minced shallot

                                                                                                    In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, pepper and shallots until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Voila! (I've also put all the ingredients in the blender and mixed it that way. That works great too.)

                                                                                                    I always make extra and put it in a jar in the refrigerator to have at my fingertips. It's even better after a couple of hours or a few days. It's delicious on everything! Seriously!

                                                                                                    1. a
                                                                                                      aggiecat Jul 29, 2009 11:30 AM

                                                                                                      Ok, I've been using a garlic trick that I'm finding really helpful for making fresh dressings. Which is a classic viniagrette but with more equal parts of acid to oil for a lighter version. I like cider vinegar with a canola oil, a little sweetener (splenda for me, but use whatever you groove to) and for an emulsifier, I use deli style brown mustard, just a tsp. french style, fines herbes, italianesqu - I go with the italian blend whatever I have handy and some good sea salt or kosher salt. I wlways use the blender, add the acid, herbs, salt, pepper, and mustard. The spin up the blender and slowly pour the oil in a steady thin stream. Stop a second or two after you run out of oil. Creamy viniagrette that won't break in the fridge. Use immediately if you used fresh herbs or let sit a day or two in fridge for a better blended flavor.

                                                                                                      Ok, garlic trick which seems to be working very well for me:

                                                                                                      Buy one or more large head of garlic. Assemble your prep:

                                                                                                      scrupulously clean screw top glass jar, I use some small or medium mason jars
                                                                                                      Nice plain, but not necessarily high quality olive oil
                                                                                                      plastic gloves
                                                                                                      cutting board
                                                                                                      paring knife
                                                                                                      garlic press or whatever you need to prep your garlic how you usually use it
                                                                                                      means to label your jar
                                                                                                      enough time to work from start to finish

                                                                                                      OK, put on your gloves and start peeling your garlic, get all the cloves peeled. Discard any that aren't perfectly fresh, firm and beautiful. Wash your garlic cloves well, you don't want anything from the outside to end up as part of the inside. Use good food safety principles here, no touching your hair, face, eyes or nose, don't answer the phone, don't eat, don't smoke or 'nutin' unless you remove your gloves handwash and then reglove with a fresh pair.

                                                                                                      Now, prepare your garlic how you usually want it. I always use my garlic press so I start pressing garlic, one after the other right into the glass jar. If you use sliced, or minced or smashed with a piece of marble sample, do whatever works for you. Be sure that as you add the garlic to the jar you do not tamp or press down on the garlic. Just loosly fill the jar. Go until you run out of garlic or you get to within 1 to 1/2 inch of the top of the jar. I've found a good size head of garlic will just fill an 8 oz wide neck mason jar. Remove gloves. Now, pour in your olive oil. Gently tap the jar on your table to eliminate air bubbles and to make sure the oil completely surrounds the garlic. Close the jar and label with the date and that it's garlic and xxx oil. if you want, add herbs and spices or whatever but I keep this simple, garlic & oil.

                                                                                                      Now, you could probably just refrigerate this without any problem and if you use a lot of garlic, that will work for you. Me, not so much so I pop it in the freezer. When I need it, I pull out my jar, a clean teaspoon and run the spoon under the hot tap to warm. Take a good size spoon of the garlic and oil. Hey presto 1 tsp = about 1 clove. Go forth and cook.

                                                                                                      If you intend to use this garlic for uncooked preps, like salad dressing, then you have got to be religious about food safety and hygiene. There won't be any additional cooking to make things all better. However, virtually all traditional garlic sautee techniques will get your garlic and oil to a safe temp.

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: aggiecat
                                                                                                        pikawicca Jul 29, 2009 11:53 AM

                                                                                                        Oil infused with fresh ingredients (such as garlic) is only safe for 1 week under refrigeration. After that, the danger of botulism starts to rise.

                                                                                                        1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                          Phurstluv Jul 29, 2009 12:18 PM

                                                                                                          I was going to say something....but didn't know how long it would last!

                                                                                                        2. re: aggiecat
                                                                                                          alkapal Jul 29, 2009 04:15 PM

                                                                                                          botulism by-products are not destroyed by heat, to the best of my knowledge -- and we've had several discussions on threads here on chowhound with very learned posters who have educated me about the science of botulism, anaerobic environments and food safety regarding garlic in oil.

                                                                                                          in the end i've concluded that, unless i'm using the garlic in oil for that meal (assuming it's not made with a healthy dose of vinegar), i don't make it in advance. (and i'm not typically a nervous nelly about these matters).

                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                            Phurstluv Jul 29, 2009 04:21 PM

                                                                                                            Agreed, alkapal, I only make it fresh for that particular meal, and do not try to save it unless I make a vinaigrette out of it. Plus, the garlic cloves are good to add to anything when you're making pasta & sauce.

                                                                                                        3. Yukari Jun 19, 2009 04:58 AM

                                                                                                          Our house salad dressing is miso, olive oil, and rice wine vinegar. We are addicted. So easy and rich with umami.

                                                                                                          1. d
                                                                                                            debz Jun 18, 2009 07:31 AM

                                                                                                            my in-a-pinch quick recipe

                                                                                                            EVOO
                                                                                                            Rice wine vinegar (seasoned or not)
                                                                                                            white wine vinegar
                                                                                                            1/4 tsp cayenne
                                                                                                            1/2 tsp cumin
                                                                                                            1 tsp kosher salt

                                                                                                            The spice measurements above are rough - I want a little bite but nothing big. I use about 2 to 1 rice wine vinegar and white wine vinegar (the rice wine vinegar alone can be a little too sweet for me) and then enough EVOO (if you have a garlic flavored one, all the better!) to give it dressing consistency. This is my go-to when I just need a salad dressed quickly.

                                                                                                            If you're getting weary of balsamic vinagrettes, try different flavored balsamics. I have a specialty shop near me that specializes in oils & vinegars and I could eat their apple balsamic in a salad everyday of my life and be happy. Mix it with walnut oil instead of EVOO and it's really something special!

                                                                                                            1. cassoulady May 26, 2009 09:16 AM

                                                                                                              My house dressing is shallots, dijon mustard, lemon juice, one egg yolk, salt pepper, drizzle in olive oil and serve. I know people may say no way to the egg yolk but it gives it a nice creaminess and richness.

                                                                                                              1. kchurchill5 May 12, 2009 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                A favorite is using Nakamo Rice Wine Vinegar Oregano and Basil. I add s/p and just a little dijon and nothing more. A great simple quick dressing, low low calories and light.

                                                                                                                One of my favorite things to do is to use crunched up croutons. I few weeks ago I forgot to freeze one of my baguettes so just a little work and I have 1 large baggie of croutons. I love to crunch them up in my salad rather than whole in a salad. Makes a nice texture and love it in salads.

                                                                                                                1. roxlet May 12, 2009 05:56 AM

                                                                                                                  My method is extremely simple, but delicious. Rub your salad bowl with a piece of garlic. Put in your lettuce and toss with enough olive oil to make sure that each leaf is nicely dressed. Sprinkle coarse salt over the salad and toss throughly. Add a splash of red wine vinegar and toss. Taste the salad. If I need more vinegar, I sometimes will drizzle in a little balsamic and sometimes I just add more red wine vinegar. I happen to like salads that are slightly more acidic. When I make an arugula salad, I follow the same method except I use lemon instead of vinegar. Here is the key thing for me: make sure that the salad is well-tossed with the oil BEFORE salting. I know that some posters here salt first, but I like my salad crisp and not wilted, and I find that adding salt first bruises and wilts the lettuce. That's fine if you like a wilted salad, but I find those to be a bit slimy, so it's a matter of taste. Also, go slowly with the vinegar. It's always possible to add more, but impossible to take it away.

                                                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                                                    MazDee May 11, 2009 07:34 PM

                                                                                                                    When I am cooking a rich or complex meal for guests, I serve a simple green salad which my guests love! (Of course many of them are used to getting some kind of bottled dressing with who-knows-what chemical additives.) I picked this method up in Rome many years ago, watching the waiter prepare salad at our table, and have done it ever since. I just dump the prepared greens in the bowl, sprinkle course sea salt over all, pour a big "O" of EVOO around the bowl, crossed with an "X" of olive oil, then a small "O" and "X" of vinegar (usually supermarket balsamic) and then add the other ingredients and toss. The other ingredients usually are just some julienne red bell, cucumber, red onion rings, tomatoes. It is just amazing that people go "wow" about such a simple thing. Of course, I make other dressings too, but this is my method for a simple green salad. It takes about 2 minutes. (Note: the waiter in Rome put the salt into a big spoon with vinegar to dissolve before he put it on the salad. It isn't necessary.)

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: MazDee
                                                                                                                      kchurchill5 May 11, 2009 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                      I agree, that is wonderful. I sometimes will add just a little dijon and mix ahead and then drizzle, but your method is perfect and great. People forget simpler is sometimes and more often soooo much better. I add fresh basil and thyme with fresh lemon wedges, arugula and romaine mix, a simple onion and cucumber and some roasted red peppers and the dressing is the same, balsamic and evoo, s/p Classic and so simple.

                                                                                                                      1. re: MazDee
                                                                                                                        chicgail May 12, 2009 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                        Very similar to mine, but I have a different order. I rub the bowl with fresh cut garlic, sprinkle it with salt, then add the EVOO and vinegar (not always balsamic), a little mustard to keep it stable and mix it up right in the bowl. I add the lettuce & other salad ingredients, toss and eat.

                                                                                                                        I do love your X and O pattern. Great for tableside service.

                                                                                                                        It is every bit as fast and easy as all that nasty bottled dressing and much better tasting.

                                                                                                                      2. a
                                                                                                                        adamshoe May 11, 2009 05:09 PM

                                                                                                                        Mayfair Dressing from the Mayfair Hotel in St. Louis (I think....) Do a search on recipezaar. Sort'a like a caesar dressing but different. I blanch the onion and celery for longer than they suggest. Damn good dressing. adam

                                                                                                                        1. 4
                                                                                                                          4Snisl May 9, 2009 03:32 PM

                                                                                                                          Made this the other day to use up some leftovers in the fridge, and it's definitely a repeat! I had about 1 cup of plain lowfat yogurt in the bottom of a large carton. I threw in:
                                                                                                                          juice of 1/2 a lemon
                                                                                                                          2 scallions
                                                                                                                          1/2 an avocado
                                                                                                                          small clove of garlic
                                                                                                                          salt and pepper

                                                                                                                          and used a stick blender to create a beautiful, creamy, pale green dressing right in the container. It maintains its color for 2-3 days....next time, I'll probably throw in some fresh parsley or basil, but I'd eat it again as is. :)

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: 4Snisl
                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                            dratlover Nov 14, 2011 10:07 AM

                                                                                                                            add some cilantro and dash of Worcestershire and hot sauce, and you have recreated my own home made favorite.

                                                                                                                            1. re: dratlover
                                                                                                                              x
                                                                                                                              xiaobao12 Nov 14, 2011 09:11 PM

                                                                                                                              Hey drat, can you elaborate on your home made favorite?

                                                                                                                              Is it just those 3 ingredients?

                                                                                                                              1. re: xiaobao12
                                                                                                                                linguafood Nov 14, 2011 10:51 PM

                                                                                                                                to me it reads like it was meant as an addition to 4Snisl's concoction, as in adding his suggested ingredients.

                                                                                                                          2. Full tummy May 9, 2009 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                            I really like this Caesar salad dressing. No need to do it "finger" style, just dress romaine as you would normally...

                                                                                                                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                            No raw eggs, so it's easy to make and keep on hand for a bit...

                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Full tummy
                                                                                                                              Phurstluv Jun 18, 2009 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                              We also have a great no-egg Family Caesar recipe that is absolutely delicous to eat on EVERYTHING!!

                                                                                                                              This is from Nancy Sr.’s sister, JoAnn Leasure, who is a gourmet cook in her own right. This dressing is good on just about everything, and can be addictive!

                                                                                                                              Makes approx. 2 cups

                                                                                                                              1 can anchovies, in oil
                                                                                                                              Juice of 1 -2 lemons
                                                                                                                              Generous dash of Worcestershire
                                                                                                                              Tbsp of red wine vinegar or Dijon*
                                                                                                                              5 – 6 peeled garlic cloves
                                                                                                                              Several grinds of fresh black pepper

                                                                                                                              Using food processor, combine all ingredients until combined. Add ½ cup extra virgin olive oil in a stream and blend well. Keeps about 4-5 days covered in refrigerator.

                                                                                                                              *The vinegar and Dijon are not always necessary; taste before adding. I have never used a raw egg, but she says you can for consistency, if desired.

                                                                                                                              We also love this one on grilled romaine or cold iceberg wedges, adapted from Fine Cooking Mag:

                                                                                                                              Blue Cheese Dressing

                                                                                                                              Yields 2 cups

                                                                                                                              1 cup mayonnaise
                                                                                                                              ½ cup sour cream
                                                                                                                              ¼ cup whole milk; more as needed
                                                                                                                              6 oz. crumbled blue cheese
                                                                                                                              1 ½ Tbs. finely grated shallot
                                                                                                                              1 clove finely grated garlic
                                                                                                                              1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
                                                                                                                              ½ tsp. kosher salt
                                                                                                                              1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

                                                                                                                              In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, blue cheese, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to let the flavors develop. Before using, taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. The dressing will thicken as it sits and may need to be thinned with more milk.

                                                                                                                              It is hands down, the freshest blue cheese dressing I've had, just love it!

                                                                                                                              1. re: Phurstluv
                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                Leepa Jun 19, 2009 02:24 PM

                                                                                                                                Your blue cheese dressing is almost identical to the one my mom (90 years old now) has been making for years. It was my favorite dressing (tied with her homemade 1000 Island) when I was a kid. If you can get Rogue Creamery's Smoky Blue Cheese, try it with that sometime. It just takes it one level further. Yummy.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Leepa
                                                                                                                                  Phurstluv Jul 29, 2009 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                  God Bless her!! Love that blue cheese recipe, so fresh tasting, I rarely buy it commerical anymore.

                                                                                                                                  What's Rogue Creamery's ? Is it on the West coast?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Phurstluv
                                                                                                                                    l
                                                                                                                                    Leepa Jul 29, 2009 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                    Yes. It's in Oregon, though I can get their cheese here at the more upper end groceries here in NC.

                                                                                                                                    http://www.roguecreamery.com/product....

                                                                                                                                2. re: Phurstluv
                                                                                                                                  kattyeyes Feb 23, 2010 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                                  Phurstluv, I finally made this dressing, but halved it as it was just for me. As such, I used a whole garlic clove and skipped the shallot. It was worth the wait and is definitely the freshest blue cheese dressing I've had, too! I used Buttermilk Blue. It made quite the sexy turkey club salad:
                                                                                                                                  http://kattyskitchen.wordpress.com/20...

                                                                                                                                  Thanks!

                                                                                                                              2. kchurchill5 May 9, 2009 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                                I have probably 8 go to's. A balsamic, a lemon vinaigrette. A sweet citrus, a creamy balsamic, a spicy chili type of buttermilk, a salsa sour cream dressing, a very tangy lime vinaigrette with chilis, and my egg dressing. All different but all unique. Just depends what I have on the salad

                                                                                                                                1. n
                                                                                                                                  nadette Feb 2, 2009 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                  This is our "house" dressing -

                                                                                                                                  fresh lemon juice
                                                                                                                                  honey
                                                                                                                                  shallots
                                                                                                                                  walnut oil (i usually use a combo of walnut oil and extra virgin olive oil)
                                                                                                                                  s&p

                                                                                                                                  It's especially tasty on baby arugula with some toasted walnuts or pecans and crumbled blue cheese.

                                                                                                                                  1. momskitchen Jan 30, 2009 05:48 PM

                                                                                                                                    Yes - here's mine...so easy a 5 year old can make it:

                                                                                                                                    http://motherskitchen.blogspot.com/20...

                                                                                                                                    1. EastBayShortcake Jan 30, 2009 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                      I make a variety of a classic Green Goddess.. love fresh basil!

                                                                                                                                      Plain yogurt or sour cream, mayonnaise, fresh basil, parsley, mint, green onion, garlic, anchovy, red wine vinegar.. you can play around with this one and adjust amounts to your taste.

                                                                                                                                      1. s
                                                                                                                                        salmon Jan 30, 2009 02:51 PM

                                                                                                                                        Simple and classic French vinaigrette from years living in Francophone African - measurements can obviously vary according to taste:

                                                                                                                                        3 TBL oil (I use evoo)
                                                                                                                                        1 tsp vinegar*
                                                                                                                                        1tsp good dijon (not grey poupon!)
                                                                                                                                        pinch salt and fresh pepper
                                                                                                                                        small garlic clove minced (I like to add this right before mixing/serving since to me the garlic must be fresh and does not last)

                                                                                                                                        emulsify.

                                                                                                                                        * most vinegars work. Some of my favs are champagne vinegar and rice wine vinegar.

                                                                                                                                        I ate this every day growing up and still eat it almost every night. Can never get sick of it and reminds me of home!

                                                                                                                                        1. Rmis32 Jan 30, 2009 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                          As a simple alternative to a VINAIGRETTE dressing, I use oil, lemon juice, garlic & cumin. It's a standard in Mid East cuisine.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Rmis32
                                                                                                                                            Wahooty Jan 30, 2009 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                                            This is one of my standards, except I use lime juice instead of lemon and throw in a whack of chopped cilantro. I'm a cumin freak, so I literally can't stop eating this - it takes enormous willpower to not actually lick the salad bowl when I'm done. :)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Wahooty
                                                                                                                                              Rmis32 Jan 30, 2009 01:49 PM

                                                                                                                                              Not a salad dressing, but if you like cumin, you might like

                                                                                                                                              Okra, tomato sauce, chicken chunks, cumin & lemon juice. Just simmer until chicken & okra are tender. Serve over rice.

                                                                                                                                          2. t
                                                                                                                                            tiramasue Jan 30, 2009 07:27 AM

                                                                                                                                            Here's my 1 minute dressing we have been scarfing on for weeks:

                                                                                                                                            3 parts roasted walnut oil
                                                                                                                                            1 part red wine vinegar
                                                                                                                                            2 parts whole grain dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                            salt and pepper

                                                                                                                                            I just whisk all the ingredients in the bottom of the salad bowl, add baby greens and toss. I really love the little pops the whole grain mustard adds!

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: tiramasue
                                                                                                                                              ChristinaMason Jan 21, 2010 08:59 AM

                                                                                                                                              Thanks for this. I have some good walnut oil I've been looking to highlight in a dressing.

                                                                                                                                            2. LifeOfSpice Jan 30, 2009 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                                              For years I've been making this "Yurt Dressing". I call it that because I skied to The Yurt at Solitude Ski Resort for dinner once and the chef made this. I liked it so much he told me the simple recipe...
                                                                                                                                              Equal parts of the following four ingredients:
                                                                                                                                              -- Oil (not olive, something with light flavor like canola)
                                                                                                                                              -- Balsamic Vinegar
                                                                                                                                              -- Maple Syrup
                                                                                                                                              -- Soy Sauce

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: LifeOfSpice
                                                                                                                                                mickie44 May 11, 2009 04:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                This is a keeper! It's so easy and better than anything one could buy in a store. I used agave nectar instead of maple syrup.

                                                                                                                                              2. e
                                                                                                                                                eag4 Jan 30, 2009 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                Coarse grain mustard, honey, olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh chopped tarragon, salt, pepper. Easy and good.

                                                                                                                                                1. a
                                                                                                                                                  alreynolds Jan 30, 2009 05:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I've been trying to figure out how to make the Italian vinaigrette that some mom and pop Italian restaurants serve. I think it's tomato based but not creamy like the one beggsy gave. Anyone have any ideas on this one?

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alreynolds
                                                                                                                                                    kchurchill5 Jan 30, 2009 07:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I have one with a tomato base ... actually I use V-8 It is pretty easy. Home is a couple of hours and will look it up for you. Really simple and tasty.

                                                                                                                                                  2. kchurchill5 Jan 30, 2009 04:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                    One favorite ... 1 shallot diced, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon garlic minced, 1/2 teaspoon each oregano and parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dijon, 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                    Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, 3 minutes or so. add everything else and cook just another minute or 2. Serve warm over mix of spring greens and a mix of heirloom tomatoes and mushrooms.

                                                                                                                                                    1. chicgail Jan 30, 2009 12:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I haven't used a bottled dressing in years. Here are the basics:

                                                                                                                                                      The ratio is one part vinegar (or other acid) to three parts oil. That is very convenient because it breaks down to one teaspoon to one tablespoon.

                                                                                                                                                      The acid can be any vinegar (rice, balsamic, wine vinegar, lemon juice, etc.). The oil is most often a good extra virgin olive oil, but it might be or include grapeseed or canola (if I want to minimize its flavor) or sesame, walnut or mayo.

                                                                                                                                                      Add mustard (dijon, yellow or any flavor) for pungency and to stabilize the mixture.

                                                                                                                                                      Usually I mix it in the bowl before adding salad ingredients. Here's my most common method:
                                                                                                                                                      rub bowl with cut garlic
                                                                                                                                                      sprinkle with salt
                                                                                                                                                      add oil
                                                                                                                                                      add vinegar
                                                                                                                                                      add mustard
                                                                                                                                                      add other components (e.g. cheese, anchovy, seasonings, etc.)
                                                                                                                                                      Mix with salad tosser
                                                                                                                                                      Place salad tossers in bottom of bowl in crossed position to keep salad ingredients from resting in dressing -- if you don't plan to toss and serve immediately
                                                                                                                                                      Add greens and other salad ingredients
                                                                                                                                                      Toss and serve

                                                                                                                                                      My salad is one of my most requested additions to potluck style meals and the whole process takes about 2 minutes. It's way cheaper and way better than ANY bottled dressing I've ever had.

                                                                                                                                                      Occasionally I make dressing in jar or bowl ahead of time, especially if I'm traveling with the salad before it gets served.

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                        kattyeyes Dec 6, 2009 11:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Hey there, chicgail. I'm glad I revisited this thread. Thank you for answering my question before I asked it. ;) I was just eyeing a delicious-sounding new recipe and the only reason I could think to use canola instead of EVOO was because it's not as strong flavor-wise and will let other flavors shine instead--you confirmed just that. :)

                                                                                                                                                        Here is the new dressing I plan to make today. How good does this sound?! It's from a recent article in the local paper about adding vanilla ("Taking Vanilla Beyond Sweetness"):

                                                                                                                                                        ALMOND VINAIGRETTE
                                                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                                        2 teaspoons maple syrup
                                                                                                                                                        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                                        1/4 teaspoon almond extract
                                                                                                                                                        1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                        1/8 teaspoon white pepper
                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup canola oil
                                                                                                                                                        1/4 cup natural rice vinegar

                                                                                                                                                        Whisk mustard, syrup, S&P and both extracts in a bowl. Add canola in a fine stream, whisking continuously till incorporated. This step emulsifies the dressing and keeps it from separating. Next, slowly whisk in the vinegar. Yields 3/4 cup.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                          kattyeyes Dec 7, 2009 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I made this dressing last night and served it over spring mix with cukes, diced apricots, tart Michigan cherries and sliced almonds. SO DELICIOUS! Please try this one. It is so different and SO good! :)

                                                                                                                                                      2. r
                                                                                                                                                        rachel12 Jan 28, 2009 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                        My Mom couldn't cook to save her life, but every night with dinner she insisted on a salad, and wouldn't you know her dressing was incredible!

                                                                                                                                                        1/4 c olive oil
                                                                                                                                                        1/4 c. of an equal combination of red wine vinegar (or the vinegar in the pepperoncini bottle) and balsamic vinegar
                                                                                                                                                        minced shallot or garlic
                                                                                                                                                        dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                                        A dash of worcestershire
                                                                                                                                                        and any herbs you have on hand

                                                                                                                                                        Add this to salt and peppered greens and enjoy. She usually but the dressing in the bowl first and then the salad on top, but either way it's wonderful!

                                                                                                                                                        1. t
                                                                                                                                                          themags Jan 28, 2009 01:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Sorry I know it's crap but I love the "secret recipe" versions of Benihana ginger salad dressing!

                                                                                                                                                          http://www.recipezaar.com/Benihana-Gi...

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: themags
                                                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                                                            debz Jun 18, 2009 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                            haven't tried the copycat recipe but I LOVE Benihana's ginger dressing

                                                                                                                                                          2. s
                                                                                                                                                            SSqwerty Jan 28, 2009 12:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I got this from Tyler Florence and it's brilliant on any kind of green. Note: I cut his amount of sugar in half as I think he uses too much sugar in everything.

                                                                                                                                                            MAPLE-BALSAMIC DRESSING:
                                                                                                                                                            1 small shallot, finely diced
                                                                                                                                                            1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                                            2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
                                                                                                                                                            1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                                                                                                                                                            1 teaspoons maple syrup (I used sugar free.)
                                                                                                                                                            Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

                                                                                                                                                            HERE'S WHAT HE SERVED IT ON:
                                                                                                                                                            1 head endive, separated leaves
                                                                                                                                                            2 hearts frisee, hand torn
                                                                                                                                                            red lettuce
                                                                                                                                                            1 red pear, sliced
                                                                                                                                                            1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
                                                                                                                                                            candied walnuts

                                                                                                                                                            There are no words to describe how heavenly this is when nestled next to a wonderful piece of roast pork in the autumn!

                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SSqwerty
                                                                                                                                                              kchurchill5 Jan 28, 2009 12:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                              That is one to add.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kchurchill5
                                                                                                                                                                Whosyerkitty Jan 28, 2009 12:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I am lovin' this. Keep 'em coming!

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: SSqwerty
                                                                                                                                                                BeefeaterRocks Jan 30, 2009 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                How do you get sugar free maple syrup %-(

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BeefeaterRocks
                                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                                  themags Jan 30, 2009 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, I was wondering that too - sugar-free maple syrup???

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: BeefeaterRocks
                                                                                                                                                                    chicgail Jan 30, 2009 12:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm sure it wasn't real maple syrup, but rather that maple-flavored topping with artificial sweetener. Grade not withstanding, maple syrup is maple syrup is maple syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chicgail
                                                                                                                                                                      kchurchill5 Jan 30, 2009 12:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      I have heard of sugar free, but ... not sure ... I use regular regardless. I'm sure the other is just flavored non sugar, lol.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: SSqwerty
                                                                                                                                                                    dcdavis Jan 30, 2009 02:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    All southern cooks do!

                                                                                                                                                                  3. kchurchill5 Jan 28, 2009 06:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    This is a favorite. Simple and has a sweetness to it. Most people can't tell why so sweet but it is great. No oil but does have sugar. I like to serve over Romaine with grilled veggies. Onion grape tomatoes and mushrooms. The dressing is ...

                                                                                                                                                                    2 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 cup cider vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 cup water
                                                                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon dried oregano
                                                                                                                                                                    Salt and pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                    Mix all together and cook on low in the micro for 1 minute. Mix or wisk and cook another minute on low. You don't want scrambled eggs so use low heat. This is a great simple warm dressing. Pretty much serve over your favorite salad.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Robin Joy Jan 27, 2009 08:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      For a great vinegar pour a little out of a bottle of plain white wine vinegar and push in a couple of garlic cloves and add a couple of sprigs of fresh tarragon (a teaspoon of dried works ok). After a week or two this will have infused to produce something that works really well with EVOO (you don't need much vinegar, I use 6:1, and proper mixing with a mini-whisk helps a lot), salt & pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                      The vinegar keeps forever, and we just make up a fresh bottle when the old one gets low.

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Robin Joy
                                                                                                                                                                        kchurchill5 Jan 28, 2009 06:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Ditto on that. I have two small bottle from some sauce I kept cleaned and use for my flavored vinegars. Also use rosemary too. Great flavor with vinegars. I use rice wine and balsamic too to make these.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Tom P Jan 27, 2009 05:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Once you start making your own... so easy... it is very difficult to ever use store bought again. Here is my 'go-to' vinaigrette, which I think is pretty awesome. It is a great base for many things (some ideas below):

                                                                                                                                                                        Here is what you need to get to have on hand. I do this at least twice a week when I have salad. And you can make a large batch and keep it in the fridge for a week or so.

                                                                                                                                                                        Buy these things:

                                                                                                                                                                        - a mason jar with a screw top or some kind of smaller jar you can shake easily
                                                                                                                                                                        - Shallots
                                                                                                                                                                        - Garlic (you can easily buy garlic already peeled now..you just need to also have
                                                                                                                                                                        a Garlic Press)
                                                                                                                                                                        - A good quality olive oil, such as Colavita
                                                                                                                                                                        - Wine vinegars...red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, sherry wine vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                        - lemons
                                                                                                                                                                        - course ground mustard (with seeds, I like 'La Favorite Course Ground Dijon' but
                                                                                                                                                                        there are lots of choices)
                                                                                                                                                                        - salt and pepper

                                                                                                                                                                        All of these things keep a while (the peeled garlic in the fridge, shallots out on the
                                                                                                                                                                        counter, lemons on the counter, mustard in the fridge, everything else in the
                                                                                                                                                                        cabinet)

                                                                                                                                                                        Here is what you do:

                                                                                                                                                                        Chop one half shallot pretty fine. Add the shallot and two garlic cloves, pressed,
                                                                                                                                                                        to the jar. Add a combo of red and champagne vinegar, about 1/4 cup total. Add
                                                                                                                                                                        some salt (a few good shakes) and let it sit 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                        Add 1 cup olive oil, a spoonful of the mustard, the juice of half a lemon (just cut it
                                                                                                                                                                        in half and squeeze right into the jar, no worries about the seeds), lots of black
                                                                                                                                                                        pepper and more salt to taste. Put the top on and shake it up well. Voila!

                                                                                                                                                                        You can add to this:

                                                                                                                                                                        paprika
                                                                                                                                                                        thyme leaves (yum, I do this all the time)
                                                                                                                                                                        Any herbs, really, I like rosemary and thyme the best

                                                                                                                                                                        A couple of variations:

                                                                                                                                                                        To this, at the end, add some crumbled blue cheese for a blue cheese vinaigrette

                                                                                                                                                                        Also, you can make this, then add a few glugs of buttermilk, chives, thyme and
                                                                                                                                                                        some mayo to make a really good homemade vinaigrette ranch.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Karl S Jan 27, 2009 03:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          The big question: what's the star of your salad - the greens or the dressing? That makes a difference in the kind of dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                          My general guidelines:

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Salt greens first (at least a healthy pinch of salt per serving
                                                                                                                                                                          2. Be careful about overpowering EVOO (or nut/seed oil) - taste the powerful-tasting oil and adjust its presence against what it is dressing by, if needed, cutting it with a neutral oil by up to 50%.
                                                                                                                                                                          3. Sherry vinegar, white wine and moscatel vinegars should not be neglected, nor should citrus juice (in the case of the last, they must be squeezed just before dressing for full effect).
                                                                                                                                                                          4. Shallots improve many things. Macerating them in the acid before mixing with other dressing ingredients helps bring out their best side.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. v
                                                                                                                                                                            Val Jan 27, 2009 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            How about a tahini dressing? This is really delicious...however, you may not have tahini sitting in your cupboard, I don't know...I use it for making hummus, so I like trying making other things with the tahini. This recipe calls for a spinach salad but this tahini vinaigrette is fab over any green salad:

                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Val
                                                                                                                                                                              d
                                                                                                                                                                              Danybear Jan 27, 2009 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              anyone have any recipes for a Cole Slaw Dressing thats NOT based on Mayonaise? All th esearches are just tarted up mayonaise.
                                                                                                                                                                              Thanx.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Danybear
                                                                                                                                                                                v
                                                                                                                                                                                Val Jan 27, 2009 03:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Danybear, are you looking for a creamy white dressing only that is NOT mayo? Or can any dressing work? Behold Super Slaw from Epicurious...uses peanut butter as a base...I've made this about 3 times now for my sons...we like to add a little heat to it also with red pepper flakes...do as you please...this is really a great non-mayo slaw...however, if you are looking for a mayo substitute and it has to be white & creamy, there may be a yogurt-based dressing out there in chowhound land:

                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Val
                                                                                                                                                                                  EastBayShortcake Jan 30, 2009 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks, Val, that sounds delicious! I have a head of cabbage in the fridge that needs some attention. I think my fiancee is going to love this one.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Val
                                                                                                                                                                                    pikawicca May 11, 2009 04:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    This is a very tasty dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Val
                                                                                                                                                                                      l
                                                                                                                                                                                      lexpatti May 14, 2009 05:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks Val, I've been wanting to try this for a while and finally did the other night - LOVE it!!!!! And that sauce I'm sure could be used as a marinade too?? maybe??? like a flank steak???

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Val
                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal May 25, 2009 04:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        val, thanks for that link to the "super slaw"! (edit: i may try it in my new "straw dog" concoction). http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6223...

                                                                                                                                                                                        also, wouldn't that tahini dressing for spinach salad be good with a few drops of toasted sesame oil, too?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                          v
                                                                                                                                                                                          Val May 25, 2009 05:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes! I'll bet it would really be excellent!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Val
                                                                                                                                                                                          v
                                                                                                                                                                                          Viking Blood Jul 1, 2013 05:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Anything that has 193 reviews and four forks has got to be good!

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: Danybear
                                                                                                                                                                                          b
                                                                                                                                                                                          beggsy Jan 27, 2009 03:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I love this one that you make for chicken fajitas. I often make the coleslaw (use the pre-cut packaged coleslaw) with the dressing. It tastes great in the fajitas as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Danybear
                                                                                                                                                                                            thew Jan 28, 2009 05:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            jaques pepin has a wonderful cabbage salad with garlic and anchovies

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/cr...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Danybear
                                                                                                                                                                                              mickie44 May 9, 2009 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
                                                                                                                                                                                              Juice of two limes
                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Tbsp sriracha
                                                                                                                                                                                              1 head napa cabbage, finely chopped or shredded
                                                                                                                                                                                              1/4 cup toasted peanuts
                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 cup shredded carrots
                                                                                                                                                                                              1/4 cup chopped cilantro
                                                                                                                                                                                              Optional: sesame oil or soy sauce to taste

                                                                                                                                                                                              Whisk together the oil, lime juice, and sriracha. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss with the dressing to coat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving. The slaw will keep in your fridge for 2 days.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Danybear
                                                                                                                                                                                                Carrollton Foodie May 26, 2009 04:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                My sister-in-law's mother-in-law makes a great light and healthy cole slaw. Shred a head of lettuce, add thinly sliced fresh green onions and freeze-dried chives. Add seasoned salt (like Lawry's) and freshly ground pepper to taste. Drizzle a small amount of light-flavored oil like canola over ingredients and squeeze in a good dose of fresh lemon juice. Sorry I can't really tell you amounts; we cook mostly by eye and by taste. Experiment with the ratios to get what you like. You want to barely coat the cabbage, not have a gloppy oily mess in the bottom of the bowl. A little finely diced avocado is a good addition to this salad too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Danybear
                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sand2kat Jun 18, 2009 06:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I take 2 TBL cider vinegar, 2 TBL honey, 2 TBL water, 1/4 cup EVOO & 1/2 of a fresh lemon, whisk together poor over your cabbage add some fresh mint on top makes it real refreshing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Danybear
                                                                                                                                                                                                    e
                                                                                                                                                                                                    eshultzy Nov 24, 2009 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    White vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, simly and yummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. thew Jan 27, 2009 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  oil and vinegar or lemon i build in the bowl, much like janet's grandmother, although i do not wait for it to wilt. I like to toss on oil, salt pepper and TRUFFLE OIL!!!!! toss, and then a little lemon juice, although it is also quite nice w/out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  i also make miso based dressings, and 1000 island when my 4 yr old wants to help

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Samuelinthekitchen Jan 27, 2009 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    My Favourite that people always rave about is from Robert Carrier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Grind two large cloves of garlic and four coriander roots with two large pinches of salt and a pinch of dried chilli in a mortar and pestle .

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Add 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 4-6 tablespoons olive oil and 0.5-1 tablespoon of fish sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is delightfully tangy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Samuelinthekitchen
                                                                                                                                                                                                      x
                                                                                                                                                                                                      xiaobao12 Nov 14, 2011 06:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sam, what is coriander roots? Coriander seeds? Thx.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: xiaobao12
                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal Nov 14, 2011 07:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        coriander roots = "cilantro" roots.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.google.com/search?q=cilant...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        supposedly you can readily get the whole cilantro plants (roots intact) in asian shops, but i don't see them much at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                          x
                                                                                                                                                                                                          xiaobao12 Nov 14, 2011 08:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks Alka. I should have used google.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That is very interesting - I learned something. Wouldn't the root be somewhat tough? I guess you would have to really macerate it in the pestle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wonder if the cilantro stems (green part) is a good substitute?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: xiaobao12
                                                                                                                                                                                                            alkapal Nov 14, 2011 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            hey xiaobao, i've just always cut the stems very fine (esp. since you are smashing it), and that works for me. i love thai food -- esp. the fresh lime-juice (or tamarind)-based dressings. i'd just go with using "all of the cilantro" that you can find. ;-)).

                                                                                                                                                                                                            i find that other elements make for a bigger impact. like recently, i made a great dressing with some new honkin' shrimp paste! YEAH!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            go with what you've got….

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                              x
                                                                                                                                                                                                              xiaobao12 Nov 14, 2011 09:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              wow.....sounds yummy alka. How did you make your dressing with shrimp paste?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Today, I started with mustard, soy sauce, rice wine vin, sugar, chili sesame oil, evoo....tossed with spring mix and broccoli!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: xiaobao12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal Nov 14, 2011 11:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                xiaobao, it was a som tam recipe, similar to this (i wing it) http://www.recipesource.com/ethnic/as...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                and instead of using the dried shrimp, i used the paste -- also some palm sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                the palm sugar is a PITA. i don't know if it makes all that much difference from light brown sugar. but it was good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. linguafood Jan 27, 2009 01:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      My 'family' dressing:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      vegetable oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                      lemon juice (or white balsamic or white wine vinegar)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, chives
                                                                                                                                                                                                      s & p
                                                                                                                                                                                                      at least one garlic clove
                                                                                                                                                                                                      sour cream, full fat yogurt, or crème fraîche

                                                                                                                                                                                                      mix well. works best with green salads, cucumber & tomato.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. BeefeaterRocks Jan 27, 2009 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here is a Honey Mustard recipe I got from Pierre Franey that I really like.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 egg yolks
                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 tbs apple cider vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 tbs honey
                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 tbs dijon mustard (I use Grey Poupon Country Style)
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/4 tsp salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/4 tsp pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1-1/2 cups oil

                                                                                                                                                                                                        whisk first 6 ingredients together, slowly whisk in oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also Feta Dressing

                                                                                                                                                                                                        MIx together
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup each mayo & buttermilk
                                                                                                                                                                                                        add diced garlic, dried oregano to taste, a splash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice and lots of feta cheese

                                                                                                                                                                                                        This one is good on Spinach salad with bacon & egg

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mix together
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup vegetable oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/3 cup ketchup
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/4 cup each apple cider vinegar & karo syrup.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Add diced garlic & celery seed to taste
                                                                                                                                                                                                        You can adjust the vinegar & karo if you would like it tarter or sweeter

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BeefeaterRocks
                                                                                                                                                                                                          z
                                                                                                                                                                                                          zamorski Jan 27, 2009 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          My house dressing:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sherry vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Anchovies mashed up
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thyme
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Shallots
                                                                                                                                                                                                          A little dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                          A bit of Worcestershire
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Salt and pepper

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Keeps really well in the fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, an interesting touch in a citrus vinaigrette is some vanilla bean. Always gets a: "What IS this salad dressing?" [in a good way]

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: zamorski
                                                                                                                                                                                                            BeefeaterRocks Jan 27, 2009 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have another Pierre Franey almost like your house. Uses garlic instead of shallots and no thyme, mustard or Worcestershire. I must give yours a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Bat Guano Jan 27, 2009 11:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Start by chopping up some garlic - I use several cloves, but one or two is probably enough for most people. Then mash the chopped garlic with salt, with the back of the knife, until it's a smooth paste. Put it into a cup with some olive oil. Add balsamic vinegar and lemon juice - freshly squeezed, please. No, no measurements, but use the old saying that you should be a spendthrift with the oil, a miser with the vinegar (which also applies to the lemon). Soy sauce - just a few drops, because you've already added salt. Fish sauce - again just a few drops, but this is the secret ingredient that you can't tell anybody about. Dijon mustard as an emulsifier. Pepper. Perhaps some fresh herbs. Whisk or blend together. Enjoy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                            teric762 Jan 25, 2009 10:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here are a couple I got out of a magazine years ago - they are awesome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            French Dressing

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 small onion, chopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                            2/3 cup vegetable oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                            ½ cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/3 cup vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 tbsp ketchup
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1-1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1-1/2 tsp salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 tsp prepared mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 tsp paprika
                                                                                                                                                                                                            ½ tsp garlic powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                            ½ tsp celery seed

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In a blender or food processor, process all ingredients until smooth and thickened. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Shake well before serving. YIELD: About 1-1/2 cups

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thousand Island Dressing

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 cups mayonnaise
                                                                                                                                                                                                            ¼ cup chili sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                            ¼ cup pickle relish

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. YIELD: 2-1/2 cups

                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: teric762
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Whosyerkitty Jan 27, 2009 08:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              You guys are awesome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: teric762
                                                                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Leepa Jan 30, 2009 06:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is similar to the 1000 Island dressing my mom always made when we were kids. Except she sliced up stuffed green olives instead of the pickle relish. It's still my favorite 1000 Island dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: teric762
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Viking Blood Jul 1, 2013 05:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The key to a great Thousand Island is diced green pepper. I also put chopped hard boiled eggs in mine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Viking Blood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    iL Divo Jul 2, 2013 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    viking, could you post just exactly how you make it?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'll do it tonight as it's hubby's favo dressing. but > I've never used GP, which is in frig right now. bought 2 cartons of eggs yesterday for the sticky toffee pudding I'll take to work tomorrow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    TIA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Viking Blood Jul 2, 2013 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I use about a cup of Hellman's mayo, 1 tTablespoon of Heinz Chili Sauce (enough to make it a light pink), 1 Tablespoon of sweet pickle relish, 1 Tablespoon of chopped green pepper, 1 hardboiled egg chopped and a dash or Worcestershire. Pepper to taste. I never have to add salt to this one. This is my best guess. I hope you like the fresh flavor fo the green pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Viking Blood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        iL Divo Jul 2, 2013 08:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        just now logging back on, thanks Viking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        that sounds completely correct and I like your additives a lot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        unfortunately when hubby was going to work this morning, I asked what he wanted for dinner:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. chicken bones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. potato salad (tried to copy his mom's which is NOTHING like mine at all. incorportated 1/2&1/2, heavy cream, sugar, vinegar, bintsy cut up radishes, green onion, bintsy tiny cut up green pepper, tiny bit dehydrated celery leave,Kick @$$ Daves hot pepper sauce, just a few drops. < those are all ingredients I've never added to potato salal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. steamed white corn
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. garlic bread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        he got just that so no need tonight for the dressing anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think a good Sunday dinner calls for it however, thanks so much for your input, sounds delish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I, BTW, have all the ingreds on hand (even) the Chili sauce :) + plenty of Hellman's :))

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Viking Blood Jul 3, 2013 09:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lynn Rosetto Kaspar taught me to make potato salad. The trick is seasoning the vinegar and pouring it on when the potatoes are hot, then adding the mayo after the potatoes cool. Your Mother-in-law's sounds more like a boiled dressing for coleslaw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Viking Blood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gloriaa Jul 3, 2013 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That is exactly how I make dill potato salad from cooks country. It is delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Viking Blood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      c oliver Jul 2, 2013 10:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've never seen or heard of GP in it and, since I actively dislike the stuff, it would be a deal breaker for me. I believe HB egg is standard though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Antilope Jan 25, 2009 04:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Fusion Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Tbsp Marukan Seasoned Rice Vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Place vinegars in a small bowl and whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat evenly. Season with Salt & black pepper to taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Antilope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      d
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Densible Jan 25, 2009 05:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My french great grandmother's recipe:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just eyeball quantities-we like it vinegary.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      White wine or champagne vinegar in a bowl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To which I add some tarragon or whatever herb I like-sometimes I do thyme or oregano or even rosemary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Finely chopped garlic (or just rub the salad bowl with garlic before adding greens)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Let it sit for 10-30 mins
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Add a dollop of dijon and a drop of brandy, salt and pepper.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Whisk it all together and then whisking, drizzle in olive oil-not EVO to taste until emulsified.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When I have lemons and it's summer, I use lemon juice instead of vinegar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Densible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        somervilleoldtimer Jan 28, 2009 06:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Since we're on grandmothers, here's my Hungarian version for tender greens, i.e. fresh from the garden, but it also works with romaine, etc;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        put greens in bowl
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sprinkle with a large pinch of sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sprinkle with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Add Wesson or another vegetable oil, measuring with a spoon of some sort. For a salad for 4, probably about 3 tablespoons.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Add cider vinegar, using 1/2 of the amount of oil you used (which is why you have to measure the oil.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let sit for 20 minutes, then toss just before serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Densible
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sarastuff Feb 2, 2009 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Densible, I'm collecting salad dressing recipes for a book and would like to talk to you about yours offline. If you're interested, contact me at www.culinaryinnovations.net. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        karenfinan Jan 25, 2009 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 part Bragg liquid aminos ( from the health food store) 2 parts good olive oil and then add enough nutitional yeast to make it creamy..it is addictive and good on just about anything

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: karenfinan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          lexpatti May 14, 2009 05:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love love love Braggs - and go nuts when I run out (very rarely) - it's the best saute sauce too. I have been using it for dressing too, although haven't tried this nutritional yeast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lexpatti
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            alkapal May 25, 2009 04:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            i know many hounds love the braggs, but i don't think i've seen it. where does one find it in the grocery?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Val May 25, 2009 05:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've been using the Bragg liquids for about a year now due to wonderful tips here on CH...I can only find it in health food stores right now. Whole Foods definitely sells their products and independent natural foods stores do also (I try to shop at the independent shops more when I need items like this). OH! Their website WAS recently giving out free samples of their products...you might visit and see if they still are!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              www.bragg.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Val
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal May 25, 2009 05:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                their website is indeed offering free samples and info: http://bragg.com/index.html
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thanks for the tip, val-ster! ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lexpatti May 26, 2009 03:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I can find it now at grocery stores (Market Basket carries it here in New England) but health food stores are my back up. Years ago, thats the only place. I've been using Braggs since 1978 - I helped run a little health food lunch counter/store (back then). My fav is a mushroom burger (I still do many of the recipes from that place): sauteed mush in braggs, pile on a nice whole grain bun with a good melted cheese (mont jack), shredded carrots, alfalfa sprts, guac, season with garlic pwder, cayenne and spike seasoning.......yum, still one of my fav sandwiches!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  p
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  panarosmith Nov 5, 2010 08:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sprouts has it if you have that chain near you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    karenfinan Feb 11, 2011 07:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I get Bragg's in my local grocery store, in the same aisle as soy sauce, etc, I think. I get the nutritional yeast in the bulk section of my health food store. I think both are more easily accesible than they used to be. I just discovered this old thread, sorry it took me 18 months to respond!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: lexpatti
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    melly Jun 18, 2009 11:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    like brewer's yeast?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: melly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      v
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Val Jun 18, 2009 11:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No, melly...nutritional yeast is different from brewer's yeast...it's like dry and flaky...well, here's some info' that sort of describes the difference between the twoP
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.bulkfoods.com/yeast.htm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. janetms383 Jan 25, 2009 04:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I dress a salad the way my Italian grandmother taught me. It's quick, easy and very healthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Put your greens in the salad bowl - hold all the other ingredients until have you've dressed the salad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Salt the greens to wilt. The amount of salt varies by the amount of greens I use and I salt to taste. You don't want to oversalt, but when you taste the greens they should taste lightly salted. Let the greens set about 1/2 hour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  After the greens have wilted a bit, toss with light olive oil. Enough to coat the greens lightly. Again, taste, taste, taste. You shouldn't have oil sitting in the bottom of the bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the greens. Again, this is to taste. I usually use 1 good size lemon unless I have a ton of greens. Then toss in a good handful of grated parmesan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Add the other salad ingredients like mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn, baby carrots, radishes, whatever. Toss the whole thing together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It might take a couple of salad to get the technique to your liking, but this is the BEST tasting way to eat a salad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: janetms383
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    schmoopy Feb 7, 2009 07:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Janetms383, thank you so much for explaining this great technique!. I have a number of great salad dressing recipes that turn out wonderfully when I follow the directions and measurements, but I've always wanted to be able to just toss a salad with olive oil and lemon and seasoning and have it turn out right without all the measuring. Now that I understand the part about just lightly drizzlng the oil on first, and tasting, tasting, tasting, etc., it all makes sense! I've made this about three times so far and each time was better than before. You're right, a couple of times to get the technique and I've got it! Thank you!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: janetms383
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      x
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      xiaobao12 May 29, 2011 09:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      hi janet,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thanks for the tip. why did she salt the greens to wilt? why do we want wilted greens in our salad? don't we want crisp and fresh tasting?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      thank you for helping me to understand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      beggsy Jan 25, 2009 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All-time favourite in my family. Sounds a bit weird but tastes like a light, tangy version of Thousand Island dressing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      CREAMY TOMATO DRESSING

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup cider vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup mayonnaise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 garlic clove, minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 teaspoon sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      salt and pepper (to taste)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Puree all ingredients except oil, salt, and pepper in processor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      With processor running, add oil; blend until smooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Transfer to small bowl. Season with salt and pepper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: beggsy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        mkel34 Jan 25, 2009 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Has anyone ever tried any of the Penzey's dried mixes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mkel34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Whosyerkitty Jan 25, 2009 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Never heard of it. Not sure it's in my area (Chicago).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mkel34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            kattyeyes Jan 25, 2009 04:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            An enthusiastic YES on the Penzey's salad mixes. I love their Country French Vinaigrette (it's made up in the fridge right now) made with rice wine vinegar instead of red wine vinegar. Their Parmesan Peppercorn and Green Goddess are very tasty, too...plus you can use the seasonings for other things than dressing (e.g., Parmesan Peppercorn is a nice addition to mashed potatoes).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/shophome.html

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And, katty to kitty, you can find Penzey's in Naperville or Oak Park. Here's a link to all Penzey's retail locations:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzey...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There are large jars of each spice for sniffing and recipe cards throughout the store. Always a fun trip!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Neta Nov 30, 2009 07:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have a question that has been bugging me forever. Where do you find rice wine vinegar? Is it in a gourmet store? All the ones I have found just say rice vinegar. Are they one in the same? It doesn't sound like it. The ingredients list glutinous rice that has been fermented and nothing else. Is the fermentation considered the wining it? Sorry if it sounds so dumb but I really would like to know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Neta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal Dec 1, 2009 03:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                yes, they are the same, although the label just says "rice vinegar." i think kattyeyes was thinking of the "red wine vinegar" and just typed "rice *wine* vinegar" as its counterpart. the most prominent national brand in most every grocery store is "maruchan." http://www.amazon.com/Maruchan-Rice-Vinegar-12-Ounce-Bottles/dp/B000LLM9XE

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                there is a rice wine (proper), mirin, used in japanese cooking. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Neta Dec 1, 2009 08:27 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you for the clarification. I have been using the Maruchan for years and also the mirin but always wondered if there was something else that I was missing in the markets. A lot of the cooks on Food Network use the term rice wine vinegar (Bobby Flay) which just added to the confusion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Neta
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Dec 1, 2009 01:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    actually, when i looked at my bottle, i realized that it was "marukan" -- http://www.marukan-usa.com/ although i could swear that it used to be maruchan. ok. officially crazy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kattyeyes Dec 2, 2009 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    OOPS, sorry Neta, and thanks alkasis! Yes, we use Maruchan, too. I didn't mean to make it sound more exotic than it was because my mind drifted to wine. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: mkel34
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tidecreek May 31, 2009 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hi,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I love Penzeys Italian dressing mix, I just buy a one pound bag for $11 or $12 and it lasts me a year, I just mix with my own Oil and Vingegar "YUM" sometimes I do balsalmic, sometimes red wine whatever but I have all of their dressings and love them. It was a Bday present from my Hubby a year or so ago and I still use them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Becky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: tidecreek
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  kchurchill5 May 31, 2009 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My friend gave me a basket for Christmas of misc dressing, bottled, dry, tongs, just a fun basket of stuff found NOT in FL. She had a couple of Penzeys dressing Mix. It started one night when we got home from fishing late and I was cooking pork tenderloin. Well no marinade so I mixed up some Good Seasons Garlic Herb with a little oil, vinegar, not the recommended amount, a bit less and marinaded for just a hour or so. It was great. She loved it so for Christmas she got me some of the penzyes. It was great. Much better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tidecreek
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ashley12 Jun 1, 2010 10:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Penzey's Peppercorn dressing mix is AH-MAZING. I mix it with nonfat Greek Yogurt instead of mayonnaise and sour cream and I know I am eating the best non-fat dressing out there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ashley12
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal Jun 2, 2010 03:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      how about blending in some fresh parm, too? ah-mazing ++

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ashley12 Jun 2, 2010 10:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        LOVE it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: beggsy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  somervilleoldtimer Jan 28, 2009 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  When I was young, one of my grandmothers (the one who didn't know how to cook) would make a tomato-ey salad dressing out of a can of Campbell's tomato soup, a can of sugar, and don't remember what else. When I was 8 years old, I loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    jeanmarieok Feb 2, 2009 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My kids still ask for this once in a while. It's not really a 'homemade' dressing, but here' s the recipe, just because.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 can tomato soup
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3/4 cup salad oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3/4 cup cider vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3/4 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon paprika
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon pepper
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon yellow mustard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Blend everything together until smooth - and refrigerate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jeanmarieok
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      somervilleoldtimer Oct 6, 2009 04:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You know, I think that's the one! I'm just checking in many months later. Thanks so much for sending it along!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jeanmarieok
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal Dec 8, 2009 04:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i use ketchup instead of soup, and add some garlic powder and grated onion, plus a dash of toasted sesame oil. as i posted below (dec. 3), this is *fabulous* on spinach salad -- esp. the one with crumbled bacon on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. shanagain Jan 25, 2009 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Honey dijon goes well with a LOT of things (grilled chicken salad in particular).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup mayonnaise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 tablespoon mustard (I like a smooth dijon for this, but a large seed dijon is good too)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 tablespoon honey
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 tablespoon lemon juice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's it, and it's SO good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. pikawicca Jan 25, 2009 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      For 4 servings:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 T. EVOO
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1T. Hazelnut oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1T. sherry vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 T. crumbled blue cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      s & p to taste

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like to mix this up about an hour ahead of time, so that the cheese starts to dissolve into the dressing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        janetms383 Jan 25, 2009 04:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        OMG this sounds delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. ipsedixit Jan 25, 2009 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Funny you should ask, but I recently made a salad dressing with grated (peeled) ginger, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, wasabi, and a health dose of sesame oil. Blend it all together with a whisk (or in a food processor if you prefer, but not necessary), and let it sit in the fridge overnight so the flavors blend and meld together. This last step is important, don't use immediately -- flavors have to get acquainted and fuse together. Sort of like a Vulcan mind meld ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          shanagain Jan 25, 2009 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yum, I make a ginger sesame that's almost exactly like this (but no wasabi) and toasted sesame seeds. Oh, and hoisin sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whosyerkitty Jan 25, 2009 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds interesting! How much and how much and how much? When I do the tired EVOO and ving, I shake it in a jar. I assume this is okay?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks to everyone! This is GREAT!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Whosyerkitty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              shanagain Jan 25, 2009 04:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hmm, well, I have no idea exactly on this one - when I make it, I get my ingredients out and wing it from there. But basically, it would be:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 cup of sesame oil (it's a nice, mild tasting oil, I wouldn't substitute)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              probably a quarter cup each of soy sauce and rice vinegar,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2- 3T of fresh, grated ginger (tip: freeze your ginger, makes grating a breeze)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              a couple cloves of garlic, minced
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              about 2T of hoisin,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2T honey or some sugar, to taste
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and a splash of orange juice if I have it, or the juice of a half a lemon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/4 C sesame seeds, toasted

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I just mix everything while my sesame seeds are toasting so a jar would be perfect, then add them in at the end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is also a pretty killer marinade for chicken for an Asian chicken salad - I use less oil for the marinade - then just stir fry the boneless/skinless chicken pieces and give some snow peas and shredded carrots (or "broccoli slaw") a quick run in the stir fry, then serve over whatever salad greens I'm in the mood for, with dressing, toasted almonds & more sesame seeds. You know how salads are - that's just a basic idea, the actual recipe changes everytime I make it, depending on what looks/sounds good for salad. But basically the only "warm" things are the chicken, snow peas, and carrots and/or broccoli slaw.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Whosyerkitty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ipsedixit Jan 25, 2009 08:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't use exact measurements. I add and adjust and taste as I go along. Obviously, if you like things a bit more fiery, increase the wasabi to soy sauce ratio and vice versa if you prefer a more mild dressing.

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