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Your Favorite Salad Dressing--All Types

There have been a few threads dealing with favorite bottled salad dressings, but to my knowledge, not one dealing with salad dressings irrespective of their source.

So, whether it be manufactured with all the wrong chemicals, whomped up in your kitchen using nothing but the most pristine ingredients, or served by a particular restaurant, what is your favorite salad dressing?

I'm going with the old-fashnioned creamy Roquefort dressing that used to be de rigeur in steakhouses. It was simply nonpareil in my book, and I regret its passing.

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  1. All of them. Can never have too much dressing, nothing is worse than dry lettuce. Gah. My current favorite is Sesame Ginger, but I also favor Caesar, Italian, Strawberry vinaigrette and Blue Cheese, especially made in house at restaurants. But I always come back to HV Ranch (hangs head in shame-so uncool).

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jerseygirl111

      Awwww. Don't feel so bad, Jerseygirl111. I like HV Ranch, too. We can be uncool together.

      1. re: Perilagu Khan

        +2 on the HV Ranch. I love homemade ranch (Dave Lieberman's recipe). I love many Sesame, tahini, and anchovy based dressing. But my favorite has to be ranch. No shame. I'm a rube.

    2. Cannot give just one answer, because it depends on my mood. Either 1000 island or blue cheese.

      1. I'll eat just about any non-sweet salad dressing happily, but my favorite is creamy blue cheese. Some brands are better than others, and homemade is best, but it's hard to go wrong with blue cheese!

        1 Reply
        1. re: biondanonima

          I will never understand sweet salad dressings. It's an affront to my taste buds.

        2. Has anyone had the smoky bacon Russian from Chop't in NYC? It is to die for.

          1. When I clicked on this, that was exactly the kind of dressing I was going to write about. I make a good Roquefort vinaigrette but it is miles away from the one you're talking about.

            7 Replies
            1. re: escondido123

              Roquefort vinaigrette that sounds amazing! Do you have a favorite recipe?

              1. re: fldhkybnva

                La Martinique makes an outstanding bleu cheese vinaigrette, but I don't think the bleu is Roquefort.

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  I just make my standard vinaigrette with crushed garlic, finely chopped shallot, a little Dijon mustard, balsamic and olive oil. Then I add Roquefort and mash it with a fork until creamy.

                  1. re: escondido123

                    That sounds very nice. Bravo. I hope this gives more people inspiration.

                    1. re: escondido123

                      Yum, you're describing what is probably my favorite type of dressing. I love blue cheese but prefer it in a vinaigrette rather than a creamy dressing. I make mine like you do except not much mashing, more small chunks in the vinaigrette.

                      1. re: tcamp

                        I am planning a buffalo chicken salad and was going to use a creamy blue cheese dressing but you might have convinced me to go the vinaigrette route. The creamy dressing is pretty classic but I'm sure this would be good as well. I whipped up a batch of a blue cheese vinaigrette a few weeks ago which worked well on a seared skirt steak. It was quite mild, so I think I need to throw in more blue cheese next time. I'll have to convince my guests that not all hot wings need a creamy dressing partner :)

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          Add or up the garlic to spice things up!

                2. Creamy blue cheese dressing or any sort of vinaigrette - favorite is a simple walnut oil or EVOO with dijon, shallots, and a mix of red wine and apple cider vinegar, maybe a dash of Herbes de Provence. Recently though, my favorite is Green Goddess dressing.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                    ohhh...I forgot about green goddess. Love Ina Garten's basil green goddess.

                    1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                      I've never tried the basil version, but the chives, tarragon, parsley version was delicious! It's an Ina recipe so I'm sure I'd love that too.

                    2. re: fldhkybnva

                      The Khantessa recently purchased a bottle of Green Goddess. This was the first GG I'd ever had. I like it.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        Green Goddess is my favorite: I make mine from a recipe in an old Fanny Farmer cookbook, and it does vary according to what's on hand.

                        Historical trivia: before the invention of ranch dressing, Green Goddess (named from an old play) was the most popular salad dressing on the West Coast.

                        1. re: tardigrade

                          Indeed, I think Ranch was a Green Goddess spin off but for me Green Goddess is infinitely better, not even in the same ballpark.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            I make my own from the FF cookbook, too...but, I miss the Green Goddess dressing that you used to get bottled from the store. Wishbone or Seven Seas, I think.

                            1. re: jennyfur

                              I think Annie's Organic has a version but I've never tried it.

                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                It is not the same...just the same name.

                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                          Total yes to all of what fldhkybnva said.

                        3. I love me some cilantro lime vinaigrette. I try various recipes from the interwebs and don't have a stand out favorite.
                          Never been a creamy dressing fan.

                          1. Without question the original house dressing from the old Greek restaurant, The Rotisserie up in Jackson. Known locally as 'Come Back' sauce/dressing. It's applications are endless. Yum yum!

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Uncle Bob

                              Just thought of my runner-up dressing. It's the house made Italian Dressing from the Original Don's Seafood and Steak House in downtown Lafayette. Basically a Caper, olive oil, and garlic (lots of garlic) dressing. ~ My go to for a non creamy dressing. Yum yum again!

                              1. re: Uncle Bob

                                A long time ago (1977), in a town far, far away (Gallup, New Mexico), there was an olde-tymey steakhouse called Culpepper Cattle Company. They had an Italian dressing that absolutely drove me and my little brother wild. The closest thing I've had to it since is Paul Newman's, but Newman's is a little bit sweeter.

                              2. re: Uncle Bob

                                I wonder if that's the mayo sauce ("come back sauce") mentioned in another thread. I was kinda excited about it, but it was a bit of a letdown. Though it was presented more as a dipping sauce, I actually couldn't imagine putting that on my salad...

                                I'm sure you could play with ingredient measures and stuff, but I felt like I wasted some damn fine Duke on that one... maybe it's just not my thang.

                                1. re: linguafood

                                  I know not of the 'other thread' you mention, so can't comment.

                                  Comeback Sauce/Dressing is a mayonnaise based product where Duke's is the preferred/required mayonnaise.

                                  There are many versions of the the dressing/sauce floating around. For the most part they all fall short.

                                  1. re: Uncle Bob

                                    "There are many versions of the the dressing/sauce floating around. For the most part they all fall short."

                                    Yes. It was a massive letdown. I think it might've been on a Trader Joe's thread for some reason while discussing mayonnaise... one of them subthreads.

                                    I'm still pissed I wasted all that good Duke.

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      "I'm sure you could play with ingredient measures and stuff, but I felt like I wasted some damn fine Duke on that one... maybe it's just not my thang."

                                      I think you may be right.

                              3. Favorite dressing is an insane 20 ingredient vinaigrette developed by my uncle for a family restaurant.....however recently discovered a commercial dressing, 'Brianna's' readily available in central jersey. They have perhaps a dozen options and have yet to find one that we didn't truly enjoy.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: ThanksVille

                                  Brianna's makes some very good dressings. They're available here in Minnesota too. My favorites thus far are the Champagne Caper vinaigrette and the Blush Wine vinaigrette.

                                  1. re: justalex

                                    I love the Brianna's Balsamic, but it is SO high calorie I haven't had it in a while

                                2. I miss creamy Roquefort, too. Best substitute I have found is a 3:1 EVOO and homemade vinaigrette with a little Maille Dijon as an emulsifier and plenty of crumbled veined cheese, usually blue. Sigh.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: tim irvine

                                    I made a creamy Roquefort this week using mainly no-fat Greek yogurt, a little mayo, a little olive oil--plus vinegar and Roquefort. Tasted as rich to me as the stuff from my early years before calories mattered.

                                    1. re: escondido123

                                      Sounds wonderful, what proportions did you use?

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        I would have to just guess at that. Maybe 3 parts yogurt to one part mayo and Roquefort. A splash each of balsamic and red wine vinegars and a little oil until you get the right consistency. I got the Roquefort out ahead of time and put a chunk in the salad bowl to warm up and soften so I could mash that with a fork before I added the other ingredients. The trick is to be careful with the mayo because you don't want its flavor to be prominent. And of course, lots of pepper.

                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                          Sometimes, you just have to experiment a little yourself until you get the mix & flavors right. Just start making it and taste along as you go. Really. Give it a try.

                                    2. steakhouse roquefort - recipe? HOW CAN I make that at home - also

                                      favorites -

                                      neiman marcus poppy seed dressing (home made recipe over citrus and avocado at US thxgiving or xmas)

                                      better homes and gardens "french dressing" circa 1960 book. oil, vinegar, red paprika or something. Great for marinating cooked potatoes before dressing with miracle whip (cringe!)

                                      1. sesame miso homemade dressing is my current fave

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: NanaMoussecurry

                                          I have a jar of miso in the fridge which has never been used, do you have a quick recipe?

                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            I do not remember the source but....

                                            Sesame Ginger Miso Dressing
                                            (for 2/3 cup) - Serves: 6

                                            4 tbsp rice vinegar
                                            4 tbsp olive, canola, or grape seed oil
                                            2 tbsp sesame oil
                                            1 tbsp honey or sugar
                                            1 tbsp miso paste
                                            1 tbsp soy sauce
                                            1 tbsp sesame seeds
                                            1″ piece ginger
                                            2 large garlic clove

                                            Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor (or just use a stick blender). Blend the ingredients until the dressing is well blended and creamy.Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for 1 week.

                                        2. Kens lite ceasar dressing, lite asian sesame and lite blue cheese. Makoto honey Ginger dressing. Old Dutch sweet and sour(getting hard to find). And Olive Garden's italian. Village Inn used to have a dressing called la scallia that they sold as italian that was very very good but they are gone from here and i am not sure if the dressing is the same.

                                          1. Dunno the name, but rice wine vinegar, minced garlic, salt, sugar and a pinch of white pepper.

                                            1. If you like blue cheese dressing, try Lighthouse Big Bleu. I'm super picky about blue cheese dressing, can't stand any of those oily tasting ones like Marie Callenders, etc. It is by far the best store bought I've ever had. Not sure if it's just regionally available in the Pacific Northwest since it's made in small town Idaho... Definitely not a diet one though

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Nf98103

                                                I agree, it's tasty. If you're a ranch fan it's also the only bottled ranch which I actually enjoy. SO loves ranch but there's not always homemade around and I finally got him to switch to Lighthouse instead of Hidden Valley.

                                                  1. re: Nf98103

                                                    I agree on Lighthouse. As well as Bob's.

                                                    My other favorite is a mix of rice wine vinegar, chinese plum sauce and a dash of toasted sesame oil. Toasted sesame seeds are optional. I'm not generally a fan of overly sweet dressings but the sweet/sour of this is very appealing to me.

                                                    I'm not a fan of the ubiquitous Ranch that seems to appear everywhere.

                                                  2. Barbecue ranch dressing straight out of the Neely's cookbook. People beg me to make it for them. It makes me WANT to eat salad.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Njchicaa

                                                      I need to look for this. I love all those incarnations of HV Ranch.

                                                      1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                                        I've seen the recipe online. Easy to make and soooo good. I just use bottled BBQ sauce and dry BBQ seasoning rather than make the Neely's ones called for in the dressing.

                                                    2. Homemade blue cheese dressing:

                                                      16 oz. sour cream
                                                      1/2 c. mayo(scant)
                                                      5 oz. crumbled (your everyday)blue cheese
                                                      A little Worcestershire sauce to taste.
                                                      And here's the kicker.
                                                      A package of Ranch dip.

                                                      Mix all together and enjoy. It's thick but you can always thin with a bit of milk. You did say whomped up in your own kitchen was alright.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: miss_belle

                                                        Must try now... a blue cheese ranch hybrid sounds really good.
                                                        If you have one near you and like HVR, sav-a-lot has an amazing ranch dressing knock off that is HVR-like for no where near the price. I bet that dressing would be great either way

                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                          There's a local Italian restaurant (est. 1965), that serves the finest salads in town. And their bleu cheese dressing, which I suspect is a bleu cheese/ranch hybrid, is a life-changer. Man is it good.

                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                            If you do try it start out with a 1/2 packet of ranch dip and go from there. I haven't bought HVR in years.I always buy the store brand for 99 cents and it's a smaller packet so henceforth.

                                                          2. re: miss_belle

                                                            Indeed I did. All types. It's a big-tent thread.

                                                          3. Rather than a blue cheese dressing, I prefer to simply crumble a little blue cheese atop my salad: my wife loathes the stuff, so I just get a little for myself.

                                                            If I had to choose, any simple homemade vinaigrette is probably my favorite, though I'm also a fan of a bit of Hidden Valley (but ONLY from the powdered mix -- the bottled versions are gloppy and gross).

                                                            I also do a lovely Thousand Island, which couldn't be simpler to make from scratch: 1/3 cup each mayo and ketchup, 1/4 cup pickle relish, whisk to combine and chill. You'll never buy bottled again, and you probably have all three items at hand anyway.

                                                            1. Where do I begin?

                                                              I don't buy bottled dressings, but I love any number of homemade dressings -- always depending on the mood I'm in, what the salad is served with, what the actual salad ingredients are, etc. etc.

                                                              That said, my favorite vinaigrette (for a fennel-citrus-salad or bitter greens) is a walnut & sherry vinaigrette with dijon mustard and maybe some garlic. Lots of ground black pepper. Works well with any kinds of additions such as toasted nuts, goat or feta or blue cheese, avocado, bacon, etc. etc.

                                                              The "realtor's garlic-buttermilk-dressing" has become a recent favorite for butter lettuces or romaine, as is my blue cheese dressing (mayo, buttermilk, blue cheese, apple cider vinegar, s&lotsa pepper, which my man lurvs).

                                                              April Bloomfield's lemon-caper-dressing is great, but it needs a really fatty meat main as a counterpart as it is *intense*. It is fab, tho.

                                                              Greek "dressing" which I put in quotes simply because it's really just olive oil, rwv, oregano, s&p. Similar with just tossing salad with olive oil & rwv for a simple green salad with pasta or such.

                                                              LOVE a good Caesar dressing (oo, raw egg, lemon juice, anchovies -- at least 4 filets, garlic, parm, lotsa ground black pepper.... so, so good).

                                                              German-style dill-yogurt-dressing for cukes.

                                                              As you can tell, I love salads. They're an important and favorite part of my every day meals, as in I miss salad if I haven't had any in more than 2 days.

                                                              That said, I haven't ever found a store-bought dressing that I really, really liked more than anything I could make at home fairly quickly.

                                                              17 Replies
                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                The walnut sherry vinaigrette with Dijon and garlic and usually shallots is also a favorite in our house and usually tops at least one salad every week. What are the proportions for your garlic buttermilk dressing? I have a bottle of buttermilk begging to be used in the fridge. I too am a salad lover so I appreciate all the great ideas you've just added. Once I learned to make salad dressing at home I never buy it anymore and it's quite nice as you can make just enough for a salad or two and as you said the taste is usually superior.

                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                  It's loosely based on the realtor's buttermilk dressing -- weren't you the one who brought it up on the WFD thread?

                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                    Nope, wasn't me, never made a buttermilk dressing.

                                                                2. re: linguafood

                                                                  realtor's garlic-buttermilk dressing, care to share that recipe?

                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                        Shhhhhhhh, don't anyone tell Perilagu Khan the realtor gave you the recipe too!

                                                                        1. re: cstout

                                                                          I think they keep a big tub o' this stuff next to the water cooler at all Century 21 offices. And if you buy a house from one of their agents, they give you a jar.

                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                      Wow, I just made the realtor's buttermilk dressing for a grilled chicken salad and...delicious! Thanks for the recommendation. I think it's the first time I've ever used buttermilk which also served double duty to tenderize the chicken which also worked amazingly well.

                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                        It's a really nice dressing to have around and keeps for a week at least.... not that it ever lasts that long :-)

                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                          Yea, I thought I'd have it for a few days but I figured my salad could use just a little more, and a little more....I think I'll definitely use the rest for lunch tomorrow and make a bigger batch next time.

                                                                      2. re: linguafood

                                                                        Do you have the quick proportions for your blue cheese dressing?

                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          Not really. I never measure anything and just throw it together by tasting. Eyeballing it, let's say I'll start with about 4 oz of blue cheese, then add 1/2 cup buttermilk, some mayo, lots of ground pepper, and a bottle cap of cider vinegar, and salt to taste. I mix it with a stick blender. Sometimes I'll add a splash of half n half if I find it too thick.

                                                                          The proportions really depend on how thick or thin you want your dressing, how much blue cheese flavor you want in it, etc. etc.

                                                                          It's a good one to experiment with.

                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                            Thanks, I whipped up a batch last night which tastes delicious. Just wondering, given that all the ingredients would live in the fridge anyway, it seems like you could store them in the fridge for a while without any consequence. Do you ever store your dressings for more than a week? It'd be nice to make big batches for 2 weeks or so.

                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                              Most of the time, I make just enough for the night, or have maybe a little leftover for a lunch salad the next day.

                                                                              That said, I have a mason jar with the buttermilk dressing in the fridge from.... umm, a while ago. I was hoping to make a BLT salad with it tomorrow, but I haven't checked if it's still good.

                                                                              I think up to 2 weeks should be ok, tho -- it might even say so in the recipe for the realtor's dressing....

                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                Thanks, from what I've seen most say up to 1 week but I seem find that many things stay "fresh" longer than what a recipe or guidelines often suggest.

                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                  Dang. That means I'll hafta toss my half ball jar full of it -- it's been in there over 2 weeks.

                                                                                  But maybe I'll do a taste test first '-(

                                                                      3. I've had Trader Joe's Champagne Pear Vinagrette with gorgonzola a couple of times at a friend's house lately. It was very tasty.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: laskiblue

                                                                          I wanted to love it but it was way too sweet for me.

                                                                        2. I would have to say blue cheese dressing. It's what got me eating salads in the first place. I hated salad, then I went to college and felt weird because everyone else ate salad. So I was in a restaurant and the house salad came with dinner and it was loaded with blue cheese dressing. I realized it was strong enough to mask the salad ingredients so that's how I ate salad for a very long time.

                                                                          Now of course I love salad and usually eat with a simple vinaigrette but I do still love blue cheese dressing when I eat at a restaurant.

                                                                          1. From commercial products, I find the Garlic Expressions ones to be pretty good. And for keeping in the fridge at my office, I find things like Kraft Zesty Italian passable. I'm not super-fussy. Even the "lite" version is good for weight-watching periods.

                                                                            At home, I can always make a decent vinaigrette salad dressing, but I never wow myself. It's one of those things I haven't mastered--kind of like how I cannot cook rice well without a rice cooker.

                                                                            One anecdote: without going into detail, I'll say that among my two grandmothers, one was a genuinely inhuman, callous and perhaps even evil person, but she made the best salad dressing I ever had. Some balance of sweetness, acid, herbs--I don't know how she did it. Made great pies, too. Go figure.

                                                                            My other grandmother, FYI, was the dearest person ever. Also made great pies.

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                              "One anecdote: without going into detail, I'll say that among my two grandmothers, one was a genuinely inhuman, callous and perhaps even evil person, but she made the best salad dressing I ever had. Some balance of sweetness, acid, herbs--I don't know how she did it."

                                                                              She was probably in league with The Beast. ;)

                                                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                Nah, the Beast wouldn't dare approach her--unless salad was involved... :)

                                                                                  1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                    I have one. But she made the most sublime pan fried chicken every Sunday I'll give her a pass. If I ever find a Sunbeam electric fry pan like she used at a garage sale I am so buying it. I'm convinced that's the only way to fry an entire chicken. With Crisco.

                                                                                    1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                      I'm sure you could find one of those Sunbeams on eBay.

                                                                                      Now my grandma, who was not particularly evil, although she was not quite as saintly as I believed when I was much younger, also made supernal yardbird, but she just used a regular cast iron skillet and a gas stove. What I wouldn't give to be able to duplicate that fried chicken.

                                                                              2. The first dressing that ever got me to eat a salad with dressing was French. I still have a soft spot for French and Catalina dressings. (Also drizzled over cottage cheese). I also like almost any honey mustard dressing.
                                                                                For wings, I want blue cheese dressing.

                                                                                Only one I've found I really don't like is a Russian or Thousand Island.

                                                                                1. Just got 2 new dressings from Mazretti's, Lemon vinaigrette and a Pomegranate vinaigrette...both are delicious.
                                                                                  Love Kens chunky blue and Bobs Big Boy too..

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                    Both of those Mazretti's sound good. I have not seen them in my market yet

                                                                                  2. I always love and want ranch dressing on a salad, but I will settle for soy ginger.

                                                                                    1. sigh. Am I the only person in the universe who does not like/want Ranch /Dressing?

                                                                                      I love Bobs Big Boy Blue Cheese and Bobs Big Boy Thousand Island (I dip veggies in it and pour over cottage cheese)

                                                                                      I make dressings, but they don't ever thrill me.

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: laliz

                                                                                        I don't particularly enjoy Ranch but I'll eat it and it has it's moments for me but mostly for buffalo wings if blue cheese dressing is not an option or if it's all that's offered I don't particularly mind it.

                                                                                        1. re: laliz

                                                                                          Nope, I don't like ranch dressing either. I don't understand why anyone would choose it when blue cheese is sitting right next to it!!!!

                                                                                          1. re: laliz

                                                                                            I would never choose ranch dressing. Love creamy, but don't find that particular flavor appealing.

                                                                                          2. I never buy bottled dressing but I will buy HV Ranch mix sometimes, the kind you mix with buttermilk. I love Ranch and consider it kind of a "treat". Ranch dressing is in the same food category as M&M's and Cheeto's around here. Mmmmm......

                                                                                            But, my favorite is homemade old school Roquefort, with sour cream, mayo, a splash of worcestershire sauce and plenty of minced shallots. Heaven.

                                                                                            Various soy/ginger/miso dressings and European vinaigrette style dressings are my daily dressings because they are healthier and pair more with my dinners.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: sedimental

                                                                                              I am loving all the Roquefort dressings, why have I never tried this? I'm a blue cheese fanatic.

                                                                                            2. For creamy dressing: cucumber or tzatziki sauce.

                                                                                              For vinaigrette: with shallots, with a balance of olive/walnut oils (too much olive overwhelms the flavor of greens unless it's a delicate Ligurian or Provencal olive oil), and either very good wine/sherry vinegar or fresh citrus juice for the acid.

                                                                                              The key, though, as with pasta, is that the dressing is a condiment, not the star; the star is not merely a vehicle for the sauce.

                                                                                              1. I really the Southwest dressing McDonlads offers with their salads, but not available retail, so I always ask for an extra package!
                                                                                                Not a ranch fan. usually have homemade oil/balsamic/shallot/mustard/fresh herb vinaigrette. like it on my tuna salad instead of mayo.

                                                                                                1. I remember liking Roquefort salad dressing when I was a kid, so after reading this thread I Googled some recipes.

                                                                                                  Most interesting was the New York Magazine recipe. It calls for, among other things, 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup mayo, 1/2 cup Roquefort cheese, and 1/2 cup parsley.

                                                                                                  According to the recipe, it makes 4 servings, which works out to 3/4 cup of dressing on each salad.


                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: JonParker

                                                                                                    yes! i'll have some lettuce with my dressing! ;-).

                                                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                      As much as I like a good home made vinaigrette, I can also appreciate a good commercial dressing- I really like TJ's Greek style feta dressing, & since I was afraid it would be discontinued, I bought a few bottles...

                                                                                                      1. re: thistle5

                                                                                                        I used to do that, but over time I realized that I *always* liked homemade better than commercial.

                                                                                                        Fresh herbs and garlic, good olive oil, homemade mayo, heavy cream, fresh lemon juice -- the commercial stuff doesn't come close. Plus I can throw together a quick vinaigrette in less time than it takes to tear up the greens.

                                                                                                        1. re: thistle5

                                                                                                          oh, i've never had that one. will get some to add to my collection. their champagne vinaigrette is very nice, too.

                                                                                                      2. re: JonParker

                                                                                                        Back in those days, salads were roughly the size of Staten Island.

                                                                                                      3. I LOVE the Newman's Own olive oil & vinegar dressing. Not only is it delicious, but I have some very fond memories of my preschool teacher who would give me this dressing with raw vegetables as a snack.

                                                                                                        1. Great post. Thought I would toss this little tidbit in for you to mull over while we hashing out which salad dressing is best.


                                                                                                          1. I will post this on my mom's behalf. I've never known them to have anything in the fridge other than "Dorothy Lynch"

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                It is a French "style" salad dressing. I'm not a huge fan, but that's pretty much the only option when I am eating at their home.
                                                                                                                They actually have a pretty cute website and lots of recipes, etc.

                                                                                                                And there was a Dorothy Lynch. This is who she was from their website.
                                                                                                                Yes, there really and truly was a Dorothy Lynch. In the late 1940s, Dorothy and her husband ran the restaurant at the local Legion Club in St. Paul, Nebraska. This is where the original recipe for Dorothy Lynch Home Style Dressing was born. As the Legion Club members were introduced to this delicious recipe, the legend of Dorothy Lynch began to grow and the dressing fast became a "must-have" favorite. Stories of local people bringing their own bottle or jug to town to have it filled with "that delicious Dorothy Lynch salad dressing" were quite common.

                                                                                                            1. Green Goddess Dressing

                                                                                                              1 cup mayo (homemade is excellent)
                                                                                                              1/2 cup sour cream
                                                                                                              3 anchovy filets finely minced or 1 T paste
                                                                                                              1/2 cup finely chopped chives or green onion tops
                                                                                                              1/2 cup parsley chopped
                                                                                                              1 clove garlic, crushed
                                                                                                              1 T tarragon vinegar
                                                                                                              2 t lemon juice - fresh if possible
                                                                                                              1/2 salt
                                                                                                              coarsely ground pepper

                                                                                                              Combine & store in fridge

                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                I vouch that this is amazing! How long do you store in the fridge?

                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                  Gosh, never have kept it over 3 days, always used up by then. But I would guess 4-5 days. I don't like to keep any creamy salad dressing longer than that.

                                                                                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                    Yes, very true. There are only 2 of us and SO is not the biggest salad fan other than anything with Ranch so any recipe usually makes a lot for me. I usually halve it but still that can be quite a bit.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                      Perhaps you could cut this recipe down if it interests you enough - pretty easy to do.

                                                                                                                      I have the same problem with excess dressings, just because I go through binges, tastes so good, goes real fast so I make another batch & now I am bored.

                                                                                                                      This particular dressing goes fast though & I refrain from making another batch for quite a while & switch to something else. Such is life in the salad world, always in pursuit for some other taste.

                                                                                                                      1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                        True, I have been on a vinaigrette binge for a few months now which is why I'm looking for something different.

                                                                                                              2. Kens Caesar dressing....my own good seasons you make from packets is not bad either. There is something to be said for plain old oil and vinegar, too!

                                                                                                                1. My all time favorite is my homemade blue cheese mayo/sour cream dressing with lots of raw garlic in it. You're supposed to let it meld a day or two before serving, but if you are impatient and have some on your salad right away, it has a wonderful primal earthiness that you can only get before the flavors meld. It's like having a whole 'nother dressing the next day. DH turned me onto the first-day flavor. He loved it so much, he blobbed almost a half cup onto his salad. I was horrified, and asked him, " do you know just how many calories were in that!?" He didn't care, it was that good.

                                                                                                                  1. Jacques Pepin’s quick cream dressing is my favorite for greens, and is simply heavy cream, red wine vinegar, and s&p. I add a grating of garlic too. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5907...
                                                                                                                    Marcella Hazan’s garlic scented vinegar is my favorite dressing for tomatoes. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/mem...

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: EM23

                                                                                                                      Wow, that is interesting. I've never thought of heavy cream in a salad dressing. Am I weird? :-)

                                                                                                                      I've used sour cream, yogurt, mayo, buttermilk and crème fraîche (often a combo of any of these times)... and sometimes even a dash of half an half, but heavy cream is new to me, as I generally only use it for pan sauces and such. Must try it cold.

                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        I never considered hc as a dressing myself, but JP enlightened me. He said that it was his mother’s favorite dressing, and it has since become mine. It’s a treat compared to my everyday dressing of oil and lemon juice.

                                                                                                                    2. Honey Mustard or Raspberry Vinaigrette
                                                                                                                      (But I alternate with other dressings so as not to overdo the good stuff!)

                                                                                                                      1. Mustard vinaigrette.

                                                                                                                        Dislike bottled dressings across the board. And double dislike sweet dressings, so preemie strawberry vinaigrette would be anathema to me.

                                                                                                                        1. I made an awesome blue cheese vinaigrette last weekend for a skirt steak salad and will definitely be having it again this week. It was a nice variation to the usual blue cheese creamy dressing.

                                                                                                                          1. My favorite is Kraft Ranch with bacon. I love bacon. I also keep extra bacon bits in the fridge that I add as well. I usually like a creamy dressing on my salads.

                                                                                                                            1. If extra virgin olive oil is absent, I'd choose something Japanese- roasted sesame and red shiso come to mind.

                                                                                                                              I've liked a rather spicy dressing at Ethiopian restaurants, though have no idea about the name.


                                                                                                                              1. I make a really good creamy chipotle lime made with Greek yogurt. I also make a mean creamy Italian with a small hunk of raw onion blended in with the blender. I make a great blue cheese. As far as bottled goes, I have never found a better balsamic vinaigrette than Delmonico's bottles. It's fantastic.

                                                                                                                                1. Really cheap thousand island dressing. Homemade never tastes as good. I like the stuff that comes in buckets and is nice and goopy. I try to avoid eating it because I know that it's toxic but admit to keeping a jar of the Lofthouse brand in my fridge for emergencies. (Emergencies mean the burning need for wedge salad with thousand island, black olives, bacon bits, and the possible addition of hard boiled egg.)

                                                                                                                                  I'm also a huge fan of Good Seasonings Italian, made with a nice fruity olive oil and a good balsamic dressing. It tastes like home and is incredibly versatile. Plus, it's wonderfully salty, something that I never seem to get right when I make homemade vinaigrettes.

                                                                                                                                  1. My go-to dressing is a vinaigrette with shallots and Dijon. I add herbs depending on salad type, mood and availability - oregano, chives, basil, thyme, etc.

                                                                                                                                    Next fav is blue cheese. The Realtors Buttermilk is delicious too. Made it last night for the first time and, yum.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                        This sounds great. Do you have a favorite recipe?

                                                                                                                                      2. Walnut oil, cider vinegar, honey and dijon mustard - one of the contestants made it on Masterchef about 20 years ago and I have used it ever since.

                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Londonlinda

                                                                                                                                          Walnut oil dressing - please share the recipe. It sounds really good. Have never purchased walnut since I saw how pricey it is, but I will make an exception here. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                            With pleasure. I have made it so often I do it by eye, but I think it is:
                                                                                                                                            2 tablespoons walnut oil
                                                                                                                                            2 teaspoons cider or white wine vinegar
                                                                                                                                            I teaspoon Dijon mustard
                                                                                                                                            1/2 teaspoon runny honey
                                                                                                                                            Twist of black pepper, and salt if required. We don't use a lot of salt so don't find it needs it.

                                                                                                                                            All whisked together. I like a bit of bite in a dressing so it's a good rather than scant teaspoon of mustard.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Londonlinda

                                                                                                                                              I really enjoy walnut oil and usually do a quick vinaigrette with dijon, shallots, red wine and/or apple cider vinegar.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                              A few walnut vinaigrette recipes have been mentioned on this thread, btw '-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                walnut salad dressings - yes, several have been mentioned & I have saved them to my salad folder, but one more recipe never hurts. Then it's kinda fun to look at them all & mix & match to come up with yet another recipe!.

                                                                                                                                                Thanks for pointing that out to me! When a fellow Chowhound takes the time to post a recipe on any one of these threads, I always C&P it. You folks are the best cooks anywhere & with all the junk floating around out on the net, it is so refreshing to come here & find these treasures, not to mention all the great tips & hints. Bless you all!

                                                                                                                                          2. Classic vinaigrette - oil, vinegar (or lemon), mustard.

                                                                                                                                            Although I'm often quite happy with a simple squeeze of lemon on a salad.

                                                                                                                                            1. I know I am in the minority but vinaigrettes seem to complement the flavor of lettuce and typical salad ingredients without distorting or covering them up. If mayo or sour cream is one of the top 3 components I won't touch it because they cover up to much of the taste rather than compliment it. I love salad but I want to taste it.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                But sometimes it's about the dressing. I mean, wedge salad? Iceberg has practically no flavor, besides a little sweetness, so the blue cheese dressing is the main attraction.

                                                                                                                                                I'd also say that mayo dressing is essential for a BLT salad.

                                                                                                                                                But I agree with more flavorful greens like endive, radicchio, curled lettuce, arugula, etc etc, you really want the ingredients to shine and have the dressing/vinaigrette be a supporting act.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                  Excellent point - I wasn't thinking outside of my little box.


                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                    You mean salad bowl '-D (and I'm sure it's a big one!).