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Salad dressing that keeps

Although I have learned that salad can be wonderful dresses with some really good oil and the tiniest splash of vinegar, we are accustomed to fuller bodied salad dressings. I often resort to bottled ones cause the flavors are interesting, but I also make a balsamic vinaigrette which is probably an abomination to Italian cooking but the boys like it. It's basically "balsamic" vinegar (not the real stuff) evoo, crushed raw garlic, honey, and a touch of Dijon to hold it together. I make it on the sweeter side cause it makes my kids inhale salad and ask for seconds.
Our salads consist of at minimum greens and grape tomatoes, scallions, with other additions depending on what's on sale, usually a shredded mix like broccoli/carrot slaw.

I would like to have a couple other similar dressings on hand to mix things up. Does anyone else make batches of dressing that keep in the fridge for a while, sometimes I resort to the bottled store bought stuff but it's never that much better than my own. I store them in the plastic bears honey comes in, or in glass jars, in the fridge.

I'd love to hear if anyone does something like this and what works.

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  1. I enjoy a sweet(ish) salad dressing but cannot tolerate commercially ones. My favourite one right now is a pomegranate molasses one. My kids love it. I will attach the recipe I use.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DowntownJosie

      Thank you! I think that would be a hit in my house so I'm gonna try it! Are you getting the pomegranate molasses from the mega mart?

      1. re: iheartcooking

        I usually do but the last time I made it. It's very easy:
        Another crowd pleaser is a soy sesame dressing. There are so many. I have included one with balsamic vinegar because I know you have some.

    2. The key to hooking my sons onto salad consumption from an early stage was indeed a tasty dressing (we called it vinegar sauce). What worked revolved around white wine vinegar steeped with a couple of garlic cloves and some tarragon (fresh or dried) for a couple of weeks. Mixed at 6 EVO to 1 vinegar, and a little S&P, the result is a real winner on exactly the type of salad mix you describe.

      We make about a pint at a time which seems to last at room temperature in a closed jar for at least the week or so it takes to use up. After all, all the individual ingredients are stored unrefrigerated.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robin Joy

        you can make all kinds of flavored vinegar (I think champagne or white wine vinegar works best for keeping) but I don't hold flavored oils for more than a few days as these can spoil. You might try introducing your kids to a different vibrant taste set: Vietnamese salad dressing. 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
        60 ml (¼ cup) rice vinegar
        2 tbsp white sugar

        If they don't like heat, you can limit the chili. But they may like the sweet/sour taste.
        125ml (½ cup) water
        2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
        1 red birdseye chilli, finely chopped
        2 tbsp lime juice

        1. re: teezeetoo

          They would certainly like that, and I can cut back the heat slightly for the one who is still spicy-intolerant heh

      2. Fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

        1. Green Goddess and Caesar (both basically mayonnaise) keep well and can be tweaked sweeter as they like. Takes 2 minutes with the immersion blender.

          1. Use a whisk to beat up some store-bought may with some sugar or other sweetener for a minute, so the mayo loosens up. This is important for smoothness at the end. Stir in about a tsp of prepared horseradish (jar, usually in the dairy case for some reason) per 2 tbsp mayo. Then about twice as much chili sauce (the red glass jar, e.g. Heinz or del Monte, sold next to the ketchup. This is a sort of Russian dressing that can be pink or brick red depending on your preference. Like its components, it keeps in the fridge indefinitely.

            Costco sells Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing powder in a container about the same volume as their Tone spices canisters. You can mix it up with anything from yogurt to mayo to sour cream, and probably vinegar and water. I tend to use it on popcorn and in savory baking.

            2 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              Wow these are both excellent recommendations! Thanks I will be trying this!

              1. re: iheartcooking

                I substitute half Greek yogurt for whatever mayo or sour cream it calls for. Much lighter.

            2. I make a very similar dressing, minus the garlic.

              Another one I make often is lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper. The can blend it for an emulsified dressing.

              I've also made a (thick) coconut lime dressing. It lasts in the fridge and its delicious.

              Avocado "Caesar" is great too. No mayo.

              1. Oh, sesame miso dressing/dip is great too. Carrot ginger if they like that. (Great on purple cabbage)

                1. Look into a variety of nut oils and different vinegars, as well as different mustards.

                  Or go the creamy route with blue cheese dressing, or Caesar dressing, or yogurt...... really, the possibilities are endless.

                  1. This aptly named "magic sauce" really is......(!) she says it keeps a week to ten days but i've yet to have a batch last that long.....

                    And i love the dressing from this chow recipe- honestly i got tired of picking seeds from my teeth and often skip them....

                    1. I've kept vinaigrettes and creamy dressings (always have some yogurt ranch type) in the fridge for at least 2 weeks. There's usually enough acid to keep them fresh. If it smells ok I'll use it.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        I associate you with Realtor's buttermilk dressing which has become a mainstay in my house. Can't believe you didn't mention it here!


                        It is not sweet but most kids seem to love it and it can do double duty as a dip for carrot sticks if you want to use it up quicker.

                        1. re: tcamp

                          it is like ranch dressing, no?

                      2. Saw a segment on the Chew today for using up the last couple of inches of ketchup thats left in the squeeze bottle.
                        They added mayo and relish to the bottle and made Thousand Island dressing.

                        1. While we usually used a basic vinegar and olive oil dressing for salads, my children would eat most any vegetable with a buttermilk ranch dressing. I just made it up as I went along, but this recipe is pretty close: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/...

                          Since buttermilk is cultured like yogurt it is fine for keeping in the fridge for a week.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Springhaze2

                            Buttermilk keeps for months, as do dressings based on it.

                          2. My standard is what my family in France makes - a tablespoon of mustard, a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, and 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil. Tablespoon is a loose measurement for a medium wooden spoon. Add S & P.

                            It's been refined by some family members to use olive oil, various vinegars (tarragon, white wine, champagne, etc.), and adding a small amount of wheat germ to give it some body.

                            We vary it on oil (hazelnut, walnut, olive, etc.), vinegar (white, red, champagne, etc.), pepper (white, black, green, pink), but keep the same mustard (dijon). We vary the proportions on company - finacee and I prefer it a bit more bitey and vinegary, with guests we add more oil.

                            With that guide, we have hundreds of variations based on the basic mustard-vinegar-oil-S&P formula. As for keeping, we make it a used jam/jelly jar, make a half bottle full, and keep it for a week or so at room temp, there's no ingredients that can go bad.

                            1. I often keep this Greek dressing in the fridge. This is awesome for romaine / big chunky greek salads, but is also a great marinade for baked/grilled chicken breasts, or as a dressing for warm quinoa/grain salads. Here's the base recipe, but I usually double or triple it at least, so that I have some on hand:

                              - 1 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
                              - 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
                              - 4-6 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
                              - 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
                              - a couple generous pinches of salt (to taste)
                              - 10 or so grinds of black pepper (to taste)
                              - 1 generous pinch (~1 tsp) dried oregano

                              Combine red wine vingear & lemon juice together, add salt, pepper, & oregano, and steep crushed garlic cloves in this mixture. Let this sit for 10-15 mins. (Steeping longer is totally fine, I often leave the garlic in there if I'm making a big batch for the fridge.) Remove garlic if desired, then whisk in olive oil.

                              I've kept this in the fridge for many weeks. The olive oil will congeal from the cold, but just leave it out at room temp or warm it up for a few seconds in hot water/the microwave, whisk or shake it up, and it's good to go.

                              * Amount of oil depends on how I'm feeling, and also what it's being used for. Less oil for marinades / warm salads, more oil for cold greek salads.

                              1. Olive oil
                                pinch of salt and pepper
                                sometimes with sesame seeds

                                Simple but tastes good to me

                                1. there is a great one that is along the lines of a sweet and sour one -- for spinach salad is where i first had it.

                                  i add soy sauce and a touch of sesame oil to mine.

                                  1. I make the lemon poppy seed dressing that goes with "winter salad" which contains romaine, apples, pears, swiss cheeses, cashews and craisins. I slowly pour the oil in and it stays emulsified in the frig. My husbands next favorite is a Texas celery seed French dressing I found in an old self-published herb cookbook. It looks similar to celery seed dressing recipes on-line except it also contains ketchup. Again, stays emulsified in the frig.

                                    1. CH'er Roxlet has a wonderful Green Goddess dressing. For just two of us I made a half-recipe and used anchovie paste (1 tsp = 1 anchovie), not the whole anchovies. I used less than the recipe lists since commenters said this gets "more pungent" when stored. It kept well for a week, refrigerated. Her recipe is at this link http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9004...

                                      And this Lemon Caper dressing that April Bloomfield modified from one in the cookbook - A Girl and Her Pig is fabulous. http://food52.com/recipes/16940-april...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                        I love roxlet's green goddess and it's often in the fridge.

                                      2. Been experimenting with salad dressings on and off for a while.
                                        So far I haven't come up with anything I'd want to make a big batch of, but I've found that if I include some Claussen (Hearty garlic or "zesty") pickle juice in my concoctions they usually get a thumbs up.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                          I too am a devotee of Claussen pickles...Dill pickles. On occasion I drink the pickle juice once only the juice in the container. I have tried it as a salad dressing.

                                          1. re: ChiliDude

                                            I have to limit its usage for salad dressing so that I have enough to pickle eggs in or add to tuna salad.

                                          1. re: foodie06

                                            that arugula, goat cheese and fig vinaigrette is lovely!

                                          2. I've tried this one with great success. Usually keeps well (but I will never know because it doesn't last long).


                                            A couple of others:

                                            Fun (especially for kids): http://www.food.com/recipe/easy-taco-...

                                            This one keeps well: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cr...

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                              Seems like a lot of onion in the Benihana dressing. Do you make it as written? I'm going to try it

                                              1. re: cheesecake17

                                                I do it pretty much as written. We like it.

                                            2. I really like to make a dressing loosely based on the Greek recipe for Tzatziki dip: I just spoon out a generous amount of Greek yoghurt into my mixing bowl (about a cup), add a handful of mint leaves, finely chopped, one minced garlic clove, 1 heaped tsp dried oregano, a big pinch of celery salt and then equal quantities of lemon juice and red wine vinegar, added teaspoon by teaspoon until it is the tanginess and consistency that I am going for (i.e. pouring consistency). If you reach a level of acidity you're happy with but it seems too thick to be a dressing, add a splash of milk to loosen it up. This is so tasty on robust salads or stirred up with shredded veggies as a slaw :) Keeps for at least two weeks in the fridge but needs a shake before pouring!

                                              1. I make a version of Good Seasons dressing.
                                                1 packet GS
                                                red wine vinegar
                                                feta cheese
                                                sun dried tomatoes in evoo
                                                a jarred red bell pepper (if I have on hand)

                                                I blend it in the Vitamix and it holds for well over a week.
                                                I can also reduce the evoo quite a bit because it emulsifies so well in the blender.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: monavano

                                                  I love this idea. Will it work w/o the sundried tomatoes? And do you use the measurements in the packet ?

                                                  1. re: cheesecake17

                                                    I *really* wing it.
                                                    I think what's crucial is the feta, because it makes it creamy.
                                                    The sd tomatoes give depth, as do the roasted peppers.
                                                    I think what I change the most is just one thing, and that's reducing the evoo to save some calories. The blender emulsifies it so nicely and it thickens, so I can cut back on the oil a bit.
                                                    eta: today, I added a couple slices of pickled jalepeno and it adds a touch of heat, and more depth.
                                                    I love playing with these packets!

                                                    1. re: monavano

                                                      Thanks. I'm going to try it, without the sundried to tomatoes. Husband won't go near them

                                                2. If you have Trader Joe's, try their Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar, shaken with mustard, dried thyme, and a mild oil -- toasted walnut oil is my favorite. If you don't have TJs, try other fruit vinegars -- because they are mild, you can have a lower proportion of oil than usual, if that appeals to you.

                                                  I mainly use this dressing on a steak salad with lots of veggies (carrot curls, blanched green beans, avocado), but it's pretty versatile (simpler salads, or as a sauce on fish). http://www.chow.com/recipes/10381-she...

                                                  [I kind of have to brag that my copy of the above is from the original print Sep 2005 Chow magazine!]

                                                  1. I like putting a couple of tablespoons of mayo in my balsamic to make it milder and creamy. It tastes great with some herbes de Provence added. It lasts two weeks in the fridge (leave out the mustard.) It stays emulsified well.

                                                    I also make a blue cheese that is good for about two weeks. I use mayo, sour cream, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and half the blue cheese. Put it in the blender, and stir in the rest of the blue cheese at the end after it is blended. If it isn't thin enough, add heavy cream. I add have cream most of the time because it makes it so good. I have no recipe. I just make it. I think I use equal amounts of s cream and mayo, a bit of vinegar ( add more if it isn't tangy enough) and seasoning to taste. I generally add quarter cup of heavy cream, and I'm guessing 1/2 cup of blue cheese maybe?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. This very nice dill dressing from a church cookbook goes great with a broccoli/cauliflower/tomato/mushroom mix. Quantity is for 10 - 20 salad servings (using a full head of cauliflower, bunch of broccoli, 8 oz sliced mushrooms, pint tomatoes. 1/4 C. diced onion). Easy to make just a quarter recipe to see whether you like it.
                                                      Dill Salad Dressing
                                                      1 cup clear vinegar
                                                      1 cup canola or veg oil
                                                      4 tsp. dill weed
                                                      1 tsp. garlic powder
                                                      4 tsp. sugar
                                                      1 tsp. black pepper

                                                      1. This conversation is a perfect example of one I'd like to save/follow and would have hit STAR back before everything I reply to gets followed.