Salad Dressings from Scratch

I seldom buy "bottled" dressings, and for years have clipped homemade dressings from magazines or newspapers, copied ingredients seen on TV and/or traded recipes with friends.  

For very little money it's easy to have a variety of gourmet dressings available with no preservatives! 

We have a salad nearly every night, so being able to serve different dressings keeps them from becoming "boring."  As it's been said  "variety is the spice of life."  Some dressings serve a dual purposes by using as marinades and/or sauces.

Most recipes simply call for vinegar or lemon juice, oil, and spices. Once you discover the ease of making and the fresh taste, you'll want to use different types of vinegars and several oils.  Most often I use either canola or olive oil, white vinegar, red wine vinegar, or bottled lemon juice.


Dijon Dressing
1 Tab. Dijon mustard
3 Tabs. white vinegar
2 Tabs. lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 clove of minced garlic
1/4 tsp. salt, then pepper to taste
 Whisk all together until slightly thickened and creamy.  Makes about 3/4 cup. Store extra in refrigerator.

Honey Dijon Dressing
2 Tabs. Honey
2 Tabs. white vinegar
Heat in small pan until honey is dissolved.
 Whisk in 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 Tab. parsley and 1/4 cup oil.  (optional tsp. of celery seed, tsp. finely chopped onion.  I usually double this recipe and store extra in refrigerator.

Lemon Sauce/Dressing
1 egg at room temperature
2 tsps. Dijon mustard
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons) or bottled
2 tsps. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Place egg, mustard, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in food processor until smooth.
With processor running, slowly pour olive oil in and process until thick.  Add 1/2 cup grated Parmesan and mix in. Store in jar in refrigerator. Makes about 2 cups. Can be used cold for spinach leaf salad or spring mix lettuce salad; or warmed as sauce on fish, shrimp or veggies such as green beans, asparagus, peas. It's like having hollandaise sauce/dressing on hand whenever you need it.

Sweet Sour French Dressing
2/3 cup ketchup
2/3 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
 Combine all ingredients in a jar with lid and shake well to blend.  Refrigerate.

Caesar Salad Dressing
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tab. dijon mustard
2 tsps. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tab. mayonnaise
Several dashes of hot pepper sauce to taste
1 cup olive oil
4 mashed anchovy fillets
Whisk first 5 ingredients together until blended; add mashed anchovies, then slowly whisk in oil. Serve with romaine lettuce, croutons and shaved parmesan cheese.

Sweetn' Sour Wilted Spinach Dressing or Sauce for Veggies
5 slices chopped bacon
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 medium onion diced
3/4 cup sugar (I use Splenda)
1 chicken bullion cube
1/2 cup cold water, mixed with 1/8 cup cornstarch

Cook chopped bacon, fry until crisp and drain off fat. Add diced onion and saute until
transparent. Add water, vinegar, sugar bullion and salt. Bring to a boil. Add cornstarch mixture.
Simmer for 5 minutes. Store in jar in refrigerator.

To serve take what you need and heat. May thin, if needed, with water. Pour and toss over
romaine lettuce, or baby leaf spinach. Also good on green beans, or mix veggies. Optional:
chopped hard boiled eggs good with spinach salad and a few halved cherry tomatoes for added
color. Make about 3 cups.

Poppy Seed Dressing
4 Tabs. honey
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 Tab. lemon juice
2 tsp. vinegar of choice
1/2  cup oil of choice
2 tsp. poppy seeds
Blend all ingredients except poppy seeds and oil, then slowly add oil, and stir in seeds last. Makes 2/3 cup. Refrigerate in jar.

Creamy Italian Salad Dressing
1/2 cup  olive oil
1/4 cup. red wine vinegar
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
Tabs. grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp.dried Italian herb blend
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together in a bowl or blend all ingredients in a food processor. Store refrigerated in covered jar.  Makes about a cup.