The Spanish way of dressing a salad is to drizzle a bit of oil and vinegar over the top of your own salad just before eating. The salads are brought to the table naked.
The French way of dressing a salad is to put a dab of Dijon mustard in the bottom of a salad bowl; add a dash of vinegar, a bit of salt and whisk in some olive oil. Put the lettuce on top and toss just before serving.
The American way of dressing a salad is to….
We won’t go there.
The British way is the American way.
We won’t go there, either.
The display of salad dressings in a typical American supermarket is mind-boggling. Not only is there every conceivable type and variation of salad dressings and vinaigrettes known to woman, but each and every one comes in Regular, Light, and Non-Fat or ‘Free’.
‘Free’ of what?’ is always my question.
It’s certainly not Free of unpronounceable ingredients.
Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on a bottle of commercial
Here is, to me, the real conundrum:
A serving of 2 tbs of a brand-name non-fat Ranch dressing has about the same amount of calories as a serving of 2 tbs of my Creamy Mustard Yogurt Dressing (recipe below).
BUT (it’s a big but) mine has all natural ingredients, heart-healthy fat from olive oil, calcium from yogurt AND you’ll use less because it isn’t such a thick glop and it packs a bigger flavor punch.
It takes about a minute to make and keeps for a week in the fridge.
Here are five of my favorite ways to dress a salad – I’m just giving the recipe ingredients; the method is always the same:
bowl. Whisk well to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive or other oil,
whisking constantly, until it emulsifies or thickens.
If it’s a yogurt based dressing this will come together quickly. If it’s not, you
may have to stop adding the oil and just whisk for a few seconds from
time to time…. you’re adding the oil too fast.
When the dressing is thick, add the chopped herbs, shallots, etc.
All of the dressings / vinaigrettes will keep for several days up to a week in the fridge.
Creamy Mustard Yogurt Dressing
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
2 tbs whole grain mustard
1 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs snipped chives
1 tbs snipped basil
Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
1 1/2 tbs honey
1 1/2 tbs course grain mustard
1 1/2 tbs lemon juice
4 tbs good olive oil
2 tbs ketchup
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
3 tbs good olive oil
Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tbs Balsamic wine vinegar
5 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs freshly snipped chives
1 tbs freshly snipped basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
Oriental Vinaigrette (lo cal)
2 tbs brown sugar, unpacked
2 1/2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs parsley – dried or fresh
1 tbs water
2 tsp oil – sesame or walnut is best
2 tsp soy sauce
And here’s a favorite salad with one more variation – and one thing I for got to mention:
Always add a bit of dressing to just the lettuce and toss very well to coat. Then add the rest of the ingredients and a bit more dressing. That helps to control the urge to use too much dressing.
Kitchen Garden Salad with Thousand Island Dressing
1 carrot, shredded or julienned
1/2 cup radishes, sliced
1 small bulb fennel, sliced
2oz (60gr) white cheddar cheese, cubed
4oz (125gr) ham, cubed
2 eggs, hard cooked, peeled and roughly chopped
handful basil leaves, torn or left whole
spring greens for 2 main course salads
Thousand Island Dressing
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbs ketchup
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbs capers, chopped
1 tbs fresh chives, snipped
2 tbs good olive oil
Put the salad greens and basil in a large bowl, Add 2 tbs of the dressing and toss well to coat. Add radishes, carrot, fennel and ham, another tbs of dressing and toss well. Top with egg and cheese, drizzle another tbs dressing over the top and serve, additional dressing on the side.
Go forth and Eat Real!