Summer salad season is here and to help you make the best dressed salads on the block, we’re sharing our top 5 all time favourite salad dressings. There is one for every type of salad you might like to make – and some of them even double as dips, marinades and sauces! And lets face it, salad goes down much better with a tasty dressing.
Our star cast of salad dressings includes:
- Creamy Mayonnaise
- Thai Dressing
- French Vinaigrette
- Ranch Dressing
- Green Dressing
The green dressing is a wonderful new take on green goddess dressing that is like a green smoothie for your salad. We know you’ll love them as much as we do. The classic French vinaigrette is our most used dressing and we’re giving you the magic “oil to vinegar” ratio and an easy way to remember it – no one wants to look up a recipe for vinaigrette right?
And now is the perfect time of the year to be using them. A couple of these in the fridge and all you have to do is grab some fresh greens from the garden, fling something on the BBQ and you’ve got dinner.
We’ve also given you oodles of variations so instead of our top 5 salad dressings you’re actually getting around 10 or 12 different dressings and uses for them. And if your gardens are anything like ours, the salad greens are hoofing away right now. Heading into holiday season we’re getting dressed up at every turn so why not our salads?
If your diary is filling up with festive holiday BBQ’s and parties, then a jar of one of these dressings also makes an easy and appreciated gift for the host. Make a double batch, one for you and one to give. Print them out the recipe to go with it! Happy holidays and salad munching. Here are the recipes:
Country Trading – Thai Dressing
This versatile dressing gives an Asian flavour to any salad. Use it on noodle salads with fresh coriander and chopped peanuts to serve. Add some diced fresh red chilli if you like a little heat. It also makes an excellent dipping sauce for Thai fish cakes, tempura battered veges or prawns. When the limes are ripe in late winter, make a large jar of it. It keeps in the fridge for a long time.
- ½ teaspoon palm sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
Whisk together all ingredients and toss through salad before serving. Great with grated carrot salad.
Country Trading – Green Dressing
This great dressing is so full of green it has to be good for you. It is like a green smoothie for your salad! And it is good for more than just salads – try it on new baby potatoes, tossed through pasta or as a dip for vege sticks. Substitute a ripe avocado for the cucumber if you want to make it creamier.
- ½ cup roughly chopped parsley – flat leaf is best
- ½ cup roughly chopped green herbs – chives, basil, mint, chervil are favourites.
- ½ cup white wine or cider vinegar
- 2 gherkins
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cucumber
- 4 leaves of silver beet or 1 cup of rocket
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Whizz all the herbs and veges in a food processor until blended then add the salt and oil and blend until smooth. This will keep for 1 week in the fridge.
Country Trading – Mayonnaise
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups rice bran or grape seed oil – Substitute ½ a cup of good olive oil for more flavor.
Whizz all the ingredients, except the oil, together. Add the oil in slowly and keep the food processor running until the mayo thickens. This will keep for 2 week in the fridge and can be used as the base for a lot different dressings.
- Add chopped dill and a shot of wasabi or horseradish for an accompaniment to smoked fish.
- Add chopped capers, gherkins, anchovy and parsley for a quick tartare sauce.
- Add squished roasted garlic for a quick aioli.
Country Trading – Classic Vinaigrette
Sometimes all you need is a simple dressing. The classic salad dressing is a French vinaigrette and knowing how to make it is a great asset to your dressing arsenal. The ratio is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil and whisk well. I prefer a more bitey, less oily mix and I remember it as 1 – 2 – 3 – I part vinegar, 2 parts oil and 3 minutes to make.
It is so simple that the quality of the oil and the vinegar shout out so don’t go cheap on either of them. If you’ve made some nice herb vinegars this is the dressing to show them off. I made a blueberry and basil vinegar last summer that makes a beautiful vinaigrette. Also a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a pinch of sea salt and a grind of black pepper is a nice mixture with loads of green herbs for a potato or pasta salad. But straight up, this is the dressing to use for any bowl of fresh washed salad leaves.
Country Trading – Ranch Dressing
Where would your Caesar salad be without a classic ranch dressing? Crumble blue cheese through this and use it on pear, walnut, fennel, apple, celery salads. Ranch is a thin dressing – use less buttermilk to make a thicker version. When you make your own butter, buttermilk is always to hand.
1 cup fresh buttermilk (culture is great for an extra tang)
2 cups thick mayonnaise
1 tablespoon cream
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons chopped fresh green herbs (tarragon, parsley, dill, chives)
½ teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard
½ clove fresh garlic, finely chopped
Whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise and cream together in a bowl until well combined. Blend in remaining ingredients and adjust seasonings to taste. Keep in the fridge in a glass jar and use within 7 days.