My local grocery store has about twelve linear feet, shelf upon shelf, dedicated to nothing but salad dressing. If you’ve stepped foot inside a supermarket recently, you’ve probably walked past a similar display without giving it a thought. Thousand Island, Italian, French, Ranch – you name it, they’ve got it, ready to use and probably laced with an unpronounceable ingredient or two. A few brands come in glass, but most are sold in plastic bottles. Plastic bottles that we buy fully intending to add them to the waste stream. (Doesn’t that just make you wonder how we came to this??) Sure, maybe you’ll recycle, but that still requires fossil fuels for transportation and the reclamation process.
It’s just one more habit that’s been ingrained in us over years. Many of us don’t even think twice about buying something we could so easily make at home!
Just imagine how many bottles of dressing one store must sell in a day. It’s kind of mind-boggling, really. Especially when making salad dressing is such easy thing to do. I think Breaking the habit of buying salad dressing is probably harder than actually making it. So, first step: next time you find yourself ogling the vast array of options, step back and think about the waste and the fact that you are fully capable of making a lovely salad dressing at home for much less than you’d pay for one of those bottles.
Next, start trying recipes to see what you like. By far the easiest way to dress a salad is with vinegar and oil. Bring a pretty container of each to the table and let each diner pour on the amount they’d like. Easy, peasy – but not always what salad eaters are after. Personally, I like a bit more oomph.
- 3/4 olive oil
- 1/4 cup vinegar (I’ve used red or white wine vinegar)
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Tablespoons sour cream
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a glass jar. Tighten the lid and shake vigorously until ingredients are well blended. Ta-da! You’re ready to dress your salad.
Creamy Radish Leaf Salad Dressing
- Greens from one bunch of radishes (about 1 cup)
- 1 clove garlic
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Whir all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Serve with salad or as a veggie dip.
If you’ve got radishes aplenty, you might also want to try making radish leaf pesto.
More salad dressing recipes to try:
- Strawberry vinaigrette from Grow a Good Life
- Balsamic vinaigrette from Grow Forage Cook Ferment
- Pine needle salad dressing from Learning and Yearning
- Mustard seed vinaigrette from My Kids Eat Squid
- Hemp Caesar salad dressing from Family Food Garden
- Mason jar Italian salad dressing from Grow a Good Life
- Summer salad dressings (three!) from Homespun Seasonal Living
- Mustard (no seeds!) vinaigrette from Good. Food. Stories.
- Honey chipotle vinaigrette from The Organic Kitchen
- Homemade ranch from The 104 Homestead
- Honey mustard salad dressing from Learning and Yearning
- Pomegranate salad dressing from Words to Eat By
- Blue Cheese dressing from Grow Forage Cook Ferment
- Thousand Island dressing from Alton Brown
- Blue cheese salad dressing from Domestic Superhero
- Goat cheese mint dressing from Homespun Seasonal Living
- Chive vinaigrette from Grow a Good Life
- Five summer salad dressings from The Organic Kitchen
- Poppy seed yogurt dressing from Creative Green Living
- Sesame ginger dressing from Health Starts in the Kitchen
- Avocado grapefruit dressing from Delicious Balance
- Cool cucumber ranch dressing from jarOhoney
- Creamy herb salad dressing from Recipes to Nourish
- Balsamic mustard dressing from Live Simply
- Greek vinaigrette from Little Broken
- Cilantro lime ranch dressing from Family Fresh Meals
- Sweet and spicy mango salad dressing from The Cafe Sucre Farine
- Green goddess dressing from 100 Days of Real Food
- Lemon bruschetta salad dressing from Lauren Greutman