I know, I know…come to the vegetarian’s blog and find a post about salads and salad dressing. How boring and predictable. Except it’s not all that boring and it’s going to make your salads taste really good. Promise.
I’m not one to make salads with a lot of ingredients and then drown it in dressing. I like to be able to taste the greens, to really enjoy the flavors. This time of year is great for growing some of your own salad greens. They thrive in the cool, spring weather. I’m planning to get my seeds in this week. I never realize how bland store bought greens are til I have some from the farmer’s market or fresh from the garden. There is such a difference.
After a bad experience with some store bought salad dressing and MSG a few years ago I started making my own. It’s really very simple. It takes just a few ingredients to make a great dressing.
I generally have a couple that I like to have on hand each week, those are the two I’ll share with you today. I also have a killer ranch dressing recipe (my kids LOVE), but that’s another post.
Vinaigrette for Simple Green Salad
adapted from Ina Garten
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced, fresh garlic
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
Place all your ingredients in a small mason jar. Tightly screw on the lid and shake well. Use a lettuce leaf to test for flavor and adjust as needed.
I generally put this vinaigrette on a simple, mixed green salad adding some fresh parsley and chives as well as a few sunflower seeds for crunch. Season with a bit of salt and pepper before topping with the vinaigrette.
The other dressing I like to make is a bit sweeter with apple cider vinegar and maple syrup for flavor. And yes, I use real maple syrup, it is more expensive, but there is a big difference in flavor.
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
kosher salt and pepper
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Just as before…place all your ingredients in a small mason jar. Tightly screw on the lid and shake well. Use a lettuce leaf to test for flavor and adjust as needed.
This dressing is great with a mixed green salad with some baby spinach, a handful of walnuts and dried cranberries. It’s also really delicious on a salad with roasted beets and baby mixed greens.
See? That wasn’t so boring, was it? There are infinite possibilities when making your own salads and dressings, just a matter of balancing the flavors you love. A little sweetness, a bit of acid/vinegar, the right seasoning and you have a great compliment to your already beautiful green salad. Enjoy!