Salad Dressings

Summer is here, and our gardens are producing beautiful fresh vegetables! Dress up your salads (or roasted veggies, or fish, or steak…) with some classic salad dressings – homemade, with no corn syrup or preservatives. We have three easy classics here, which you can change to your liking, or depending on what fresh herbs you have or, what kind of citrus or vinegar or oil you have in your pantry…

Salad Dressing


To make a vinaigrette, you need two things – oil and some kind of acid, such as vinegar or lemon juice. That’s the base, and it’s technically a vinaigrette, but adding sugar, salt and pepper, and some herbs will make it even better! And always do a taste test – you may prefer a little more sweetener, or other ingredient.

Shake it up in a tightly closed container before use, and keep refrigerated.

Basic Vinaigrette (use a ratio of 3:1 for best flavor)

¾ C Oil 

¼ C Acid


Here’s one of my favorites:

¾ C Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ C Fresh Lemon Juice

1 ea Fresh Garlic Clove, minced

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

½ tsp Sugar

¼ tsp Salt

¼ tsp Pepper


And my favorite variation:

¾ C Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ C Fresh Orange Juice

1 ea Fresh Garlic Clove, minced

½ tsp Dijon Mustard

½ tsp Maple Syrup

¼ tsp   Salt

¼ tsp Pepper


Notice that they are almost identical, but I changed up the acid and the sweetener (and cut the mustard a little), and voilà – a completely different flavor profile! You can also add fresh or dried herbs if you’d like. The top recipe is also great with sherry vinegar instead of lemon juice, but go ahead and try some different ideas of your own! 


Creamy Ranch Dressing

½ C Buttermilk

½ C Mayonnaise

½ C Sour Cream

3 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1 tsp Dried Dill

½ tsp Dried Parsley

½ tsp Dried Chives

½ tsp Garlic Powder

¼ tsp Onion Powder

¼ tsp Salt

¼ tsp Black Pepper


Mix all together in an airtight container, and keep refrigerated.

You can use fresh herbs and garlic for this recipe, of course, but you will have to use a little more of each. 


Blue Cheese Vinaigrette (if you don’t like blue cheese, try feta!)

¾ C Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ C Sherry Vinegar 

1 ea Garlic Clove, minced

2 tsp Sugar

Shake or 2 of Tabasco (optional)

4-6oz Crumbly Blue Cheese 


Mix all ingredients in a tightly covered container. Keep refrigerated.


Creamy Dressings

To make a vinaigrette into a creamy dressing, you can add mayonnaise and/or a little sour cream or buttermilk. For a thicker dressing use mayo. Keep in mind mayo and buttermilk will add a salty flavor, whereas sour cream will dilute the saltiness, so adjust your salt accordingly.

Creamy Salad

Mixing & Storage

If you like a very emulsified dressing, mix all ingredients except the oil, then drizzle in the oil while mixing vigorously. (You can use a blender, food processor, or hand mixer for best results. Otherwise, just shaking the jar vigorously before using will pretty much do the same thing. BTW, mustard helps to keep your dressing emulsified.)

Keep your dressings in the fridge when not in use, and they should last at least a week. Be aware that using fresh citrus and dairy will give your dressing a shorter shelf life – but it’s worth it for the flavor!