Shake Up Easy Dressings for Summer Salads

We’ve all been there. The pretty salad you’ve made is ready to go. Maybe you’ve thrown in a few veggies from your garden’s first harvest. You open the fridge only to discover your favorite bottled dressing is down to the last few drips.

But fear not – your pantry and fridge hold the ingredients for endless delicious salad dressing combinations, ready in minutes. Chances are it’ll be far more delicious than store bought. And best of all, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Grab a Jar. If you don’t feel like hauling out (and cleaning) the blender, just grab a wide-mouth jar with a tight-fitting lid. You can also whisk everything together in a large bowl.
  1. Learn the Math. The “rule” of salad dressings is easy to remember: a 1:3 ratio of vinegar to oil. Keep it simple when you’re starting out: one tablespoon of vinegar, three tablespoons of oil. Olive oil works well with balsamic vinegar, and neutral oils like canola or grapeseed play nicely with apple cider, white wine and rice vinegars. 
  1. Add Some Spice. Survey your fridge and spice rack. Add herbs and spices a half teaspoon at a time until you get the flavor profile you’re looking for. Add liquids and pastes such as honey, orange juice and mustard a tablespoon at a time.
    • Oregano, basil and garlic are great for going Italian.
    • Lemon pepper adds zip to any basic dressing.
    • Ground or fresh ginger, garlic and soy sauce will transport you right to Asia (especially if you have rice vinegar on hand).
    • Honey and Dijon mustard make a classic combo.
    • Orange juice and ginger make a sweet-tart-zingy pairing.
    • Want to go creamy? Add 2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, sour cream or plain yogurt. 

To make sure your creation is salad-ready, test a few drops on a piece of lettuce. Adjust seasonings as needed, then pour it on and dig in.