DressingsPlease see variations and add-ons. I get asked to put up recipes with specific ingredients in them. I do try my best to put variations down the bottom most times for alternatives others may like who haven’t asked. I don’t put much dressings on salads myself as I like the taste of the veg more than anything drizzled over it.

The antioxidant content and high proportion of mono-unsaturated fat that occur naturally in olive oil have been proven to help prevent common life-threatening conditions aggravated by saturated fat, including coronary disease. Swapping 2 tablespoons of olive oil every day for saturated fat can protect your heart by lowering ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.
Extra virgin varieties also contain a plant chemical called non-lethal, which was recently shown to be a natural anti-inflammatory.

Choosing oils from a single country. A North American Olive Oil Association or California Olive Oil Council seal certifies extra virgin grade. The latter ensures a low 0.5 percent fatty acid content, indicating fresher oil and more antioxidants. Check pressing dates; most stay fresh two years. Store in dark glass bottles in a cool, dark place. Cook with standard oils—save premium oils for dressing salads, dipping bread, or finishing cooked dishes.

Basic Italian Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil/nut oil
  • 1 Tbsp aged red wine vinegar, or more to taste at the end
  • 1 fresh clove of fresh garlic finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp of freshly chopped continental parsley
  • pinch of sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the oil and garlic in your blender for just a couple of seconds.
  2. Gradually add in the vinegar to taste, and then season, and stir in the parsley.

Italian Style Herb Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil/nut oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp agave nectar, honey, or sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions

  • In a small container with a lid, combine all ingredients and shake together.
  • Serve.

Notes

  • This dressing gets even better with time as the flavours from the garlic and herbs permeate into the olive oil.

Asian Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dry pectin
  • 2 Tbls. distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring all ingredients to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove from heat, cool, cover, and refrigerate up to 6 weeks.

Another Italian Style Herb Dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil/nut oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

Directions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight lid.
  • Shake the jar well and let stand for one hour at room temperature, then chill.
  • Shake well before serving.

Vegan Tahini Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  • Add all the ingredients, except for the oil to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.
  • Slowly add oil until well mixed.
  • Dressing will be thick (add a bit more water to get the desired consistency).

Berry Vinaigrette Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen (you can try different berries for different flavours)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup nut oil/extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  • Add all ingredients, except oil to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Slowly add oil until well combined.

Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • dash salt (optional)

Directions

  • Place all ingredients except oil in a blender or food processor.
  • Turn the machine on, and slowly add the oil, processing until dressing is smooth and creamy.

Variations

  • Juices such as apple cider, pineapple juice or orange juice provide plenty of flavour to salad dressing. Combined with vinegar, they make sweet-tart dressings suitable for salad greens or fruit salad.
  • Combine 2 cups of juice with 0.25 cup of vinegar. Choose a vinegar that complements the juice, such as apple cider vinegar for apple cider or champagne vinegar for orange juice. A tablespoon of honey adds a more luxurious mouth feel and flavour. Use vegetable broth to make a savoury dressing with vinegar, mustard, fresh herbs and other aromatics
  • Use can also use veg sour cream/yoghurt as the base of your dressing. Thin the sour cream or yoghurt with buttermilk substitute. Add chopped shallots, fresh herbs, lemon juice, a pinch of sugar and a spoonful of mustard for flavour. Veg Milk products make a salad dressing creamy, similar to an emulsified vinaigrette made with olive oil and egg yolks or mustard, which are emulsifiers. Non-fat sour cream, yoghurt and buttermilk give salad dressing a tart taste that makes the taste of herbs and other seasoning’s stand out.
  • Choose a flavourful vinegar, such as apple cider, tarragon, balsamic, champagne, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or raspberry vinegar, to match the other ingredients in the salad dressing and the ingredients in the salad. If the dressing has enough flavour, you won’t notice the lack of olive oil. Lemon juice and lemon zest add a pleasant sharpness to dressing.
  • Make your own raspberry vinegar by putting fresh raspberries in a small glass jar. Cover them with white vinegar and then put on a lid. Store the mixture in a cool cupboard for a few days, then strain the vinegar and discard the solids. Keep the raspberry vinegar in your refrigerator.
  • Pectin (plant based) and other thickeners made from seaweed can be used to make salad dressing creamier and thicker. Cook the pectin with water and the flavour ingredients until it thickens, and then allow it to cool before using it.
  • For instance, combine 2 1/2 cups of water with 1/3 cup dry pectin, and flavour the mixture with sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, pepper and fresh ginger. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly, and then allow it to cool. Garnish this salad dressing with fresh coriander leaves, and use it in Asian-style salads.
  • Instead of oil and vinegar in salad dressings, try using only the vinegar. Vinegar comes in numerous types and flavours, including red wine, balsamic, apple cider and tarragon vinegar. Add spices for extra flavour, such as pepper, rosemary, garlic, onion and basil.
  • Citrus adds excitement to an otherwise dull salad. Simply squeeze a fresh lemon, lime and/or orange over your salad. Once again, you can add spices to add extra flavour. Complementary flavours include lemon with pepper, lime with cilantro and orange with poppy seeds. You could also make sauces made with other varieties of fruit, such as a mango chutney or raspberry vinaigrette made with vinegar and no oil.
  • Try mixing Dijon mustard with wine vinegar, dill and honey to drizzle on your salad.
  • Try onion, garlic, tarragon, thyme, rosemary and other flavourful herbs. You can use them by themselves or add them to any kind of dressing.