10 Salad dressings you need to try

Helen Best-Shaw

Continue your healthy-eating this summer, with these delicious salad dressings

Summer means salads, and salad means salad dressings. A simple vinaigrette is easy, tasty, and liked by most but it cannot be said that it’s the most inspiring way to dress a salad. Here are some recipes for salad dressings that are most definitely not just another vinaigrette.

My top tips for salads are to wash the leaves thoroughly, dry them in a salad spinner, and only dress the salad at the last minute, otherwise you’ll have a wilted and very dispiriting offering. I find that the best way to make sure the salad is properly dressed is to dress it in a large bowl and use my hands, really get in there and make sure each leaf is coated evenly. If I want to serve it in a nicer bowl, I transfer it after dressing.

 

Tahini Dressing

Tahini, if you haven’t come across it, is sesame seed paste widely used in Middle Eastern cookery; most commonly in hummus. Once you start using it, you’ll find all sorts of places where a dollop really adds an extra something to your cooking. This tahini dressing is extremely versatile, with seven different variations.

 

5 Fruity Vegan Salad Dressings

I love fruit in salad, and here’s a great new way to enjoy that flavour contrasts. Yes, these dressings are based around vinaigrette, but they pack a real flavour punch. These fruity dressings keep well in the fridge and are a lovely gift to take along to a BBQ or summer lunch party—made in under five minutes, poured into a sterilised bottle and tied with a pretty label round the neck.

 

A Quick & Easy 5-Minute Sour Cream Salad Dressing

An easy five-minute sour cream salad dressing that’s simple to pull together from store cupboard ingredients and keeps well in the fridge. The sour cream lends a tangy, creamy edge to the dressing, but could be replaced with crème fraîche, mayonnaise and even yoghurt if desired.

 

Healthy & Vegan Green Goddess Dressing

This green herb packed dressing is a brilliant way to use up those half packets and bunches of herbs sitting in the salad drawer. It’s endlessly adaptable—just use any green, leafy herbs. This healthy vegan version of the original green goddess dressing from 1923 cuts out the mayonnaise and sour cream and concentrates on the flavour of the herbs, enhanced by miso, lemon and tamari.

 

Oil-Free Strawberry Vinaigrette

Strawberries and balsamic vinegar are a wonderful combination: if you haven’t tried drizzling a little quality balsamic oil on the fruit before, then you’re in for a treat. This recipe combines these flavours using a blender to make a thick and tasty dressing without using any oil.

 

Creamy Jalapeno Cilantro Dressing

Now for a dressing with a hint of heat from jalapeno peppers. The heat is offset by cool sour cream or Greek yogurt, with added flavour from cilantro, (known on this side of the Atlantic as coriander.)

 

Homemade Zesty Italian Dressing Recipe

Yes, this is another vinaigrette-based dressing, but it’s much more flavourful than a simple oil and vinegar mixture. This zesty Italian dressing is perfect for a summer garden salad that’s easy to make and you'll probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.

 

Blue Cheese Salad Dressing

Blue cheese dressing is an American classic. Rather than buy a bottle, here’s one to make at home, using mayonnaise, sour cream and your favourite blue cheese. It’s great on a green salad.

 

Arugula Beans Salad with Avocado Dressing

This salad recipe includes instructions for a creamy dressing made with avocado, lemon, and Greek yogurt—far healthier than plain mayonnaise. Store in a jar with a good lid and keep refrigerated up to a few days, and use it on sandwiches and as a spread for toast.

 

Italian Pesto Salad Dressing – Perfect with Pizza

This dressing is given a basil kick with the addition of a spoonful of pesto in addition to citrus flavours from a good squeeze of lemon juice. If you store your pesto in the freezer, the oil stops it from freezing solid so it’s easy to use a spoonful whenever you want. Here, it’s a simple way of adding tasty Italian flavours to this quick and easy dressing.

 

Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over 10 years.

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