salad dressing

Salad Dressing Basics

Summer is in full swing here in New England. Markets are bursting with ripe fruits and vegetables, and salads are becoming a regular side dish or main meal on warm nights.

Making a tasty side salad is a simple way to get a few servings of vegetables into your day. Only 2 cups of leafy greens, like lettuce or spinach, is a full veggie serving! Most salads contain more than just the greens, but you can easily make greens stand out by adding a little bit of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon or vinegar (red wine or balsamic are two favorites), and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Voila! Your salad is ready!

Many of us keep a bottle or two of store-bought salad dressing in the refrigerator because it’s quick and easy. But did you know that making fresh dressing from scratch can be just as fast as making the salad itself? It’s true!

Most salad dressing starts with a basic vinaigrette, and specific flavors are created by adding additional ingredients. And when we say “basic vinaigrette”, we mean just that: every vinaigrette is one part acid (vinegar, lemon juice, etc. ) to three parts oil (canola, olive, etc.), and a little salt and pepper. Put it all into a jar with a lid, shake, and that’s it. You’re ready to dress those greens (or add it to our Apple Cranberry Salad or Chicken Berry Salad).

Of course, the dressings we are used to have a little more going on than good old oil and vinegar. We love the primer below as a starter guide. It lets you use your imagination and taste preferences; add as much or as little flavor as you like. Remember, every “part” is the same kind of measurement – like tablespoon or ¼ cup – so keep it consistent and you’re on your way to summer salad success.

salad dressingImage from Sous Vide Guys

Written by Adriene Worthington, RD, LDN

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