How to make your own salad dressings
A drizzle of salad dressing can bring leafy dishes to life. Whether you go for something with a spicy twist or stick with a more classic condiment choice, here are some delicious salad dressing recipes you can whip up in no time. And why not bring them to the table in style with our classy and convenient oil pourer?
What is a salad dressing?
Fresh, vitamin-rich salads are a great way to give your meals a healthy boost. However, the thought of a plain salad isn’t always the most enticing.
But don’t worry, the right kind of dressing can bring a new dimension to your salad dishes. Not only does a sauce introduce another texture to the meal, but it can also pack in some punchy flavours. What’s more, salad dressings can be healthy, too.
Many pre-made dressings in supermarkets contain artificial flavours and preservatives and high levels of salt and sugar. Homemade sauces and dressings give you more control over the ingredients so you can be sure your salads are packed with nutrition and free from nasties.
What are the basic components of a salad dressing?
Some salad dressings have a thick creamy consistency, while others are vinaigrettes with a higher liquid content. When poured over salads — whether a classic Caesar or a colourful Greek salad — a dressing can enhance the flavours of the other ingredients.
Creamy dressings often start with mayonnaise, yoghurt, or cream. In contrast, vinaigrette salad dressings begin with a base of oil and vinegar, blended into an emulsion. The addition of herbs and spices, and juice from citrus fruits can create varied tastes and textures.
Once you’ve learned the fundamental elements of how to make a salad dressing, you can experiment with flavours and come up with exciting bespoke concoctions.
You’ve washed and drained your crisp iceberg lettuce, and now it’s just begging for a delicious lashing of French dressing.
This classic condiment blends Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. You can either whisk it together in a bowl or give it a good shake in a jam jar. Add a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper to season. It’ll be good to go on a house salad and can complement some crunchy croutons.
For the ultimate smooth and consistent blend, you can mix your French dressing up with our easy-to-use Salad Dressing Shaker. The shaking is a crucial part of the process! The oil and vinegar tend to separate unless you blend them into an emulsion.
It’s also a helpful idea to look for a dressing shaker with measurement markings so you can pour your ingredients straight in.
Honey and mustard
The perfect combination of sweetness and heat. Honey and mustard dressing is a versatile sauce for all sorts of dishes. It works particularly well in chicken salads or veggie options containing avocado. As well as adding a great flavour to salads, you can use honey and mustard for marinating meat, too.
All you need to make a peppery yet sweet honey and mustard dressing is a mixture of 2 tsp of wholegrain mustard, 2 tsp honey and the juice of 1 lemon. Slowly pour in 6 tbsp of olive oil, stirring as you go. Then season with salt and pepper.
Chilli and lime
Are you looking to add a tangy, spicy kick to your salad? A chilli and lime dressing is an excellent addition to any salad with a Mexican influence. Whether you’re eating your dish on a bed of lettuce or scooping it into tacos, you can incorporate some zesty flavours into a mixed bean salad.
This chilli and lime salad dressing recipe combines olive oil, fresh lime juice, chilli powder and finely chopped garlic for a fusion of fresh, summery flavours. A pinch of Himalayan salt will enhance them even more (plus, Himalayan rock salt is considered a healthier alternative to table salt).
Pop all the ingredients in a jar or dressing shaker, and you’ll have a speedy dressing you can either prepare in advance or mix as you go.
For something a little cooler, try mixing up a batch of tahini. The savoury sesame-based sauce pairs beautifully with Middle Eastern salads and prevents falafels from tasting too dry.
It’s also quick and easy to make. You’ll need 2 tbsp of tahini, the juice of 1 lemon, and 6 tbsp water. Whisk the ingredients together, then season with salt and pepper.
If you want an extra bit of texture, why not use our adjustable mills to achieve a coarse grind for your salt and pepper?
Greek yoghurt ranch dressing
If you fancy a creamy salad dressing but want to avoid overloading on the mayo, why not try making a ranch dressing with a Greek yoghurt base? The yoghurt will give you a nice protein boost as well as yielding a rich, satisfying texture.
Mixing the Greek yoghurt with lemon juice, garlic powder, and onion powder will give you a smooth consistency. You can then add either fresh or dried dill and a pinch of salt. If the mixture is too thick, you can thin it with a dash of water.
With its strong acidic flavour, balsamic vinegar makes a great addition to any salad on its own. However, it blends beautifully with olive oil and dijon mustard to create a delightful balsamic vinaigrette. If you like, you can add a teaspoon of honey to balance out the tart flavour, and a pinch of salt will tie all the components together.
Storing your homemade salad dressings
If you’ve been wondering how to make salad dressing at home, we hope this list has given you a few ideas. But how should you store your creative condiments?
Our glass or ceramic oil pourer with a lid is the best way to store oil-based salad dressings in the fridge.
If your dressing contains a lot of oil, you may notice it solidifies or separates when refrigerated. It can be helpful to take oil-based vinaigrettes out before each use so they can get to room temperature. Give them another gentle shake, and they should be good to go! Shop our full range of oil pourers today.