Super Salad Dressings

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably craving salads right about now. With all the excesses of the silly season, the desire for loads of fresh, crunchy veggies is strong. But the same salad day after day can get pretty boring. Changing the ingredients is one thing, but to take your salad to the next level, you need a tasty dressing. Not only does a dressing help your salad taste better, using a dressing with some oil or other fat in it will also help you to better absorb the nutrients in  your salad veggies.

So ditch the shop-bought dressing bottle (especially if it’s a “fat-free”one – some of those have some pretty questionable ingredients) and try one of my four favourite dressings to jazz up your salads this summer. They are all seriously easy – just dump all the ingredients in a jar, pop the lid on and shake!

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With these pantry staples you can make so many variations of delicious dressings

Each of these recipes will dress a large family-sized salad. Simply scale them up if you’d like to make more – with the exception of the avocado dressing, they all keep quite well in the fridge for about a week.

 

Apple Cider Vinegar, Dijon & Honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon (or 2 if you prefer) Dijon mustard

Salt & freshly ground pepper

 

Place all ingredients in a jar, put the lid on (tightly!!) and shake. Adjust amounts of ingredients to suit your tastes.

Best for: lighter salads, such as green salads with lighter lettuce leaves, like this side salad we had with grilled chicken for dinner one night recently, or the salmon salad pictured above:

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Balsamic, Maple & Mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (organic, preservative free if you can find it – for those in Australia, Woolworths sells a Macro Organic balsamic vinegar which is preservative free. It’s going in my trolley next time)

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon (or 2 if you prefer) seeded mustard (I like this sweet Bavarian mustard – reminds me of my time living in Germany)

Salt & freshly ground pepper

 

Place all ingredients in a jar, put the lid on (tightly!!) and shake. Adjust amounts of ingredients to suit your tastes.

Best for: more robust salads, such as rocket or spinach-based salads with darker leaves, or roasted vegetable salads, like this (rather messy) roasted veg and bean salad I had for lunch one day:

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Lemony Tahini

1 tablespoon tahini

2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt & pepper

 

Place all ingredients in a jar, put the lid on (tightly!!) and shake. Adjust amounts of ingredients to suit your tastes. This dressing will get quite thick, so add a drizzle of water to thin it to your desired pouring consistency.

Best for: slaw-type salads. I’ve been loving having this on kale slaw topped with hot-smoked salmon and pepitas – seriously tasty! It was also really good on a leftover roast lamb salad with crunchy roasted chickpeas. I’ve even mixed it with a little natural yoghurt and used it as a sauce to accompany roast chicken – delicious!

 

Creamy Avocado & Coriander

OK – I know coriander is polarising, but it really is delicious in this dressing. If you really really hate coriander, you could probably leave it out, or switch for parsley instead.

(Recipe adapted from here: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-swiss-chard-slaw-with-creamy-avocado-dressing-224496)

 

1 medium avocado
1/2 cup fresh coriander
1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt & pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender, then blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You may need to add more water to make it a more pourable consistency.

Best for: slaw-type salads. We tried this first with a rainbow chard and carrot salad to go in pulled pork wraps and it was delicious!

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So there you have it – four simple but tasty dressings to make your salads sing this summer. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

 

 

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