Various Salad Dressings

From Tasting Table Kitchens and Food 52

Various Salad Dressings

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  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • Basic Vinaigrette:

  • 4

    tbsp olive oil + 3 tsp red wine vinegar + thinly sliced shallots + 1 tsp Dijon mustard + ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

  • Sweet Vinaigrette:

  • 3

    tbsp olive oil + 4 tbsp sherry vinegar + 1 garlic clove, smashed + 2 tbsp honey + ½ tsp orange zest + 2 tsp poppy seeds

  • Thick & Creamy Vinaigrette:

  • 4

    tbsp olive oil + 2 tbsp lemon juice + 2 tbsp tahini + 2 tsp water + 2 tbsp fresh dill + ¼ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and crushed

  • Spicy Vinaigrette:

  • ½

    tsp sesame oil + 2 tbsp lime juice + 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar + 2 tbsp fish sauce + ¼ c cashews, toasted and chopped + 1 Thai chile, thinly sliced


Basic Vinaigrette: Consider this your basic dressing for pretty much any sort of green. Adjust the Dijon mustard to your level of spice preference, but be sure to use coarsely—never finely—ground pepper. If you have chives in the fridge, chop them up and add them in at the last minute for extra oniony flavor. Sweet Vinaigrette: Dice the garlic as finely as you can, or mash it in a mortar and pestle if you feel so inclined, so that it doesn't overpower. As for the orange zest, one swipe of the grater does the trick. The sweetness of the sherry works as a great balance to smokier flavors, so use this dressing on a chicory salad, grilled greens or bitter vegetables. Thick and Creamy Vinaigrette: Tahini errs on the thicker side, so put a little muscle into mixing it before you add the rest of the ingredients. Try this version atop watercress or toss it with still-warm roasted vegetables, such as carrots and eggplant. Spicy Vinaigrette: Chopped cashews lend texture to this Southeast Asian-flavored dressing, while the chile adds a kick at the end. We like to cut up a papaya or mango and toss it with this recipe before setting it atop an herb salad of mint and cilantro. It also works well as a dipping sauce for fried fish. TT tip: You can usually find cashews already toasted. If not, toast them at 350° for eight to 10 minutes. From Food 52: Herbacious and Bright: What it's delicious with: Peppery greens like arugula, soft-boiled eggs, bread How to Make It: To make dressing, stick 1 cup torn basil leaves, 1/4 cup olive oil, juice of a small lemon, 1/2 cup cooked white beans, 2 large cloves garlic, and salt to taste in a food processor or blender and blend until it's smooth and dressing-y. For a thinner situation—or if you’re using a milder green in the salad—add a small spoonful of water to the mix. Vinegary: What it's delicious with: Radicchio, napa cabbage, endive How to Make It: Pulse 1 small clove garlic, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 cup sour dough bread, torn into small pieces, and 2 tablespoons of water in a blender to combine; let sit 5 minutes to soften the bread. With the motor running, gradually add 1/3 cup olive oil; blend until smooth (the bread will blend into the dressing, thickening and flavoring it, while retaining some texture), about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Creamy and Substantial: What it's delicious with: Endive, any sturdy-leafed green like chard or kale, bacon pieces How to Make It: In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons sour cream. Stir in 1 teaspoon minced shallot, 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup buttermilk that's been shaken vigorously. Next, whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (until dressing reaches desired thickness) and a splash of sherry vinegar. Finally, fold in 2 tablespoons each minced parsley and chives, 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, and black pepper to taste. Cover bowl and set dressing in the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes, but preferably overnight. Recipe makes approximately 1 cup. Citrusy: What it's delicious with: Apples, grapefruit and other citrus, butter lettuce How to Make It: To prepare dressing, combine 2 limes, peeled and piths removed, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, and 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar in the pitcher of a blender. Pulse to break down limes, scrape the sides, then turn blender to low. Slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup olive oil, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add a pinch or two of sea salt, as needed. Asian Inspired: What it's delicious with: Rice bowls and fried rice, radishes, tofu How to Make It: To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup lime juice, 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk, and 1 tablespoon palm sugar in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Add the zest of 1 lime, 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemongrass, 1/2 a seeded and minced serrano pepper, 1 garlic clove, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint. Stir to combine. Nutty: What it's delicious with: Udon noodles, kale, How to Make It: In a medium mixing bowl, place 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1 heaping tablespoon white miso, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 to 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce, 2 teaspoons chopped ginger, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons honey, and 3 to 5 dashes sesame oil. Add water in 1/8-cup increments and stir until you reach a smooth, sauce-like consistency. It should be loose, but not watery, so add the water slowly. Taste for seasoning.


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