Transform lettuce, greens, fruits and veggies into tasty salads with these dressings. All you have to do is combine these ingredients and whisk away.


Balsamic Vinegar:

Rich in flavor, balsamic vinegar makes a great simple dressing when paired alone with olive oil. But it is also a go to vinegar for most vinaigrettes.

Red Wine Vinegar:

Red wine vinegar is a bit more acidic than balsamic vinegar, but is a versatile choice for both cooking and salad dressings.

Cider vinegar and sherry vinegar:

In a pinch, cider vinegar or sherry vinegar are both suitable substitutes for red wine vinegar.


Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette

Balsamic vinaigrette

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and vinegar to taste

Optional: crushed garlic and fresh herbs

You’re most basic vinaigrette is simple: olive oil and balsamic vinegar, typically at a ratio of 3:1 — 3 parts oil to one part vinegar. This ratio stands for most vinaigrettes no matter the vinegar or oil you’re using. Yet, you can also feel free to play around with this ratio, adding more vinegar or less oil, to find the vinaigrette that works best for your taste buds. To spice it up try adding crushed garlic and salt and vinegar to taste. Or even a few herbs like oregano, basil or thyme.

Serve with: Red lettuce, canned mandarin orange slices, pumpkin seeds, crushed cashews and pomegranate seeds.

Basic Vinaigrette Variation

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (old style)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 large shallot or 2 garlic cloves minced

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

Salt and black pepper to taste

Serve with: Sliced heirloom tomatoes, romaine lettuce and crumbled goat cheese.

Lemon, Parmesan cheese, olive oil dressing

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 freshly squeezed lemon

Salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: 1 teaspoon finely grated Parmesan cheese mixed into dressing

Shavings of Parmesan cheese (from a block of parmesan cheese)

Serve with: Arugula and peaches (try grilling them) with Parmesan cheese shavings on top.

Greek Dressing

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 garlic clove minced

6 tablespoons olive oil

 Serve with: Red onion, cucumber peeled and seeded, vine-ripened tomatoes, parsley, mint leaves, jarred roasted red bell pepper or grilled red pepper, kalamata olives, and feta cheese crumbled.

Niçoise Dressing

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 – 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 – 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1/2 – 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Serve with: Cooked new potatoes, butter lettuce, cooked green beans, niçoise olives, hard-boiled eggs, canned or grilled tuna or salmon flaked into bite-sized pieces.


Slaw Dressing

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1/4 cup grainy mustard

1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 tablespoon tarragon or balsamic vinegar

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Serve with: Shredded cabbage red or green, shredded carrots, 1 medium apple diced or shredded. Optional: 2 tablespoons raisins. Or sub potatoes for cabbage and make potato salad.

Creamy cheesy dressing

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped scallions

Pinch of red pepper

Crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese

Serve with: Spinach, pear slices, and crumbled cheese on top.

If you love creamier dressings, try this Quick Ranch Dressing from thekitch.com


Eggless Caesar Salad

2 1/2 teaspoons anchovy paste

3 cloves garlic minced

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together anchovy paste, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and mustard. Then add oil and stir until all of the ingredients are mixed together. Stir in Parmesan cheese and salt and vinegar to taste.

Serve with: Romaine lettuce and croutons. Optional: sun dried tomatoes and grilled broccolini.

For another Caesar option try this dairy free, gluten free, paleo version, which can also be vegan if you omit the chicken:

Raw kale Caesar salad with almond crusted paleo chicken from lindawagner.net