Salad dressing recipes demystified

Salad dressing recipes demystified

Salad Dressing recipes – demystified

There is so much stuff and nonsense talked about salad dressing; whisk this, extra-virgin that, meh!  Salad dressing recipes are easy and delicious. So here’s a post Salad Dressing demystified (inc. Easy Peasy Mayonnaise)’ to put it all straight!

Salad dressings can make a proper meal of a few leaves and they only have three (ish) ingredients: oil, vinegar and other stuff.  

This is Salad Dressing demystified (inc. Easy Peasy Mayonnaise)


Salad Dressing demystified (inc. Easy Peasy Mayonnaise)
Homemade healthy salad dressing in a small jar with a wisk


The point of dressing a salad is to put some flavour on the leaves.  

The oil helps it stick, the vinegar adds that all important acidity and the other stuff zips it all up.  

There are many, many variations but they all follow the same basic set-up.

To see how they work get a piece of lettuce or cucumber and dip it in some vinegar, have a taste, gorgeous isn’t it.

Now add a splash of oil and some salt and pepper – even more gorgeous eh!


Equipment to make your salad dressing 

The equipment you need to make salad dressings:  an old jam jar and, if you want to get really fancy, a hand blender.

People have started to ask me about kitchen kit.

So just so you know I use a hand blender (stick blender) a lot, easy to wash, easy tot grab out the cupboard too rather than a cumbersome stand mixer and attachments. I’ve also owned a few over the years.

This is my current fave – sturdy, strong and reasonably priced:


Salad Dressing recipes  – yum 

Here’s 6 variations on the basic oil and vinegar theme.  Use them as  a starting point and don’t be scared to experiment and really mix it up.


50ml malt vinegar, 150 ml vegetable oil, a good turn of salt and pepper.  Shake it all up in the jam jar and pour it on your leaves.  So, so simple. There’s no need to go spending loads on fancy oils and vinegars, this does the job, simply.


50ml red wine vinegar, 150ml olive oil, a big teaspoon of any smooth mustard, salt, pepper.  When you shake this up you’ll see how the mustard helps the oil and the vinegar to mix together – this is called ’emulsifying’ more of this later (see6).


50ml balsamic vinegar, 150ml olive oil, 1 clove of crushed garlic, handful of finely chopped fresh herbs (try tarragon, parsley and chives).  Shake this up for a real herby hit.  Great with really simple salads, especially a pile of plain Iceberg lettuce.


50ml cider vinegar (or a fruit vinegar if you can find one), 150ml of flavourless oil (ground nut or sunflower), 2 teaspoons of fruit jam (raspberry is best), salt, pepper.  Shake until the jam dissolves, add with some dried fruit and seeds (dried cranberries are lovely, raisins and sultanas work just as well.)


150 ml flavourless oil, 50ml white vinegar (or cider vinegar), 4 anchovies, finely chopped with a clove of crushed garlic, 1 teaspoon of mild mustard (Dijon is good), juice of a lemon, handful of finely grated parmesan cheese, 2 egg yolks.  Shake this up really well (sometimes a bit of a whisk helps to get it smooth).  A real classic, great with croutons on a bed of Romaine.


Use a handblender for this, and the cup that came with it (i.e. a jug that just fits head of the blender).  Add IN THIS ORDER WITH THE BLENDER STANDING IN THE JUG (really important that bit). 1 egg, juice of a lemon, 1 teaspoon of mild mustard, good pinch of salt, 200ml of flavourless oil.  Start the blender on full speed at the bottom of the jug then slowly lift it through the mix.  A little bit of kitchen magic!

Drop us a comment and let us know what you think to this Salad Dressing demystified and any suggestions of your own we’d love to hear!

You’re Welcome!

C & C x

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Other tasty salad morsels 

I’ve gathered all my salad recipes together – that might help 

Salad recipes

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