Meatless Monday: Five Simple Summer Salad Dressings—Share Your Recipes!
The days are growing longer, and with summer weather comes one of my favorite ways to eat more veggies: salad! Sure, you may eat salad all year long, some greens playing sideshow to something warm and yummy. But when temperatures rise, and local veggies are in season, a great salad can become a show stealer.
If there’s one thing that kills me—and I’m sorry if this sounds snotty—it’s when someone pulls out a bottle of store-bought dressing. I get the convenience, but a delicious homemade salad dressing can be so easy that it feels wrong to douse fresh veggies with the often high-sodium and sugary processed stuff.
I also happen to consider salads my culinary strength. But I’m always looking for new tricks, so pleasepleaseplease share your favorite recipes in the comments!
In my humble opinion, the key to a great dressing is the right hit of salt—though trust, even if you salt yours heavily it won’t add up to the sodium found in the processed ones—and balancing the acid (vinegar, lemon, lime etc) with the fat (olive oil, vegenaise, mayo etc). I tend to enjoy a one-to-one, or one-and-a-half-to-one, fat to acid.
These four recipes are sooooo simple, and clearly a variation on a theme (one that always starts with olive oil), so you can totally play around and find the fat-to-acid ratio that most pleases you.
Simple Italian Classic
The recipe: 1 tablespoon olive oil, juice of a lemon, 1 crushed garlic clove, salt and pepper to taste
Use this on: Just about anything, from a simple green salad to a veggie-loaded, tomato, cucumber, artichoke heart, and chickpea bonanza. Add Italian parsley for extra freshness.
Creamy Vegan Cesear
The recipe: 1-2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp vegenaise, 1 tsp dijon, 1 tsp juice from capers (this counts as the salt), capers (if you like them), juice of 1/2 a juicy lemon
Use it on: Romaine or leafy greens, feel free to add parmesan, nutritional yeast, croutons, bacon or facon bits, and pretty much anything else you fancy.
The recipe: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (get the light one for less sodium and sugar), chopped green onion (optional), pepper to taste
Use it on: Greens, raw kale, cucumbers. It’s also yummy with a touch of of tamari/soy sauce and a 1/2 tsp of roasted sesame oil.
The recipe: 1-2 tbsp olive oil, juice of 1 juicy lime, thinly sliced fresh jalapeno pepper, tsp red wine vinegar, crushed clove of garlic, chopped green onion, salt and pepper to taste
Use it on: The type of salad pictured above: cukes, tomatoes, greens, peppers if you like them, mushrooms same, and add some chopped cilantro if you’re not opposed to it.
Best Greek Ever
The recipe: Start with finely chopped red onions and let them sit in salted lemon juice of 1 juicy lemon, after 20 minutes add 1-2 tbs olive oil and pepper to taste
Use it on: Greek-style salad, greens or none, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives if you like them, and feta if you’re not vegan.