5 Classic Salad Dressings

Homemade Salad Dressing

by BC Farms & Food  -  Permalink
April 25, 2022


Homemade salad dressing greatly surpasses any you can buy in the store. Fresh herbs and lemons, quality oils and full-flavoured vinegars make all the difference. Here are five classic salad dressings to make at home: Honey Mustard dressing, Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette, Italian dressing with fresh herbs, Ranch dressing, and Sesame Ginger dressing.

A fresh green salad with five classic salad dressings: honey mustard, balsamic vinaigrette, ranch, Italian and sesame ginger.

Five classic salad dressings you can make at home: (left to right) Honey Mustard dressing, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Ranch dressing, Italian dressing, and Sesame Ginger dressing.

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

Honey mustard tops the list as many people’s most favourite salad dressing. This recipe matches the sharpness of apple cider vinegar and sweetness of honey with pungent mustard. We made our version with stone-ground mustard, which contains whole seeds that add texture to the dressing.

Honey mustard dressing goes well with fresh salad greens, and is especially good in salads with greens and fruit (such as lettuce, pear and toasted pecan salad.) This also makes a sensational glaze for chicken, fish or steamed vegetables.

Yield: 1 cup

3 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (such as light olive oil)
pinch of salt (if desired)
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Whisk together mustard, honey and cider vinegar. Gradually whisk in the oil until creamy. Add salt and fresh ground pepper if desired.

This dressing will keep for up to two weeks in a tightly lidded jar in the refrigerator. Shake vigorously to recombine before serving.

Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette

If you’ve never tasted balsamic vinegar, you’re in for a treat. Unlike any other vinegar, balsamic is made from the must of white grapes aged in wooden barrels. This gives it a sharp, sweet and full-bodied taste all at once. A standout flavour that makes even the most simple recipe exceptional. Make in 5 minutes.

Balsamic vinaigrette goes well with fresh summer lettuce, spicy winter salad greens, and cold pasta salads.

Yield: 1 cup

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine the balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a bowl. Add the salt and pepper and whisk until well-blended.

Store in a tightly sealed jar. Balsamic vinaigrette keeps for several weeks in the refrigerator. The oil and vinegar separate when stored. Shake or stir well to mix before serving.

Ranch Dressing

This creamy dressing has the tang of buttermilk, sour cream, fresh parsley, chives and lemon juice combined into a well-loved comfort food. Use fresh herbs and fresh squeezed lemon juice for ranch dressing flavour that beats out the bottled versions.

Ranch dressing is a classic for green salads and is often paired with cucumbers.

Yield: 1 1/4 cup

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
2–3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the lemon juice. Add the lemon juice and whisk, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.

Ranch dressing will keep for up to four days in a tightly lidded jar in the refrigerator.

Italian Salad Dressing

This Italian dressing makes the most of combining garden herbs and garlic with a fresh splash of lemon juice. Use fresh herbs for the best flavour, however you can substitute dried if needed. If using dried herbs, let the dressing set for about 15 minutes to absorb the seasonings.

Italian dressing, with its Mediterranean flavours, is a natural for fresh greens, tomatoes, peppers, and pasta salad.

Yield: 1 cup

Italian herb dressing. 5 Classic Salad Dressings you can make at home.

Italian herb salad dressing

3/4 cup virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/8 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried basil)
3/4 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano)
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper

Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. If using dried herbs, allow the dressing to stand for 15 minutes to integrate the flavours.

Store in a tightly lidded jar for up to four days in the refrigerator. Shake well to recombine before serving.

Sesame Ginger Dressing

If you love Asian flavours, this dressing is for you. Ginger, garlic, honey and toasted sesame oil are a revered taste combination that has come down through the ages.

Sesame Ginger dressing is outstanding on Asian-inspired salads, such as cashew chicken with mandarin oranges and greens, or Oriental noodle salads. It also brings refreshing flavour to cabbage slaws, and is delicious with stir-fried or grilled vegetables, chicken or pork.

Yield: 1 cup

2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
3–4 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 centimetre (3/4 inch) fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the oil. Gradually add the oil, whisking until well combined.

Store in the refrigerator in a tightly lidded jar for up to four days. Shake to integrate the dressing before serving.

More recipes:
A jar of eggless vegan mayonnaiseVegan Mayonnaise

Quinoa, tomato and mozzarella cheeseQuinoa, Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2023 November 1
    Jenny Moore permalink

    I was looking at your salad dressings to include in our Christmas lunch (Australia here). You say to leave in the fridge for up to 4 days. Can dressing not be used after this?

    • 2023 November 1
      BC Farms & Food permalink

      Acidic dressings generally can store a bit longer than non-acidic dressings. Please refer to the each particular recipe for its recommended storage time.

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