Spring = Salad....Salad Dressings Galore

As  featured on The Fruit Guys website

Salad dressing has been on my mind lately. I think it's a sure sign of Spring, what with all the nice greens beginning to show up in the farmer's markets.

In my head, I keep hearing my brother singing a song he made up "All My Dressings", but I can't remember the rest of it. I think this was something he started singing to one of his many nieces and nephews or his kids as pre-dinner entertainment. Salad dressing and I were never best friends. The reappearance of my brother Chris' song, has, however, prompted me to think some more about dressings. I generally like an undressed (naked, if you will) salad. I'm not sure why I have this aversion to dressing, it certainly has nothing to do with calories. There was a time when I did like dressing. I do remember a good vinaigrette that Gran Fran and Joe would make which I ate when we were kids. That said, I'm beginning to wonder if all of the packaged dressings that people offer me are the turn off. There are too many flavors mixed in that take over the taste of the lovely greens.

I set myself a mission: to find not one, not two, but three dressings that I could rotate through my salads. This coincided perfectly with my recent thinking about how to increase the flavor in my salads. In combination with adding fruits, nuts and sometimes rice noodles to my salads, dressing seems the next logical step to bring up the flavor.

A mustard vinaigrette dressing always plays a part in my Salade Nicoise. I know that I can use that same dressing on any number of salads, or even over some warm boiled potatoes. One down, two to go.

Cole Slaw is a big favorite of mine, especially my homemade version. The dressing doesn't have to be exclusively for cabbage, even though it goes so well with it. I figured I could try it with a heartier green, like spinach, add some cucumbers, nuts and shredded carrots and have myself a great salad. I was right.

Dressing number three came to me in my half-sleep the other day, just waking up after a long night of dreaming about food. Those dreams paid off because I came up with an Asian-style dressing that includes orange juice, ginger and sesame oil. A winner when put over romaine lettuce with rice noodles, almonds and orange slices.

I think the vinaigrette and the Asian-style dressing can double as a good marinade for meats, too. So looking forward to trying them out on a variety of salads and reporting back!

My friends came to dinner the night after I made these dressings. It was really great to be able to say, for once, that I did have not one, but three dressings to offer them. They were all a big hit. I'm going to think up a few more dressings before too long. I think I actually *do* like dressing.

Mustard Vinaigrette

Serves 4


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic minced finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl, using either a small wire whisk or a fork to fully incorporate all the ingredients

Use this vinaigrette on everything from a side dinner salad to a salade nicoise.

Creamy Salad Dressing

serves 4


  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or up to overnight.
  3. Add your favorite salad and enjoy.

You can make a traditional cole slaw just by adding two cups of shredded cabbage and some julienned carrots. Or, simply pour some dressing over well-washed spinach, cucumbers, carrots and sunflower seeds.

Asian-Style Dressing

serves 4


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl.

This dressing is fantastic for a mixed green salad featuring hardy vegetables like red bell peppers and green beans.

You can also add rice noodles to showcase the dressing’s flavor and some cilantro as garnish.