Would you like to have salads?
And my reply would always be, but they’re so bland until I discovered the magic of salad dressings that changed the entire game and my view for salads forever.
It was about a time when I had gone for dinner with my friend, and while I ordered that typical north Indian meal full of curries and parathas, he called just a bowl of salad. He insisted I taste, and that’s it!
I kept wondering what on Earth can make salads so delicious and wholesome?
I couldn’t resist and immediately watched videos on salad dressing recipes, read so many blogs on the same. Ultimately, I started experimenting with making salads and salad dressings at home.
I knew little about salad dressing recipes back then because even my salads would always be a part of my main course meal, which wasn’t that important to me after all. I mean, I love green vegetables, but eating just that as my meal would give me nightmares.
Salads, especially for Indians, have never been so exciting part of their meal. Indian salad dressing mainly comprises salt, pepper and chaat masala on onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, beetroots, and lemons.
I know salads can be boring for many of you, but before you conclude, let me take you on a journey of exciting, lip-smacking salad dressing recipes that are a gamechanger for salads.
Most people around the world have a different routine of salads at other points of their meal. For example, some would eat as the main course in the West, many would eat it as an appetizer, while several would eat it along the main course like most Indians.
What is salad dressing?
In the most straightforward words of Wiki – “Sauces for salads are called dressings.”
Salad dressing recipe includes various ingredients like classic oil, vinegar, salt, black pepper, etc. Mixing all such elements to make a sauce or thick paste with added herbs and seasoning adds flavours to any salad.
Then, it poured or drizzled on top of the raw, boiled or roasted vegetables (along with other ingredients) and different salads to add the much-needed taste.
Why Should You Consider Adding Salads To Your Diet?
Before you overthink, I’m not telling you to become a herbivore and survive just on salads. But, because that is not something even I would do. All I want is that you must know that your salads can be tasty with deliciously blended dressing, rich nuts, flavoursome seasoning, and refreshing greens.
Toppings and dressings with fresh greens, healthy grains, and many exotic vegetables can give you a dubiously new break from your regular food menu.
It’s filling and, at the same time, are frivolous on the stomach. Adding salads to your diet will give good fats, multi-vitamins, fibre, and various essential nutrients. It’s like the perfect meal one must not ignore!
I’m writing this blog to share my favourite and easy salad dressing recipes that would make you want to eat salads in at least one of your meals almost every day.
Why Are Homemade Salad Dressing Better Than Bottled Dressing?
You would be thinking, why am I telling you to do all the hard work when you can shop the salad dressings from the local stores?
You’ll agree with me after reading the points mentioned below-
- It is cheaper and healthier.
- It is more reliable as you would be checking on the quality of ingredients before preparation
- It allows you to play with ingredients as per your taste
- No added sugar, preservatives and artificial colouring
- It reduces the wastage as you can control the quantity you’d need for salads
How Can You Easily Store The Homemade Salad Dressing?
Once you’ve assembled all the dressing items, take any glass container or a mason jar with a tight air lid, pour the dressing into the container, shake it well after closing it and keep it in the refrigerator.
Your dressings can survive for a minimum of 4-5 days, and some you can enjoy for weeks!
Note- Always take the dressing out from the refrigerator about 20-25 minutes before using it. Keep an eye on your sauce after few days and check its colour and taste before using it for a salad.
Types Of Salad Dressing
There are two essential and popular salad dressings as per the Western culture-
Common Ingredients include oil, vinegar, flavoured herbs, spices, salt, pepper, sugar, etc.
It’s primarily creamy and mayonnaise-based; other popular options are yoghurt, milk, sour cream, buttermilk, etc.
How To Make Homemade Salad Dressing?
Since I started preparing salad dressings at home, salads have become more mouth-watering and fun for me, from the colourful vegetables to nutritious nuts to much more. You’d be amazed to see the variations of salads you can create in no time.
Let’s check out my all-time favourite and healthy salad dressing recipe-
Sesame Ginger Dressing
It is a great salad dressing to always have in your refrigerator and will take 5 minutes. It goes great with sweet potato salad, cabbage salad, brown rice, quinoa, etc.
You can even add chunks of protein like cottage cheese, tempeh, roasted broccoli to make it even healthier.
- 3 tablespoons smooth tahini
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 heaping teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 to 3 tablespoons water ( add more if needed)
Take a small bowl and mix all the above ingredients. Add little water as per the consistency of the dressing. Shake it well until smooth. Please keep it in a glass container and store it in a refrigerator.
Citrus Date Vinaigrette
You can thank me later, but first I’m so happy to share one of my favourite and superbly delicious salad dressings from the Rainbow Plant Life. It’s a perfect dressing if you’re looking for something sweet, tangy and citrusy to add to your salad bowls.
It tastes yum with avocado, walnuts, parsley, beets, etc. You can experiment with this dressing with roasted carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, etc.
- 2 Medjool Dates (remove the seeds)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 and a half teaspoon Dijon mustard (or whole grain mustard)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste)
- Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Water, if needed
Mix all the above ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add little water as per the consistency of the dressing. Shake it well, pour it in a glass container/ mason jar and store it in a refrigerator.
The French love it, and so will you. This olive oil salad dressing will change your whole sad salad story to something you’d love to have again and again!
People remembered it as ‘French dressing’ from the nineteenth century. However, the popular salad dressing was typically discovered in Italy and used as salad dressing, marinade and sauces.
A flavoursome expansion of balsamic vinegar led to the seasoned balsamic vinaigrette.
Try it with simple, refreshing green salad, sliced toasted almond, crunchy pecan nuts, crumbled feta cheese. It also goes well with fresh fruits like apples, strawberries, etc. You can experiment with herbs for that extra pump.
Please note before you jump into the dressing component –
- Make sure to have high quality and good aged vinegar
- You can pick cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil or avocado; grapeseed oil also works fine with it.
- You can avoid adding sugar, as the balsamic vinegar is sweet already.
- 1/2 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Put together all the above ingredients in a bowl/ mason jar. Add olive oil while you’re whisking all the other elements in the pot. Shake it well, pour it in a glass container/ mason jar and store it in a refrigerator.
Easy Tahini Salad Dressing
Most popular in Middle Eastern cuisine, the uncomplicated creamy tahini is the safest and probably the best salad dressing choice for almost all salads. You’ll love it if you like your veggies and nuts to give you a burst of zesty flavours.
Tahini is consumed differently in different parts of the world, making it one of the famous and readily available dressings around the globe.
Apart from salads, you can even try drizzling it over brussels sprouts, grilled vegetables, chilled cherry tomatoes, and some roasted dry fruits.
- ¼ cup smooth tahini*
- 3 tablespoons water, more if needed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Note- You can even add some little lemon zest to make it more inviting, but that’s optional.
Whisk all the above ingredients in a bowl/ mason jar for the effortlessly smooth creamy dressing. Add ½ teaspoon water if required for the perfect consistency. Shake it well, pour it in a glass container/ mason jar and store it in a refrigerator.
Italian Dressing Recipe
Readily available online and offline, but I would highly recommend you make this most tempting dressing at home for best results. Enjoy tweaking the herbs, garlic and fresh parsley as per your taste buds and be rest assured of the fresh ingredients.
You’d be surprised to realize that your kitchen has almost all the ingredients already.
You can shower it on roasted vegetables, whole grains, Quinoa, etc. It’s super flexible, so keep experimenting and enjoy the traditional flavours of herbs.
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, optional
Take a small bowl or use a blender for better consistency of the dressing. Combine all the above ingredients. Shake it well until smooth and store it in a glass container.
Refrigerate it a few sometimes for the flavours to blend perfectly before serving.
Finally, For A Tasty Vegetarian Salad Life!
It would be best if you try making these healthy, delectable and nourishing salad dressings at home. It’s quick and tasty, and your will never call your salads boring.
You’re good to go with just some handful of ingredients that will enhance your salads to another level. Avoid consuming store-bought and enjoy the juicy dressing made with the love of fresh items.
Drizzle it not just on salads but also on starters, side dishes, roasted snacks, and continue with fun trials and tests for some surprising savoury discoveries.
I’d love to know what kind of salads dressings you’d prefer as per your taste?
Disclaimer- All content, including advice, suggestions, and health benefits provided on this blog, is only informational. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. We recommend that you or any other person who has a medical concern consult a professional or doctor for more information.