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Dressing for idiots! (salad dressing)

 
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I suck at salads.  I can never get the dressing right.

What I need is a really simple recipe I can add to depending on my mood.  REALLY simple!  Like Idiot proof simple.  

And delicious.  The dressing has to be yummy too.

Does anyone have a fantastic dressing recipe that is so easy even I can make it?  
 
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I like to make my salads out of iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce, then I add what other salad ingredients that I might have on hand or out in the garden.

Adding some fruit and/or edible flowers also helps brighten up the salad.

For a healthy salad dressing, I like this recipe by Dr. Axe:

Avocado oil: This oil, which has prescription drug status in France, helps lower blood pressure and relieve aches and pains. (1, 2) Avocado oil also helps with skin conditions like psoriasis and is terrific for lowering cholesterol. (3, 4)

Maple syrup: This natural sweetener nicely balances the acidity of this balsamic vinaigrette recipe without spiking blood sugar levels. Maple syrup is also packed with antioxidants and is easier on digestion than regular table sugar.

Beet juice: Made from beets, the fresh juice provides anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants — and a spectacular color, to boot!



https://draxe.com/recipes/balsamic-vinaigrette-recipe/

This recipe for Italian dressing is the one I usually use because I like Wellness Mama:

Italian dressing
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
small squirt of dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Place all ingredients in a small jar with a lid and shake vigorously to mix. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Great with salad or on meat or grilled vegetables as a marinade.



https://permies.com/wiki/150374/pep-food-prep-preservation/Kinds-Condiments-Salad-Dressings-PEP#2210442
 
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r ranson wrote:Does anyone have a fantastic dressing recipe that is so easy even I can make it?


Dressing is another area where I don't use recipes, but follow a simple heuristic instead. But it is dirt-simple:
- Pick an oil that you like. (1)
- Pick a vinegar that you like. (2)
- Mix them half and half. (3)
- Add stuff you like, ground finely. (4)

(1) I use premium olive oil or a toasted sesame oil. Sometimes an infused oil, usually with chiles.

(2) I make a lot of vinegar from: raspberries, birch/maple syrup, apple scraps, leftover wine or beer, amaro, other fruit scraps -- often blended and flavored with spruce tips and flowers. And we buy rice-wine vinegar and balsamic. So I just grab something off my pantry shelf. Whatever I feel like works well. Whatever you have will be fine. You could use lemon or lime juice in a pinch.

(3) My ratio is half and half. Many, many recipes call for more oil than vinegar, so you can adjust however you like, but I prefer half and half...and it's easy to remember. How you mix depends on how much you care. You can skip and just layer them. You can shake them in a bottle. You can blend them for maximum, but still temporary, emulsion. If you're blending, you probably want to add stuff from the next step as part of that process.

(4) Once again, you have a lot of leeway. this step is entirely optional, but I don't remember ever actually skipping it. I basically always add freshly ground black pepper. Usually I add some smashed and minced garlic. Some people sweeten it. If you're using a blender, you can easily work in some cheese -- parmesan is probably the most common, but anything works. Any herbs or spices you think will showcase or contrast the salad ingredients work here. Try ground lemon peel on an asparagus salad. You also don't have to be traditional -- miso or dried mushrooms or pickle relish or cocoa are all legitimate things to try.

It's really easy once you have something like this as a framework.
 
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I never cared for salad dressing until I started making it myself at home. Obviously, there are "types" of salad dressings that you can adjust as desired. I generally just make an Italian dressing. That being said, I'm not sure if idiot proof is possible with dressing unless you want to make what someone else likes. The cool thing about making it at home is you can make it to your exact preference.

For example, I don't really care too much for harsh vinegar flavors or cheese. My wife on the other hand loves both of those flavors. So what do we do? Make separate batches! She uses distilled vinegar, whereas I use white wine vinegar. She puts more parmesan into hers; I don't.

Basic Italian dressing recipe goes something like this though.
3/4 cup oil
1/4 vinegar
Couple tablespoons of parmesan cheese
Tsp or so of sugar (or some other sweetener)
Clove or two of garlic (minced)
Some lemon juice
Some dried oregano, parsley, basil (e.g., the base of Italian seasoning you buy at the store)
Salt and pepper

When we make ours, we start with the basic ratios and adjust from there. Want more acid? Add some more lemon juice. More cheese? Sweeter? Saltier. Taste as you go and make it exactly how you like it.

Two things that will enhance your dressing experience though:
1. High quality ingredients - This is the time to use your fancier olive oil, don't just buy the 5 gallon jug of vinegar, use fresh lemon, fresh parmesan, etc. We don't go crazy, but when you are not cooking ingredients, it's definitely more important to start with higher quality ones.
2. Get an immersion blender - This was revolutionary for us. This is how restaurants get their house made dressings to taste so good. You'll never get the same kind of emulsion whisking by hand unfortunately.

One other thing, if you make a batch and put it in the fridge, it'll separate and solidify since it doesn't contain the same emulsifiers the store-bought dressings have. Be sure and take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you plan to use it so that it can warm up and then you can shake it vigorously to combine.
 
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I try to have a batch of salad dressing in my fridge, such a convenient shortcut to eating salads!

Since I bought a high-power blender, my dressings are way better.
My "recipe":
A good amount of quality olive oil
some water
an acidic component, mostly lime/lemon juice
salt, pepper
an umami component like soy sauce, miso or nutritional yeast
a small amount of a sweet component (honey, maple sirup)
fresh herbs like parsley, coriander
fresh garlic if you like
mustard
and cashew nuts (presoaked if you don't have a good blender) or cashew cream
If you like you can add a dairy component like sourcream/crème fraiche
Blend until very creamy and store in fridge.

This does not sound simple, but if you make the batch for several days in advance it is so worth it!

Here are some more inspirations:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBGsQT6b7D0&t=619s

 
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I recently discovered how stupidly easy it is to make mayonnaise. I'm the only one in the house who likes it, and I eat it in frequently. Previously I bought a bottle from the shops that would sit in the fridge for months and eventually get chucked out half used. Now I just make a quick small batch when I want it, with just one egg yolk.

Like you with salad dressings, it improves the experience but I'm yet to get it quite right. I think experimentation and having the right ingredients in the cupboard is the way forward - I need better vinegar, mustard etc..

 
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This one is unusual but surprisingly tasty. Orange juice with a little honey added.
 
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My go-to recipe has three ingredients.  I LOVE the  balsamic vinegar I get at Costco, so it is a major player:

Grab any jar that has a tight screw-on lid. To that, add about half the amount in balsamic vinegar, the other half in olive oil, and then about a tsp. of golden mustard.  Put the lid on and shake until everything is combined and one color.

You don't taste the mustard, but it will emulsify the oil and vinegar so that they don't separate.  I don't even have to refrigerate the dressing; I leave it on the counter, because olive oil tends to solidify if refrigerated.  This dressing is amazing and the balsamic vinegar adds the sweetness that I love.  It is very forgiving with proportions--you could do 1/3 to 2/3 of either of the main ingredients, keep it 1/2 and 1/2--whatever!  
 
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The suggestions mentioned all sound pretty good to me, but I've been trying and with some success to create salads that don't need dressing at all. For example, right now in my garden I can harvest lettuce, brassica leaves and flowers, carrot tops, spring garlic, mustard leaves and flowers, and dill. Then in the herb garden there is thyme, sage, rosemary, and one of my favorites, winter savory. I just chop various combinations of that up together, throw in a boiled egg, maybe some crispy crumbled bacon and some stinky cheese. If a salad has flavor, it doesn't need dressing although, I think of it more as lunch or supper rather than a side salad.
 
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the most basic recipe is

1 to 3 ratio of vinegar to oil
mustard, salt & pepper to taste
branch with optional flavor like herbs, honey, sugar etc from the base.
you an substitute lemon or lime juice for the vinegar for variation.

i have attached a list of 64 ingredients with some recipes.  With the ingredients you can make any condiment


Filename: 64Condiment-Recipes.pdf
Description: Condiment Recipes
File size: 565 Kbytes
Filename: 64CondimentIngredients.pdf
Description: Condiment Ingredient list
File size: 250 Kbytes
Filename: 64Condiments-Pesto-HotSauces.pdf
Description: Recipes Pesto-hotsauces
File size: 301 Kbytes
 
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I keep it simple and just use a dash of a good quality infused olive oil from here: https://olivadivita.com/olive-oils/fused-infused-olive-oils/ or you can get it at any olive oiler.
Then I just add dash of balsamic I like the darks for salad dressings: https://olivadivita.com/vinegars/dark-balsamic-vinegars/

They're not cheap but I don't use a lot of it. And it is on "my list" to learn to make my own. However, the "list" is a bit long right now.
 
pollinator
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Salad at my house may include, greens, nuts,seeds,flowers, herbs, cheese, raw veggies, onions, garlic ,olives and fruit in any ratio depending on availability and what suits me at the time.
Sometimes boiled eggs, and meat. So dressings can be a dollop of an oil and vinegar or of mayonaise.
 Also when faced with a group I often opt for a large bowl of greens and smaller bowls of things which can be added. Folks love making their own choices.
 When the salad is beautiful it doesn't need much to dress it up. Most dressings are full of ingredients because the salads folks are dressing are iceberg lettuce a slice of onion and wedge of tomatoes with very little flavor.
 
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Thank you all for the interesting recipes.
I'll try some, in my own way. I won't use balsamic vinegar, because that's hard to get here (the supermarkets have a fake balsamic, of course I don't want that). I can use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (both organic). Alas last year was a bad year for the olives at my friends' olive grove in Spain, so I don't have that olive oil now. But I can buy Greek or Italian organic olive oil. The herbs are never a problem, they all grow in my garden!

But what does r ranson think about those? Are these recipes 'idiot proof'? Did she try them, did she like them?

r ranson wrote:I suck at salads.  I can never get the dressing right.

What I need is a really simple recipe I can add to depending on my mood.  REALLY simple!  Like Idiot proof simple.  

And delicious.  The dressing has to be yummy too.

Does anyone have a fantastic dressing recipe that is so easy even I can make it?  

 
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I like this recipe because it's so easy. Immersion blender right in the jar you serve from and store in? How brilliant is that? It's also very flexible. Once you master it, you can change it up based on what you have. The nutritional yeast is totally the star player.
Last time I made this, I dropped in some roasted red peppers I found in the fridge.



 
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The simplest dressing I know is a garlic vinaigrette. Three-to-one oil to vinegar, copious amounts of pressed garlic, and salt to taste. Just make sure whoever you plan on kissing that evening eats the same dressing.
 
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Chef here, dressings come in creamy or oil/vinegar base, typically.

Oil/Vinegar is a simple formula
3 parts oil (evoo is best)
1 part vinegar
generous amount of herbs or spices
a little dijon mustard
salt, pepper
parmesan if you wish

Creamy dressings can be a variety of things but if you start off with mayo and add a little vinegar, you can add whatever herbs, spices, cheese you desire. add a little salt if need be.

just taste the stuff before you finish making it.

does a little sugar/maple syrup boost any dressing? it sure does. is it critical? no.
 
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Dressing #1: Fresh lemon juice, dill, extra virgin olive oil.
Dressing #3: Balsamic vinegar, honey, finely chopped garlic (small portion of the salad), extra virgin olive oil.
Dressing #3: Sour cabbage (Sauerkraut) or fermented (with potato slices, I don't eat the potato) cucumber juice, dill, extra virgin olive oil.

These dressings work really well with a salad that contains tomatoes (!), cucumbers (!), lettuce, beets, carrots, parsley root and greens, celery root and greens, purple onions (small portion of the salad).

 
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This site has a lot of plant based recipes, and that includes a number of dressings: https://nutritionfacts.org/recipes/#recipes+wprm_course:condiment+wprm_difficulty:easy

Here's a channel on YT I follow, which has some oil-free carrot-ginger and cilantro-lime dressings in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmo2bsG_l4U
 
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Easy Caesar salad dressing:
Blender add:
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp salt
5 tsp red wine vinegar
5 tsp Worcestershire
salt pepper
1 tsp mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Parmesan cheese optional.
Blend 20 sec. till thick.  

 
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r ranson wrote:I suck at salads.  I can never get the dressing right.

What I need is a really simple recipe I can add to depending on my mood.  REALLY simple!  Like Idiot proof simple.  

And delicious.  The dressing has to be yummy too.

Does anyone have a fantastic dressing recipe that is so easy even I can make it?  



Hello, I like a creamy dressing,  so I put right on top of the salad, before tossing it, a spoonful of mayonnaise,  a spoonful of yogurt or sour cream,  maybe a little vinegar or mustard, maybe a squirt of honey, and whatever spices I'm feeling plus salt and pepper.  Then I mix it all up. Saves a step of mixing the dressing first and storing extra dressing.  
 
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Where I lived in Brazil for a while, the only salad dressing I saw used was mixed on the salad at the time of making.  No prep or need to store.

On top of already made salad:
salt and pepper to taste
squeeze of lime juice
splash of apple cider vinegar
splash of oil

Mix with bare hands (very important part)
 
Barbara Simoes
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When you say mustard, do you mean dry or yellow?  I love Caesar salad, so this is very exciting!  Thanks! I'll probably do a shy 2 TBSP of the Worcestershire and vinegar rather than measure out ten teaspoonfuls!  

Lisa Cou wrote:Easy Caesar salad dressing:
Blender add:
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp salt
5 tsp red wine vinegar
5 tsp Worcestershire
salt pepper
1 tsp mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Parmesan cheese optional.
Blend 20 sec. till thick.  

 
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Becky and Eve posted super simple dressings. I do one of two dressings, similar to theirs.
Olive oil and lemon juice, plus salt and pepper, right on the salad. Mix.
Mayonnaise. Just plain mayonnaise. Good on any salad with tomatoes, and especially with hard boiled eggs added.
Simple is good.
 
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The base for most dressings is oil (1/2 to 3/4)and vinegar (1/2 to 1/4), salt (you can use soy or coconut aminos instead) to taste. Good quality olive oil is my favorite with red wine and a splash of balsamic. Apple cider vinegar has a hardier taste and it’s great for you.

The key is to use smallest amount of your favorite herbs or spices to the base. Start with the smallest amount in a cup to avoid disaster and then taste it to get the right mouth feel. I like garam masala. A touch goes a long way. (Find a recipe and keep it in the cabinet!) and a bit of lemon if desired. I usually stay away from sweeteners, but wild honeys usually with mustard or maple syrup or juice is nice for a change.
 
r ranson
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Wow, what a wonderful selection.  I turn on my computer and there are two dozen new recipes to try.  I can't wait to give it a go.  
 
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This may not be super easy the first time you do it... but I choose a commercial dressing that I like, then I read the ingredients on the bottle of my favorite brand.  Then I play with those ingredients at home (organic versions of course!) and sub out any overly processed items or other things that I don't want to consume, such as dairy or certain oils.  Make a small batch and play with adding more of different things to tweak the flavor.  The order of ingredients on the bottle gives you a baseline of what to use more of (they are usually listed in decreasing order of the quantity contained in the product.)  Blend everything up, saving any ingredients you want to stay chunkier to mix in by hand at the end.  

For my all-time favorite, Kraft Thousand Island, I recall using organic cold-pressed olive oil as the base, and added things like quick-pickled minced cucumber in raw apple cider vinegar with a little natural sweetener, nutritional yeast to replace the cooked egg yolk flavor, tomatoes (some fresh, some sun-dried, as needed to get the right consistency), seasonings, etc.  It turned out pretty darn good although I haven't made it in years since I haven't been raw vegan in years.   But you can do that with any commercial dressing you enjoy, and make it yourself from ingredients you feel good about consuming!  Once you tweak the recipe to your preference, write it down, and making that dressing from then on will be much easier.

With homemade dressings, unless you figure out a good natural preservative to add, they don't last very long in the fridge.  Some will freeze well and others may not, so experiment and you may find recipes you can make large batches of which will make things much simpler for frequent salad eaters.  Either freeze in ice cube trays then put the cubes into a larger airtight container in the freezer, or freeze in containers that will hold enough to be used within 3-4 days once thawed.  

I'm looking forward to some salads now!  I had an awesome recipe for a raw vegan Caesar dressing (using pine nuts instead of parmesan cheese) that was way better than any commercial Caesar dressing I've ever tasted.  I'll have to see if I can find that!
 
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I don't think anyone mentioned my favorite, which I like so much I don't make any other--the trouble with using yogurt or cheese is that it won't keep. My peanut butter dressing lasts in the fridge for months, being reamped periodically when the quantity gets too low. I don't measure but I use rather a lot of peanut butter, some kind of oil (probably olive) some kind of vinegar (probably red wine). Then a tiny dash of tamari, a clove or two of garlic minced very finely, often a bit of sorghum or honey, and then some spices--typically some basil and tarragon, maybe a little thyme. Someone said these kinds of dressing will separate if left in the fridge until just before use; I don't see that but it gets pretty solid, and may need more liquid as well as warming up.
The ugly truth is I won't eat a naked salad, so I need a good dressing to  invite me to consume more salad (now what do I need to do to get my husband to eat salad?). I need to make a fresh batch of this now, as I just picked the first salad of this year today.
 
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Mary Cook wrote: The ugly truth is I won't eat a naked salad, so I need a good dressing to  invite me to consume more salad (now what do I need to do to get my husband to eat salad?). I need to make a fresh batch of this now, as I just picked the first salad of this year today.



I'm in the same boat Mary, I grew up not eating salad and still have some aversion to it if I don't add some extras to it. I'm a sucker for peanut butter so I'm going to have to give it a try!
 
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r ranson wrote: What I need is a really simple recipe I can add to depending on my mood.  REALLY simple!  Like Idiot proof simple.  


My family have been "Ranch" fans for eons, we use it on everything! It's easy to modify, but below is the basic ingredients and portions that give it that perfect "Hidden Valley Ranch" consistency.  

For simplicity, I pre-mix the spice-combination that we enjoy and keep it in a jar. (Jar also doubles as those "Onion Soup" packets or for a quick dip for veggies or beet chips.)  Then when we need some ranch, I just grab a dollop of yogurt & a scoop of spices from the jar -- viola! quick ranch!  

Basic Ranch Ingredients:
• 1 tbsp dried parsley
• 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
• 1 tbsp plus ½ teaspoons onion powder
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 1 ½ cups full fat sour cream
• ¾ cup buttermilk

I usually use 2 cups of plain yogurt for the full recipe, but if you value taste and texture then this recipe is good.

Source
 
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Ganado Mage wrote:the most basic recipe is

1 to 3 ratio of vinegar to oil
mustard, salt & pepper to taste
branch with optional flavor like herbs, honey, sugar etc from the base.
you an substitute lemon or lime juice for the vinegar for variation.




My go-to daily dressing recipe is similar: 1 cup olive oil; 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar; 6 heaping tablespoons of dijon mustard ( I like it more acidic to accent the sweet red onions we use) and either shake to mix or blend.  We add salt/pepper/cheese to the salad itself. I don't refrigerate. So easy!  We eat salad with a protein source 9 out of 10 nights year round. Lots of crucifery included.
 
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This is our favorite easy dressing.
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Trader Joe Everything but the Bagel Seasoning

That's it. And it's amazingly good.

Just drizzle olive oil on your salad to your desired wetness.
Follow with a splash of lemon juice
Shake Everything by the Bagel Seasoning on it to taste.

Mix it all together.

If you want organic, Frontier Herbs sells an Everything but the Bagel Seasoning that is organic.

So easy. So good.
 
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r ranson wrote:

What I need is a really simple recipe I can add to depending on my mood.

And delicious.  The dressing has to be yummy too.

Does anyone have a fantastic dressing recipe that is so easy even I can make it?  



Hi R Ranson, This recipe came about as I wanted to make something simple and plant based and oil free. Everything is fresh and I don't use vinegar or dairy. You don't have to measure anything, and you can vary it according to your liking. I use what is on hand and it keeps well in the fridge for several days. If it seems too thick add a little more water or lemon juice.  I use a Nutri-bullet jar blender and use the lid to store the jar in fridge. Make a little or a lot using approximate measures in proportion. The seeds are soaked & sprouted for easier digestion. I usually dry the seeds completely after soaking and keep in mason jar for immediate use later. They can be ground when needed and used for many other recipes saving time. I call this my Garden Green Dressing.
For large blender jar:
--1/2 cup pumpkin &/or sunflower seeds (mixed or single)
--2 or 3 cloves garlic (peeled)
--7 or 8 long stems/tops of green onion (chop slightly to fit blender) - I let walking Egyptian onion grow in pots year round and just pinch off the green stems.
--1 inch piece fresh green jalapeno pepper or more if desired (optional, but not much heat in a tiny bit)
--1 whole Meyer lemon (organic, washed and pits removed, use skin and all) or use juice of one regular sour lemon and a little of the zest or some of the skin) - could mix both kinds of lemon.  Use juicy lemons. [Skin and white pulp contain healthy antioxidants so use as much as you can adapt to.]
--1 - 2 tsp sea salt (good quality salt - Celtic, Himalayan pink or real sea salt are healthful and will not raise blood pressure)
--flesh of 1 whole avocado - depending on size use 2 small or 1/2 of large or omit - adds creaminess
--large handful fresh cilantro - can also use parsley or half-half. Might also use miner's lettuce or fennel or   dill or carrot tops altho I have not tried this in the dressing but use it in the salad. If garden is producing lots of herbs/greens try those. Very forgiving to use an abundance in the dressing and it will keep! Flavors will vary somewhat depending on herbs used.
--water to blend - approx 1/2 - 2/3 cup depending on juiciness of lemons and thickness desired.

Jar may look quite full, but as long as there's enough liquid to start process it will work. Shake jar to get contents down toward blade if it spins air.
Blend until completely smooth & creamy.  Spoon dollops of dressing over plates of salad when ready to serve.

This dressing is also delicious as a vegetable stick dip or over baked potatoes or steamed veggies like cauliflower, asparagus, beets.
I have also added cucumber to make the dressing as it subs for some of the liquid/water and it will keep without spoiling. I find that cut cucumber will go soft in salad greens or if leftover. I wash & prepare basic salad greens (arugula leaves & flower tips, dandelion, romaine, red leaf, chicory, butter, miner's, baby kale, sliced cabbage green/purple, bok choy flowers, etc) in a s/s bowl which keeps them fresh for a couple of days. Saves me time not having to prep salad from scratch every day. Then I can add the more perishable ingredients when I plate up the greens (whatever in the mood for or have on hand) - things like sliced beets, olives, cucumber, tomato, artichoke hearts, grated carrot, celery, sliced radishes, garbanzo or kidney beans, red onion slices. The dressing contains basically everything else needed for a delicious healthy well-rounded salad/ meal. The seeds give protein and fat, the avocado more fat, the lemon, salt, garlic, & jalapeno the 'kick' of flavor, the cilantro and onion the added touch which if added to the prepped greens will go 'south' too quickly. The dressing keeps its bright green color and freshness because of the garlic and lemon and salt which are all 'preservatives'. Only the very top layer will somewhat darken due to oxidation but it will not affect the flavor and can be shaken/stirred before serving to restore the overall color. I have enough dressing for liberal use on 3 or 4 large salads during the week, so never have an excuse to skip enjoying a salad because of time/laziness.  Bon Appetit!!


 
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if you like blue cheese this dressing/dip is very nice.
blue cheese (I like danish blue) crumble it up
add/mix in buttermilk or kefir until its loose pudding thick.
add/mix in mayo until it looks/tastes good, looser for dressing thicker for dip.

A bit of miso is also good in any dressing so is a pinch of powdered lemon rind
I make miso and I dehydrate organic lemon rind freeze and powder it as needed.
I totally recommend immersion blender mayonnaise, but sometimes olive oil can make it bitter, I use avocado oil, bitter and me don't get along.
 
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My go-to for lunch is always just:

Olive oil
Red wine vinegerette
Salt, pepper, oregano

Very simple and easy and tastes great.

Sometimes if I'm feeling fancy I'll make Caeser dressing. I've been using this recipe on bon appetit for years now and it does not disappoint!

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/easy-homemade-caesar-dressing?intcid=inline_amp
 
Tyler Selige
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John F Dean wrote:Hi Tyler,

Welcome to Permies.



Thank you! This place is great.
 
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I go for simple: -

1) Assemble lots of different sorts of leaves & herbs in bowl, whatever I've got.
2) Grate plenty of tasty cheddar cheese (English for preference) over the leaves.
3) Splash lemon juice over that.
4) Mix well.
5) Eat. Lightly toasted slice of nice organic bread goes well with it.

Sometimes I add half an avocado, cut out in little pieces with a teaspoon, to the mix. Takes more mixing, tastes good.
 
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Christopher Weeks wrote:

r ranson wrote:Does anyone have a fantastic dressing recipe that is so easy even I can make it?


Dressing is another area where I don't use recipes, but follow a simple heuristic instead. But it is dirt-simple:
- Pick an oil that you like. (1)
- Pick a vinegar that you like. (2)
- Mix them half and half. (3)
- Add stuff you like, ground finely. (4)

(1) I use premium olive oil or a toasted sesame oil. Sometimes an infused oil, usually with chiles.

(2) I make a lot of vinegar from: raspberries, birch/maple syrup, apple scraps, leftover wine or beer, amaro, other fruit scraps -- often blended and flavored with spruce tips and flowers. And we buy rice-wine vinegar and balsamic. So I just grab something off my pantry shelf. Whatever I feel like works well. Whatever you have will be fine. You could use lemon or lime juice in a pinch.

(3) My ratio is half and half. Many, many recipes call for more oil than vinegar, so you can adjust however you like, but I prefer half and half...and it's easy to remember. How you mix depends on how much you care. You can skip and just layer them. You can shake them in a bottle. You can blend them for maximum, but still temporary, emulsion. If you're blending, you probably want to add stuff from the next step as part of that process.

(4) Once again, you have a lot of leeway. this step is entirely optional, but I don't remember ever actually skipping it. I basically always add freshly ground black pepper. Usually I add some smashed and minced garlic. Some people sweeten it. If you're using a blender, you can easily work in some cheese -- parmesan is probably the most common, but anything works. Any herbs or spices you think will showcase or contrast the salad ingredients work here. Try ground lemon peel on an asparagus salad. You also don't have to be traditional -- miso or dried mushrooms or pickle relish or cocoa are all legitimate things to try.

It's really easy once you have something like this as a framework.



Yes! I was going to write, but you covered most of what I was going to say. I also use the 1 to 1 oil/vinegar combo. I often use some kind of berry and herb in my recipe. Usually a quarter to a half cup of fruit (depending on the berries) and a tablespoon of herbs.
 
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