Healthy Salad Dressing: 5 Simple Summer Recipes
It’s salad season! With locally grown veggies, fresh herbs, and grilled fish or meat, summer salads are scrumptious. But don’t sabotage their amazing flavor and health benefits by tossing them with a dressing that’s full of saturated fat, sodium and preservatives.
“You can whip up your own in less than five minutes,” promises Mark Molinaro, chef and instructor at the New England Culinary Institute. “Do it on Sunday and store it in the fridge for the rest of the week.” Here’s how to put your salad on the best-dressed list:
1. Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Pinch of salt
In a small bowl, combine vinegar and shallot. Add Dijon and salt. Slowly whisk in olive oil, starting with a few drops at a time. Once you’ve incorporated 10 drops of oil, whisk vigorously. Finish with a pinch of black pepper and chopped basil.
2. Healthy, Creamy Asian
- 1 ounce silken tofu
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup (or more) canola oil
In a blender, puree tofu. Remove from blender. Whisk in rice wine vinegar and reduced-sodium soy sauce. Then slowly whisk in canola oil, starting with a few drops at a time, until dressing reaches desired consistency.
3. Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 3 tablespoons white wine or sherry vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Roast red bell pepper. Place in a blender with white wine or sherry vinegar; blend together. Slowly whisk in olive oil, starting with a few drops at a time. Once you’ve incorporated 10 drops of oil, whisk vigorously.
4. Low-fat Ranch
- 1/4 cup low-fat mayo
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk (or 1 teaspoon milk and 1 teaspoon vinegar)
- Pinch each of garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill and dried parsley
- Salt to taste
Stir together mayo and sour cream. Season with spices. Stir in 1 tablespoon buttermilk (or whisk together milk and vinegar). Add salt to taste.
5. Raspberry Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon
- 1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
- Pinch each of salt and black pepper
In a small bowl, combine raspberry vinegar and minced shallot. Add a pinch of salt and Dijon. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil, starting with a few drops at a time. Once you’ve incorporated 10 drops of oil, whisk vigorously. Finish with a pinch of black pepper.