Have you ever noticed that Thanksgiving dinner is, well… brown? The turkey, the potatoes, the rolls… all great, but… brown.
So, it’s important to me that I add fresh elements among all of the baked and roasted goodness piled high on our Thanksgiving table. Since we eat salads almost every day here on the Farm, it isn’t a stretch to say I am definitely including a green salad on our menu!
Learning to make my own salad dressings has been easy and fun! It really does just take a few minutes to put together a great dressing along with my dinner preparations. One of my favorite dressings is actually just a combination of honey and lime juice. The end. It tastes sweet, bright and fresh drizzled over a salad loaded down with my favorite toppings.
So, first things first. Let’s talk salad!
We build salads differently at our house. Since everyone likes something different on their salad, I chop, dice and shred to provide many options for each diner. At our house we dish our plates in the kitchen and then take them to the dinner table, so this method works really well for us.
Each diner starts with a bed of greens and adds on as much or as little as they want. I have found that my kids eat way more salad because I give them options for toppings.
Why Make Your Own Salad Dressing?
I mean, they really aren’t horribly expensive, right? Aren’t you going a little overboard here, Dorene? Perhaps, but if it’s nearly as easy to make it and you’re leaving out things like unhealthy oils, MSG and other fillers and overly processed ingredients, why wouldn’t you? Besides, what a great skill to have when you find yourself last minute without dressing, but have honey, mustard and mayonnaise and can throw together a quick dressing for your family!
I have three salad dressing recipes that I use on a regular basis: Fresh Italian Herb, Honey Mustard and Ranch. Each of these recipes should last at least a week in the refrigerator.
Let’s Get Started!
I found some cute old bottles at a yard sale one year! I love using them for salad dressings. I have also used an oil and vinegar dressing carafe that I’ve had for decades and plastic ketchup squeeze bottles which I priced at Walmart for $ .97 each. Mason jars work well also.
All of these recipes are dump and mix. My favorite!
Fresh Italian Herb Salad Dressing
3/4 C. Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Galic Clove, minced or grated
1 Tablespoon Red Onion, minced or grated
1 Tablespoon Red Bell Pepper, minced finely
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Honey
1/2 teaspoon Dried Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Dried Parsley
1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Mix and shake well to emulsify. I shake this up in a mason jar before transferring it to my salad dressing jar.
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Cup Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Green Onion, finely minced
1 teaspoon Dried Parsley
1 Clove Garlic, minced finely or grated
1/2 teaspoon Dried Dill
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
3/4 teaspoon Salt
Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients (except milk) in a bowl using a whisk. Start with 1/4 Cup of milk. This makes a lot of dressing. If you want to use some as dip, I suggest that you stop here and set some of the mixture aside for that. If you want to use it all as salad dressing, continue to add milk until it reaches pouring consistency (about 1 Cup total).
1/3 Cup Dijon Mustard
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/3 Cup Honey
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne