Cathie Campbell

Dressing for your summer salads

A good dressing is the finishing touch for a fresh and tasty salad.
A good dressing is the finishing touch for a fresh and tasty salad. Kirsten Hagerty,

We put a lot of thought into the things we would like to put in a salad, and many people love to make their own salad dressings rather than use bottled ones. There are a lot of good bottled ones, to be sure, but sometimes it is fun to mix something up from scratch. I am always on the look out for recipes that will add that extra level of flavor to a salad. Those who have an extra measure of will power often eat their salads with no dressing at all, but I don’t drench a salad so I don’t think it’s going to do much harm if I drizzle a little dressing over it. I hope you have some fun looking over the selection of salad dressing recipes here and that at least one becomes a family favorite.

Blue cheese dressing

Best to make this the day before planning to serve it.

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sour cream

 1/2 cup buttermilk

 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (I just use regular kind)

2 tablespoons grated onion

4 dashed Tabasco sauce

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 dash cayenne pepper, optional

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons sugar

6 ounces crumbled blue cheese

1. In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine mayonnaise, sour cream and buttermilk. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed.

2. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving, for the best flavor. Makes 10 servings.

Citrus vinaigrette

 1/4 cup orange juice

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1  1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Place all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid; shake the mixture well.

2. Refrigerate the dressing until it is time to serve it. Just before serving, shake dressing and drizzle over salad. Makes about  1/2 cup.

Avocado dressing

1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

 1/4 cup each fresh cilantro leaves (not packed), extra-virgin olive oil, cider vinegar and orange juice

 3/4 teaspoon sugar

1 clove garlic minced

1. Puree all ingredients except salt and pepper in a blender or small food processor until smooth.

2. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Makes about 1 cup.

Chinese chicken salad dressing

This is what I came up with for when I make one of those salads with chicken, ramen noodles, slivered almonds, green onions and cabbage.

 1/2 cup canola oil

 1/4 cup rice vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)

2 packets chicken-flavored ramen noodle seasoning

 1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1. Mix all ingredients together in a jar with tight-fitting lid, then shake until well blended. Makes about 1 cup.

French dressing

1 can (10  3/4 -oz.) condensed tomato soup, undiluted

1 cup canola oil

 1/2 cup sugar

 1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

2 teaspoons pepper, or to taste

1 teaspoon salt

 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until well blended. Makes about 3 cups.