Whisking up a salad dressing from scratch is a tasty and easy way to showcase summer’s peak produce, such as sweet corn, crisp green beans, juicy tomatoes, tender summer squash and vibrant fresh herbs.
Also, making your own dressing means you can punch up flavor with your favorite seasonings. Do you dig dill? Add bunches! Can’t get enough garlic? No need to be shy — toss in as much as you like.
All you need is a whisk or a blender and you’re in business to start making your own dressings. Here are a few of our go-to recipes.
This is the most versatile dressing. When in doubt of what dressing would be perfect, think vinaigrette: on greens, beans, potatoes, grains, pasta, grilled veggies, chicken, fish and more. Change things up with different oils, vinegars and mustards. A hint of sweetness can add a nice balance — try a pinch of sugar, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or even a dollop of jam.
It’s hard to beat a classic wedge of iceberg lettuce topped with blue cheese, toasted walnuts, crumbled bacon and fresh tomatoes. But I urge you to explore other combinations! A strong “crunch” makes a good match with the creaminess, so crisp romaine, celery, carrots and raw corn kernels are a delicious starting point.
Yes, you can make ranch from scratch! This tangy combination of yogurt, buttermilk, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, spices and fresh herbs will delight the ranch lover(s) at your table. Ranch seems much appreciated for just about any salad and dipping occasion, and especially with summer cucumbers, green beans and tomatoes.
With a double dose of sesame flavor, from tahini (ground sesame seeds) and toasted sesame oil, and a hit of umami from white miso, this savory, creamy yet dairy-free dressing is great on greens and green vegetables, raw or cooked. Think green beans, broccoli and kale. Also try it on garbanzo beans, whole grains and potatoes.
This family-friendly creamy classic is a winner on salads as well as grilled chicken, potatoes, beans and grains. And of course it’s a favorite and versatile dipping sauce. Try serving it alongside grilled meats or veggies.
Explore more salad dressing recipes here.
What are some of your favorite dressings to make from scratch for summer salads?