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Dressing Fearlessly: 2 Simple Salad Dressings


For me, making salad dressing is a fearsome chore. It can be so hard to get the balance just right, where the tartness doesn’t make your face scrunch up, but perfectly complements the buttery, not bitter, olive oil. The kind of dressing that leaves your salad light, sparkly and fresh tasting.

It’s always the first thing I feel I should make, to get it over with, and the very last thing I actually do make. As it turns out, I am not the only one who finds it vexing. So to overcome my fear (and perhaps yours), I have come up with two easy, foolproof methods for simple green salads — a simple “jar dressing” and one I call “1/1/1/1″ dressing.

These dressings have very few ingredients, so the flavor of the vinegar and oil is key. They both need to be so good that when you taste them on a piece of bread with a little salt you say, “Mmm, tasty.”

For the jar dressing you just need a nice, light flavored, happy olive oil. For the “1/1/1/1″ dressing you can get out your fanciest cold pressed olive oil.

With the jar dressing I have my good friend the 16 ounce Mason (Ball) jar help me. It tells me how to get the measurements right (usually they are printed on the side), it makes and stores enough dressing for a week, and since this recipe has no garlic or herbs in it, it lasts forever, doesn’t need to be refrigerated and doesn’t get weird off-tasting flavors. The “tasty additions” like garlic are added the day you need them.


You need

One 16 oz Mason jar
½ cup tasty vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup light flavored olive oil, or nut oil (hazelnut or walnut) or a combination of the two

To make 2 cups

Pour the vinegar and salt into the jar, shake until the salt has dissolved, add the olive oil, shake and shake again. Taste it, this is important… does it need more salt? A little more vinegar? When it is perfect, smile and feel pride.

Tasty additions to add on the day you serve it:

* Minced garlic
* Minced red onion
* Chopped soft herbs like chives, basil, tarragon or parsley
* A bit of mustard

Shake your dressing jar, pour about 1 Tablespoon per serving into your salad bowl, add your additions to the bowl, whisk… and toss in your greens. Enjoy.


The second and my favorite dressing is quick, light, and you just measure straight into the bowl. For this dressing you can get out your best vinegar and finest olive or nut oil, since this dressing is where they will shine. It is easy to remember…. “1/1/1/1/ dressing.”

“1/1/1/1″ DRESSING

You Need (for each serving)

1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
1 tablespoon of your best oil (olive, hazelnut, walnut…)
1 handful salad greens

Get out your big fancy salad bowl, whisk the salt and vinegar together. If you want, you can throw in a bit of minced garlic and fresh herbs. Swirl in the oil, toss in the greens. Taste. Serve.



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One Response

  1. Laika says:

    Wonderful dressing recipes, thank you!

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