Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dressing up a Salad

We love salads of all kinds all year round, but summer produce means salad heaven in our household! We have two favorite vinaigrettes that (in our humble opinions) perfectly accent the fresh leafy greens, sweet berries, juice tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, etc. that summer brings. They are both a snap to make and much healthier than the store bought versions which undoubtedly contain corn syrup, weird thickening agents, and many other unpronounceable chemicals. I hope you like them as much as we do.

For both dressings you simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together or place them in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
¼ Cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon of Honey (or Agave)
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, oregano and basil (dried)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
A few turns of pepper

This goes really well with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and fresh basil.

It is also marvelous over leafy greens (I usually get whatever looks the best at the farmer’s market), with thinly sliced apples and raisins or fresh figs and toasted walnuts. Although this is more appropriate for late summer and early fall when apples and figs are in season, we eat it year round because it is Alfred's absolute favorite!

This simple balsamic vinaigrette is also quite good as a dressing for bean salads. I usually toss it with equal amounts of blanched green beans, white and red kidney beans.

Shallot and Poppy Seed Dressing
¼ Cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Honey (or Agave)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 shallot, finely minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt

This dressing pairs perfectly with a salad of sliced strawberries and fresh baby greens (it was a perfect lunch this afternoon).

As the fruit at the farmer’s market changes other berries, sliced fresh peaches or melon can replace the strawberries.

Depending on how much salad you make, all of these options can serve as a meal, a side dish, or a healthy snack. Bon apetite!

As usual, I've also included this recipe as part of several weekly recipe sharing events: Slightly Induglent Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesdays and Tuesdays at the Table. Check out all the great recipes other bloggers have contributed!


  1. Love the poppy seed dressing! i love to experiment with different dressings. The salads look gorgeous!

  2. Thanks Debbi - I enjoyed some of the leftover poppy seed dressing for lunch today, it is very tasty!

  3. Those salads look really good! I'm going to try your dressings!

  4. Yum! Those sound great! Salads are a favorite around here too!