Favorite Salad Dressing Recipes

doucanoeMarch 9, 2013

Looking for some fresh ideas for spring/summer salads. I made an avocado ranch dressing that I found on allrecipes.com and it was kind of blah. Would have liked it to be more flavorful and it wasn't, even though I tweaked it with more avocado, spice and buttermilk than called for.

Care to share your favorite homemade salad dressing recipes?


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my favorite dressing is:

Texas Roadhouse Ranch Dressing (from JoanieCooks)

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 dash dried, minced garlic
Mix all well and refrigerate

guess it is the cayenne that sets this apart from other ranch dressings. :)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 10:07AM
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We don't use the store-bought dressings because of the soy products and other "junk" in them. Some salads we top with grated cheddar cheese, feta or homemade gomasio (a sesame seed/salt mixture). A simple balsamic vinaigrette is a quick fix. -Grainlady

Dill Ranch

1 c. kefir (or buttermilk)
2 T. mayonnaise
1 t. sugar/honey/agave nectar/or equal amount of sugar substitute
3/4 t. dill weed
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. dried basil
pinch of salt

Blend in a blender until smooth.

Green Goddess Dressing

1/4 c. drained kefir cheese (can use drained yogurt or Greek-style yogurt)
3 T. liquid kefir (or buttermilk)
1 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1/8 t. salt
1-1/2 t. cider vinegar
1/8 t. red pepper sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Blend in a blender until smooth.


1 c. drained kefir (or sour cream)
2 T. mayonnaise
2 T. lemon juice
3/4 t. Tabasco sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 c. Roquefort cheese
Blend in blender until smooth.

Q & E Salad Dressing

1 c. drained kefir (or plain yogurt)
2 T. honey or agave nectar
1 T. prepared mustard (any kind you like)
1 t. cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Blend in blender until smooth.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:06AM
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I'm jumping for joy about that Texas Roadhouse recipe! WOOHOO! I've been experimenting with Ranch and just cannot get the taste I like...this is my next experiment! Been using the Pioneer Woman's recipe and it's just missing something...I believe it's the buttermilk but can't be sure yet.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Other than home made vinaigrette, one of my favorites is dijon mustard (or other brown or whole grain mustard) mixed with mayo and dill to taste. Thin with milk or buttermilk. Can add chives too!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:24AM
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CC's Green Goddess Dressing

Make an hour or so ahead. It needs some time to thicken in the fridge.

1/2 cup loosely packed parsley sprigs, washed and patted very dry
1/2 cup loosely packed tarragon leaves, washed and patted very dry
1/4 cup loosely packed chives (The easiest way to measure is to snip them into 1-inch lengths directly into the measuring cup.)
1 scallion, washed, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 small garlic clove, peeled
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and well drained
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 to 4 grindings of black pepper

Put all ingredients into a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade. Turn the motor on and let run steadily for about 1 minute, or until dressing is uniformly creamy and smooth. Pour into a jar, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

This post was edited by cloudy_christine on Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 11:32

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:31AM
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We love this...

Green Goddess

1 cup good mayonnaise
1 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (6 to 7 scallions)
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 teaspoons kosher salt (I skipped because the anchovies are salty)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
3 heads Bibb lettuce (or any kind you prefer)
2 to 3 tomatoes

Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.

Add the sour cream and process just until blended. (If not using immediately, refrigerate the dressing until ready to serve.)
Cut each head of lettuce into quarters, remove some of the cores, and arrange on 6 salad plates.

Cut the tomatoes into wedges and add to the plates.

Pour on the dressing and serve.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 1:28PM
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This is my favorite, but I omit the shallots.


1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tablespoon Shallots (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon Honey
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Drizzle over lettuce/salad or use as a marinade for chicken.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Boy, this one was easy. It is the dressing I use most days.

1 tbs. EVOO
1 tbs balsamic
a pinch of garlic, fresh or powder
a big grind of black pepper
1/2 tsp either kosher salt or powdered granulated Maggi/Knorr beef
1 tsp Grey poupon(optional)

Mix well, add your greens and some sliced red onion and any other veggies you like. Bleu or roq and chevre are great mixed in too.

The other one we love is an eggless Caesar that holds for weeks in the fridge. Let me know if you want it.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 5:50PM
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arkansas girl....ever since i made that dressing it tasted (to me) just like the dressing from the restaurant. hope you like it!!! :)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:18PM
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Yes, Peppi, I would love the Caesar dressing recipe. I love Caesar Salad!

I see several I am planning to try here! Thanks!

In the meantime I came across this one that Marilyn posted back on 2003. Sounds like another to try!

Fresh Onion Dressing
Marilyn (DanaIN)

6 T apple cider vinegar
3 T fresh lemon juice
4 tsp dijon style mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1-1/2 c olive oil
1 small onion sliced thin 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 T minced garlic
2 anchovies, minced

In a stainless steel bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, salt & pepper.

Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking continuously until all the oil has been incorporated.

Add the onion, basil thyme, garlic & anchovies and combine thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Chef's touch: For this dressing you may use a mixture of herbs such as marjoram, oregano and parsley in addition to the basil and thyme. It is better to use only ONE fresh herb, however, should only one be available, rather than to add dried herbs.

The dressing is quite assertive when first prepared. I would suggest making it from 4-24 hours before serving. The flavors will mingle and mellow. May be kept covered and refrigerated for 3-4 days.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:42PM
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These are some of my all time favorites. I'm looking forward to seeing what others post.

Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette
1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons)
1 clove garlic, crushed with the salt
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c freshly grated parmesan
This is delicious on sharp spring greens like Arugula and dandelion greens.

Lemony Caesar Dressing

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 c olive oil (scant)
1 lemon, juiced
1 T white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1 drizzle Worcestershire sauce
3 anchovies
2 T mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

Mash the garlic with the anchovies into a paste. Scrape into a tightly sealing jar, add remaining ingredients and shake shake shake it up. Add salt and pepper to taste. Yum.

Creamy Raspberry Dressing
5t raspberry vinegar
3 T sour cream
4T neutral oil

Dissolve salt in vinegar. Add pepper, then sour cream and oil. Mix well. Adjust seasonings. The dressing is a rather unfortunate shade, but ignore that, it is delicious. This is FABULOUS with a mixed greens salad with toasted walnuts. Raspberries as a garnish add the perfect touch.

Maple Lime Dressing
This dressing is great for green salads with fruit, or fruit salads. It is especially good on green salads with fresh or dried fruit, some toasted walnuts and some blue cheese.

Whisk together equal parts of freshly squeezed lime juice, maple syrup, and olive oil, with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Taste and adjust the acid balance, adding more lime if needed. I prefer my dressings on the tart side, and this salad often needs a bit more lime with the the sweetness of the fruit.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:50PM
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Tarragon Vinaigrette Dressing

6 oz Olive Oil (see note)
2 oz White Wine Vinegar
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/8 to ¼ tsp salt (preferably kosher)
generous grinding of black pepper
4 to 6 dashes of Tabasco
about ¼ tsp of Dijon mustard

Put all the ingredients in a container and blend well with a fork or whisk. If you want it a little thicker, put an ice cube in it while blending it, removing the ice cube prior to dressing the salad. It can be made up earlier in the day and stored in a glass container, covered, in the fridge; just whip it up again immediately prior to dressing the salad. Makes about one cup.

Note on olive oil: this recipe is only as good as the oil you use. Don’t use cheap olive oil (or--horrors--"‘lite’ olive oil.) Use a good green “primavera” extra virgin oil, no blends. Bertolli is fine. If you can find (and afford) a Provençal French oil like Hilaire Fabre or James Plagniol, get it; it’s fantastic. Variation 1: use walnut or hazelnut oil instead of the olive oil. Variation 2: for the vinegar, use half vinegar and half lemon juice. I once made a salad with a smattering of grapes in the mix; I used walnut oil for the oil, and unsweetened grapefruit juice instead of the vinegar. I generally don't like sweet dressings, but this was superb, if I do say so myself. --- However you vary it, though, make sure you follow the proverb “A spendthrift with oil and a miser with vinegar” --"the oil to vinegar ratio should be about 3:1.

This post was edited by arley on Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 19:53

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 7:48PM
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At the moment i like vinaigrette made with a good sherry vinegar, walnut or - even better - hazelnut oil, mustard, Salt and pepper.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 5:02AM
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I've been using this for years. It's from Lex Culinaria and it's sooooooo yummy!

Balsamic Salad Dressing from lex Culinaria

1 cup olive oil (or parmesan infused olive oil) 

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 

6 tablespoons good quality grated parmesan cheese 

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 

2 tablespoons sugar 

1/2 teaspoon paprika 

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard 

6 whole cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. garlic powder) 

2 tablespoons ketchup (can use a little more to make it thicker) 

1 + 1/2 teaspoons salt 

Mix everything in a jar and shake. Enjoy !!!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 5:21AM
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Linda, here you go: Caesar Salad Supreme

I skip making croutons and I do sub in the EVOO mayo for this to save a few calories.

Here is a link that might be useful: Caesar Salad Supreme

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 9:09AM
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This one is a real favourite of mine, Important to use veggie oil not Olive oi. If you can't find Honeycup mustard any good honey mustard would work.

I like it on a spring mix with almonds and dried cranberries.

The Pantry Shelf’s Raspberry Vinaigrette

2 T Raspberry Vinegar
2 T Sugar
1 t Honeycup Mustard
1/2 t salt
1/2 c vegetable oil

Mix first 4 ingredients in a food processor. With the blade still
running gradually add oil. Store in the refrigerator.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 9:14AM
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We had this last night.

1/4 cup EVOO
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:40AM
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Salad dressings are something I always wing.

Except for my Caesar Salad. I've been making it the same way for over 33 years. I went to a few hands on cooking sessions at the Pat Davis School of Cooking in Grand Rapids back in 1980. This recipe remains our favourite Ceasar.

Caesar Salad

adapted from Pat Davis Cooking School

1 large head of Romaine Lettuce, washed, dried and torn into pieces
1 large clove of garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. or more to taste Dijon Mustard
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
anchovy fillets
1/4 cup Roquefort cheese
(substitute Maytag or another high quality blue cheese)
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 coddled egg
red wine vinegar
fresh squeezed lemon juice
Homemade Croutons

Add garlic to salad bowl (wooden works best), sprinkle with salt and use a fork to crush garlic. Turn into a paste. Add coddled egg and mix. Add dijon mustard and mix well. Add anchovy
fillets and crush with fork. Drizzle in oil a bit at a time, until the oil is absorbed by the egg
mixture. Add red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Season with pepper. Add salt to taste. Add some lemon juice and mix.

Toss Romaine lettuce with dressing and add crumbled Roquefort Cheese.
Sprinkle with Parmesan and add croutons.


2 or 3 slices of French or Italian bread 3/4 inch thick, crusts removed
1 garlic clove
olive oil

Rub each slice of bread with crushed garlic clove. Cut into cubes. Heat oil and toss the cubes. Make sure they are well coated. Turn often until nicely toasted. Place in a low oven to finish toasting and crisping.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 11:05AM
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Ann, that Caesar recipe is almost identical to the way we used to make it tableside when I worked at a country club back in the 90's. Except we did not add blue cheese, and I would omit anyway that since I am not a fan.

Thanks Peppi for that "eggless" Caesar, too! Yum!

I love tarragon and grow my own so I now have another use for tarragon, too! LOL

That Maple Lime recipe intrigues me. I also have raspberry, sherry and a couple different balsamic vinegars on hand so lots of these dressing recipes will find their way to my table in the next few months!



    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 2:29PM
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Here's my version of Ranch dressing, and I use no dried ingredients:

Ranch Salad Dressing


2 shallots, minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh dill, minced (large stems removed)
1 dash cayenne
2 tbs fresh lemon juice (Meyer’s lemons preferred)
2 cups mayonnaise (Best Foods or Hellmann’s), or a combination of mayo and sour cream


If you have a small food processor, you can put roughly chopped garlic and shallots and fresh dill in together for mincing or fine chopping. It is okay with this recipe to puree the ingredients, although you may want to put the dill in last, in this case.

Then combine with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and stir together by hand. Chill one hour and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Best to chill overnight before serving. It keeps for about a month, but may separate slightly; if so, stir before using. If it is too thick, you can thin it with buttermilk.

Herb Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
(Do not substitute dried herbs for fresh - leave them out if you do not have fresh.)


3 tbsp Dijon mustard
6 cloves garlic
1-2 shallots, depending on size (optional)
1/3 cup chopped fresh sweet basil
3 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme (stems removed)
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar, aged eight years, the best you can find - should be very sweet
2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar, medium quality
2 tbsp white Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
2-3 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or to taste


Peel and coarsely chop garlic, and shallots, if desired, and put into blender with the mustard and herbs. Pulse a few times to chop the garlic and herbs, and add vinegars, salt, and pepper. Blend until all ingredients are very finely chopped or puréed. Add the olive oil a bit at a time and blend until smooth. If possible, pour the olive oil through a small hole in the top of the blender while blending. Adjust vinegars, salt, pepper, and oil to taste, remembering that the flavor will change after the garlic and herbs have had time to marinate in the vinegar and oil. If desired, add 2-3 tsp of water to make the dressing a bit thinner and easier to pour. Store in a jar in the refrigerator. Keeps for at least two weeks, although the herb flavors will diminish over time.

Yield: approx. 1-2/3 cups

Roquefort Salad Dressing


1/8 pound Roquefort cheese, as fresh as possible
2 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
3-4 dashes cayenne
3 tbsp lemon juice (preferably from Meyer lemons)
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise (Best Foods or Hellmann’s)


Break the cheese in a small bowl with a fork and add the lemon juice. You should have enough to make the cheese into a fairly smooth mixture. Mix by hand - do not use a blender. If you like to have small lumps of cheese in the dressing, reserve some of the cheese to put back in later.
Add the pepper and cayenne and stir with the fork. Add cheese lumps at this time if you have reserved any and stir in carefully so that they will not become blended.
Add the mayonnaise - "the amount you add will depend on how strong a Roquefort flavor you desire. I like it fairly strong.
Chill for at least half an hour before serving. It should keep for a couple of weeks.

Tahini Japanese Salad Dressing

1 slice peeled fresh ginger, about 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup sesame paste (or smooth peanut butter)
3 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 C rice vinegar
1-1/2 tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp chili paste or hot sauce
1 clove garlic
1 tsp soy sauce

Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

Louis Salad Dressing: (for seafood salads)

2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup chili sauce (medium)*
2 green onions, minced
2-3 tsp lime or lemon juice
1 tbsp prepared horseradish
dash of bottled hot sauce or cayenne, to taste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Combine all ingredients and mix well.
*It is best if you make your own chili sauce - if you buy it, make sure it does NOT contain tomato - that is not an ingredient in this dressing although it is an ingredient in the salad. You can make a decent chili sauce from Korean chili paste at your local Korean market or in the Asian section of your grocery store - I use Assi brand, and it is fairly mild. Simply add water to it until it is the correct consistency - I use one tablespoon for 1/4 cup of water.

These are the salad dressings that I make the most often. I also frequently make Caesar dressing, and mine is very similar to Ann's and the others listed above.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 5:10PM
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Lars, I have made your Louis Salad dressing many times. Usually with a seafood salad or a crab boil or lobster, or crab cakes....anything seafood!! Delish!

Although I must admit to using my homemade chile sauce which is tomato based,,,,,,

Amazing on a Crab Louis Salad !!! The best

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 5:18PM
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DH's favorite.

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/2 c. veg oil
1 T. honey
1 T. mustard (I use Stadium mustard)
1 T. parmasian cheese
1 t. oregano
DH's addition: horseraddish to taste, about 1 heaping tsp.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 5:23PM
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Not quite homemade... take on Good seasons Italian. I'll sub lemon juice for vinegar. Nice difference fir seafood salads.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Lars, I have Sriracha, would that work for the chili sauce? I don't really keep any other chili based things on hand other than a couple of different chili powders and chipotles in adobo.

I have had your Louis Salad on my to try list for a while but get intimidated by the darn chili sauce!


    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 7:53PM
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Linda, you can use Sriracha for the chili sauce, but you will not need very much of it, probably no more than half a teaspoon. To make up for the chili flavor, you can add chili powder (if it is a good brand and pure chili powder). If you have Ancho chili powder, that would be good to use, and you could just mix it with a bit of water.

If you use chipotles in adobo sauce, you will be making an adobo dressing, which is a bit intense for a crab salad. I do recommend that you buy a canned chili or enchilada sauce - La Victoria is a good brand and is the correct mildness for this recipe.

Sharon, it is fine to use a tomato based chili sauce in this recipe, but I give it a different name when it has tomatoes in it, although I can't remember what that is. I do make it both ways, but I think it is good to start with the pure chili sauce to be able to appreciate the subtle flavor of the mild chilies.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 1:48PM
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Great thread.

Here's one of my favorites. It's light and refreshing with a great taste:


1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil


Combine the lemon juice, honey, mustard, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue whisking until thickened. (The dressing will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Light Lemon Vinaigrette

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 2:42PM
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Makes about 3 cups. Stores well in fridge for a month. Excellent on tossed salads. Try substituting this dressing for mayonnaise on BLT's.

Combine in a jar:
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tbls. hot water

1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 clove garlic , minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 small onion, diced
1 cup olive oil

Blend all together with hand blender until smooth.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 4:53PM
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This is one I use when we have left over grilled steaks (*cough cough* - too much from Costco). I make a salad from chunks of tomato, cucumber, onions, cilantro, cold cubed cooked steak, and rice noodles. Maybe some chopped lettuce as well.

Thai Beef Salad dressing

1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp or to taste chili oil

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:39PM
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CA Kate

I like this citrus one with fresh Spring greens:

1/3 cup orange juice
1 Tbsps virgin olive oil
2 Tbsps Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste

This post was edited by westelle on Tue, Mar 12, 13 at 22:17

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 4:27PM
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Here is my favorite:

1 - 2 teaspoons salt (I generally use 1)
1 scant teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 cup Splenda
1 cup oil
1/2 cup tarragon vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well.

I have made this recipe with all different sorts of vinegar, but our hands-down favorite is Spicy Pecan Vinegar!

Here is a link that might be useful: Cuisine Perel Spicy Pecan Vinegar

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 7:15PM
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We like to keep it simple...really, really simple.

We have three Meyers in our garden, so we always have Meyer lemon juice. And every year I make enough pesto to stash in the freezer, but I leave out the nuts.

Dressing #1: Juice one Meyer, add EVOO, toss in a dollop of pesto and some fresh cracked black pepper. Use ASAP.

Dressing #2: Whirl one tin of anchovies in oil with 1 cup of EVOO and a couple of dashes of lemon pepper (we're low-salt out here) in the blender until smooth. Divide into small jars and stash in the freezer until needed.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 7:21PM
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My favorite homemade is the basic oil and vinegar doctored up on an inspiration of Justin Wilson's. I'm going from memory but essentially peanut oil, white vinegar, Louisiana hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and the pepper would be put on the salad itself. I think that's everything that went in it. It had a "heartier" taste to it than the normally wimpy oil/vin or Italian dressing. I haven't made it for a long time but I'm getting a taste for it.

Something seems missing... Oh, some garlic powder or minced garlic. Guess I gotta dig out my cookbook and see if I made notes on it. Or check Justin's cookbook. These days I'd probably put in a dash of Spike, Jane's or Mrs. Dash. Well, no, I guess I prefer the seasonings on the salad itself rather than the dressing.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 3:30PM
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Is that sesame paste prepared or do you make it? I cannot recall seeing it, but shall look.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 6:30PM
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