Four Essential Salad Dressings Recipes

photo credit: Emma Lee

With just an empty jar and lid, you can shake up a homemade salad dressing in 3 minutes or less. Fresh, homemade salad dressing is not only infinitely tastier, but also without the crazy chemicals and artificial flavorings found in store-bought versions, including: MSG, disodium inosinate, natamycin, artificial coloring….the list goes on and on.

With these four essential salad dressing recipes as a starter base, you can customize to make dozens of your own recipes.

  • Herb Dressing
  • Mustard Dressing
  • Yogurt Dressing
  • Sesame-Soy Dressing

The recipes are from Good Veg: Ebullient Vegetables, Global Flavors – a Modern Vegetarian Cookbook, by Alice Hart, a cookbook with 200 recipes that capture the essence and elegance of vegetables, fruits, and grains.

The cookbook subtitle is so perfect: “ebullient” means “cheerful or full of energy” (don’t worry, I had to look that word up, too). Unlike many vegetarian cookbooks that are contemplative, earthy, somber and restrained, Good Veg is a wild party that celebrates bold flavors (Coconut Raspberry Cakes, Horta on Toast with Sweet Pepper and Chile Jam) and happy global mashups (Chipotle Scotch Eggs with Smoky Tomato Dip, Rice Noodle Salad with Coconut Green Goddess Dressing).

Praise for Good Veg Cookbook:

“I could cook from this book every night.”

Nigella Lawson

“The 200 colorful creations presented here represent a veritable master class in meat-free cookery…[a] worthy addition to any cook’s shelf, no matter vegetarian or omnivore.”—Booklist

“Whether you’re in search of a quick breakfast, a midweek meal, or a showstopper for a special occasion, you’ll find . . . satisfying dishes for everyday cooking. Hart’s new collection is a great choice for readers seeking vegetarian recipes beyond the ordinary.”—Library Journal

The New Vegetarian could be our favorite yet . . . Alice’s book is bursting with easy, seasonal dishes and twists on old favorites. At a time when we’re all trying to go a little greener, this book is essential.”
Jamie Magazine, by Jamie Oliver

We’re lucky to be able to share with you Alice’s Four Essential Salad Dressing recipes – one of each herb, mustard, yogurt and sesame-soy based. With these base recipes, you can mix/match, substitute your favorite ingredients. Recipe reprinted with permission:

The combinations that follow—herb, yogurt, mustard and sesame- soy—will make easy dressings to fit most moods or ingredients. Each version will make enough to dress a salad or steamed vegetables for four to six people, depending on how generous you are with dressing. Do play with the sharp notes (vinegar) and any sweet elements (honey, sugar and so on), adjusting them to taste as you wish.

Four Essential Salad Dressing Recipes

Servings: Each dressing recipe serves 4-6

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes


Handful of soft herb leaves, such as basil, chervil chives, cilantro, dill or parsley, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider, red or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of unrefined sugar, if needed
5 to 6 tablespoons mild olive or canola oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped chive, cilantro or mint leaves, optional
Squeeze of lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons cider, red or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 to 2 teaspoons honey, to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger root
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 red or green chile, deseeded if you like, finely chopped
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons peanut oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


To make any of the 4 options, shake the ingredients together in a lidded jar to emulsify, adding 1 tablespoon of water to each. Alternatively, whisk everything together in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of water, adding the oil in a thin stream while whisking, and season to taste. The splash of water adds lightness.
In the case of the herb dressing, use a hand blender to blend the ingredients until smooth, if you like. You can then use this as a dip for crudités as well as a dressing.

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