Do you generally reach for the nearest bottle of salad dressing when it comes to your salads? Why not consider making your own? Not only will it save you some money, but you can also reclaim some of that fridge/pantry space that those bottles are currently occupying! And dressings are so easy to make too (almost as quick as shaking the bottle) that you really should give it a go. So Dress to Impress with these 8 Amazing Salad Dressings, in association with Bord Bia Salad Week.
Summer Salads Week 18-24 July is part of Bord Bia’s ‘Best In Season’ promotional campaign to explain quite simply what fruit and vegetables are available in Ireland and what’s ‘Best In Season’. By following their calendar of availability you’ll know when you’ll be able to find fresh, local produce. Local produce especially salad crops can be picked when they are riper and taste the best because they don’t have far to go.
They’re also trying to help younger consumers to get into healthy eating habits early on – older consumers tend to eat more fruit, vegetables and salads than younger consumers and they want everyone to be benefiting from the host of nutritional benefits that eating fresh produce brings.
More than anything they want you enjoy the fresh flavours of summer salads – tomatoes bursting with flavour, crunchy cooling lettuces and cucumbers, sweet refreshing peppers.
Knowing that salad dressings are mostly about sweet and sour, means that making homemade salads dressings is really not that difficult. And you don’t need fancy equipment either – a mixing bowl and whisk will suffice in most cases. A food processor or blender is useful when making creamier or thicker dressings.
#1. Summer Salad Dressing with a Kick!
Spice up a simple chunky tomato, pepper, cucumber and onion salad with some punchy dressing, which works perfectly with the coolness of the tomatoes and cucumber. This Bord Bia Chunky Summer Salad uses mustard, mustard seeds and tabasco to add a hot kick, and you could even add some chilli flakes if you would like some extra heat!
#2. Spinach & Orange Salad Dressing
If you’ve never combined juicy oranges with fresh baby spinach leaves, then you’re truly missing out. This Spinach & Orange salad is one of my favourites, and the dressing is super easy to make too, using orange and lemon juice with honey and mustard. Yummy!
#3. Mango Dressing
This Mango Dressing combines fresh mango, with basil leaves and scallions/spring onions, and works well with any green salad. It would also be super tasty on chargrilled/roast chicken or fish.
#4. Shirazi Salad
For a refreshing summer salad, try this tasty Iranian Shirazi Salad which works well with any meat or fish dish or on it own. Using cucumber, tomatoes and red onion, the dressing is simply made from olive oil, lemon and the Middle Eastern spice sumac. Add some pomegranate seeds for extra colour and bite.
Image via Irish Times
#5. Nicoise Salad Dressing
A Nicoise salad makes a perfect dinner idea in summer, using eggs, potatoes and tuna with olives, tomatoes and leaves. This recipe uses some finely chopped basil and mayonnaise added to the oil/vinegar mix for a tasty, rich dressing. This would work well with avocado or chicken also. And if you don’t like anchovies, just leave them out, or fry up some chopped bacon as an alternative.
#6. Moroccan Tomato Salad Dressing
Spice up your salad offerings with a Moroccan Tomato Salad Dressing, using cumin, mint, and parsley with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. The heat from the cumin works perfectly with the cool fresh tomatoes and mint. Cucumber would also work really well in this salad. Yum!
#7. Quick Carrot-Ginger Dressing
We love the sound of this asian Carrot-Ginger Dressing from Real Simple which takes no more than 10 mins to make and will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. This would be great on any mixed salad.
#8. Harissa Dressing
Make your own homemade harissa dressing using roasted red peppers, to use on barbecued meats or fish, or to pop on top of a simple tomato, cucumber and green salad. The heat comes from the chillies so you can add more/less depending on your preference.
Over to you! Have you any favourite salad dressings? Let us know in the comments below.