DIY Salad Dressing - Carolina Country

DIY Salad Dressing

By Debbie Moose

DIY Salad Dressing

If you have oil, vinegar and seasonings in your pantry, you can quickly make salad dressing that will beat the radishes off anything in a bottle, and lift up even the most mundane bowl of greens.

Classic vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part vinegar. If you like a more tart flavor, make it two parts oil to one of acid. Classic French vinaigrette uses olive oil, wine vinegar and prepared mustard. But you can top a Mexican salad wit­­h a vinaigrette using olive oil, lime juice, chili powder and cumin. Try an Asian touch with a neutral oil (canola or grapeseed), sesame oil, lemon juice and fresh ginger. Or combine olive oil, lemon juice, white wine or balsamic vinegar, oregano, thyme and crumbled feta to dress a Greek salad.

Whisk the ingredients in a small bowl, or put them in a lidded jar and shake well. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for several days, but when it's so easy, why not make it fresh for every salad?

Use this list as inspiration. Include more than one kind of oil and/or acid component for added flavor.


(3 parts)                                      

  • olive
  • canola
  • grapeseed
  • sunflower
  • walnut
  • avocado
  • toasted sesame (strong flavor)



(1 part)                         

  • white wine vinegar
  • red wine vinegar
  • sherry vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • white balsamic vinegar (sweeter and lighter than balsamic)
  • flavored vinegars (herb, garlic, pomegranate, citrus, etc.)
  • citrus juice (lime, lemon, orange, etc.)



(choose 2 to 3)

  • prepared mustard (thickens)
  • garlic (fresh cloves or powder)
  • grated citrus zest
  • onion (finely chopped fresh or powder)
  • paprika and/or turmeric (color)
  • chili powder
  • dried or fresh herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, tarragon, chives, etc.)
  • grated fresh ginger
  • finely chopped nuts
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • crumbled or grated cheese (Parmesan, feta, blue)
  • honey (sweetens and thickens)
  • tahini (thickens)
  • salt and pepper

About the Author

Debbie Moose ( has authored seven cookbooks and is a former food editor for The News & Observer in Raleigh.

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