Dressings truly make the salad; some classic options offered

| August 2, 2020 1:00 AM

Today’s illustration of a three-bean salad is the perfect example of the art of variation, for nearly every dressing offered in our column could be used on it. And the neatest thing is, it makes a brand-new salad each time. This holds for any salad at all – from simple greens to elaborate fruit or beggie offerings. So use today’s line-up for inspiration any time you’re looking for a change in a favorite recipe. Enjoy!

Old Classic Dressing

(Makes about 3/4 cup)

2 Tbsps. white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. cane sugar

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 cup light olive oil

2 Tbsps. fresh (chopped-stemmed) or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme or tarragon leaves

2 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped stemmed

1 clove garlic, finely minced

Whisk together vinegar lemon juice, sugar and mustard in a bowl until blended. Slowly pour in olive oil, whisking constantly. Add herbs and garlic and whisk until dressing is completely blended. Add to salad or pour into a cruet for personal use.

Basil Dressing

(About 1/2 cup)

1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Dash salt and pepper

1/2 tsp. cane sugar

2 sprigs fresh basil leaves, stripped, chopped

3 Tbsps. olive oil

Combine all ingredients except oil. With whisk, gradually beat in oil until mixed.

Great over fresh ripe tomato and avocado wedges.

Buttermilk Dressing

(About 2 cups)

2 cups buttermilk

1 clove garlic, peeled, crushed, minced

1 sprig fresh parsley, stemmed. diced

2 green onions incl. tops, finely chopped

Salt, pepper to taste

Whisk vigorously or use blender if you wish; chill before using.

Basic Cobb Salad Dressing

(About 4 cups)

1 cup water

1 cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp. cane sugar

Juice of 1/2 fresh-squeezed lemon

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic

Dash salt and pepper

1 cup olive oil

2 cups light vegetable oil

In blender, mix all ingredients except oils. With blender on low speed, slowly add olive and veggie oils, mixing well. Chill.

Creamy Cucumber Dressing

(About 1 cup)

4 Tbsps. plain yogurt

1 Tbsp. white wine or rice vinegar

1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded diced

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill OR 1 tsp. dried dill weed

1 tsp. fresh chopped green onions tops or chives

2 tsps. fresh lemon juice

Dash salt and pepper

Whisk (or blend if you wish) all ingredients until well-incorporated. Can refrigerate up to two days. Stir before serving.

Classic French Dressing

(About 1 1/2 cups)

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup ketchup

2 Tbsps. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Whisk thoroughly or blend on medium speed until smooth. Refrigerate up to three weeks.

Our final dressing is great for fruit salads, as well as green salads tossed with diced apple or orange sections, walnuts or cashews.

Ginger Dressing

(About 1 1/4 cups)

4 or 5 green onions, finely chopped w/tops

1 cup olive oil

1/3 cup white wine or rice vinegar

3 Tbsps. water

2 Tbsps. gingerroot, peeled, grated*

2 Tbsps. finely chopped celery

2 Tbsps. ketchup

1 Tbsp. Teriyaki sauce

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

2 tsps. fresh lemon juice

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a hand-mixer (or puree in a blender). Chill until ready to use.

* I prefer to use finely grated dried, sugared ginger pieces.

All of these recipes are the originals from famous old chefs and older cookbooks. They came in a collection I received around 1998. Obviously, if you’re looking for classics – here they are. But with so many new veggies and fruits in today’s repertoire, feel free to mix and switch as you prefer. Blenders were new in the ‘90s, and these recipes reflect that, but remember the original oldies from the Great Chefs were all hand-done. Since I like a little substance in my dressings, I opt for that option (is that a redundancy)? However, have fun with the possibilities!


Your choice of salads from simple veggies to wafer-topped grapes can all accept a variety of dressings to enhance whatever entrée is featured.


Tomatoes — and a variety of other vegetables — from the Sandpoint Farmers Market form the foundation for any number of great salad options.


Your choice of salads from simple veggies to wafer-topped grapes can all accept a variety of dressings to enhance whatever entrée is featured.