We've already covered how to make a salad dressing, but what about the actual recipe inspo to go with? Pep up your salads with these six super easy salad dressing ideas. Prepped in a jiffy, they’re a cinch to personalise and will magically transform a muted meal into a dynamite dinner. Don’t worry about exact measurements (aim for a balance of three parts oil to one part acid as a rough guide but taste as you go, experiment freely and have fun!).
Honey mustard dressing
Add olive oil, cider vinegar, a dash of mustard, honey, minced garlic, salt and pepper to a jam jar and give it a good shake to emulsify. The heat from the mustard, lends this dressing a subtle warmth and piquancy, while the honey adds a balancing sweetness. We love it on a fresh green salad of leaves, cucumber and peppery radish topped with grilled chicken breast and croutons. Squirt in some mayo to turn it into a creamy sandwich spread or burger sauce.
Salty anchovy dressing
Make a lighter version of a Caesar-style dressing with a couple of mashed anchovies, minced garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar and cracked black pepper (taste first before adding salt as the anchovies are naturally salty). This speedy dressing is delish on a simple salad made of crunchy Romaine lettuce and shaved parmesan. Alternatively, try it on a warm green bean and chickpea salad or a platter of tender asparagus, new potatoes and jammy boiled eggs.
Soy and sesame dressing
Need a dressing for a cold noodle salad that’s ready in seconds? Blend a generous dollop of peanut butter into a mixture of soy sauce, Chinese rice vinegar, brown sugar and sesame oil for an umami punch. Stir in freshly minced garlic and ginger for extra fragrance and fire if you like. Then loosen with a splash of water for a thinner consistency. Alternatively, switch the soy for salty fish sauce and the vinegar for lime juice and chilli flakes for a Thai flavour. Both options are amazing on crunchy slaw-like salads made of a jumble of shredded carrot, Chinese cabbage and peppers or mange tout, red cabbage and beansprouts.
Garlicky avocado and lemon dressing
Blend a ripe avocado with a glug of olive oil, a generous squeeze of lemon, minced garlic and lots of salt and pepper for a creamy pastel-green salad dressing. Keep it thick like a mayo or loosen with water for a consistency closer to a vinaigrette. This dressing is also yummy as a dip for crisps and tortilla chips or as a sauce to drizzle over tacos and loaded fries.
Punchy yoghurt dressing with mayo
Combine an equal quantity of mayo and yoghurt to lemon juice, chilli flakes and finely chopped red onion to make a bold mayo dressing that pairs wonderfully with tuna salad. As half the mayo is switched for yoghurt, this creamy emulsion is also a useful healthier dressing for potato salad and homemade coleslaw.
Herby Greek dressing
Mix together a drizzle of oil, red wine vinegar, a squeeze of lemon, dried oregano and plenty of salt and pepper to make a zingy dressing for a Greek salad of red onion, tomatoes, cucumber and feta. Switch the herbs for oregano or basil for an Italian twang or try dried mint and sumac for a Middle Eastern feel.