Made by Kid: Two Easy Salad Dressings

We haven’t bought a bottle of salad dressing in this house in … forever. I honestly couldn’t even begin to guess. I’d say “over a decade” but I know it’s longer. And we make salad at least three or four times a week usually. Normally we go with a basic olive oil/balsamic dressing: equal parts extra virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, pinch of granulated sugar. BOOM. Try that and tell me if you need bottled dressing ever again!

But sometimes that’s not what the salad needs. The past two nights we’ve had two very different salads and My Tiny Sous Chef has made (with instruction – but she made them herself) two very different dressings. Last night’s was a simple but powerful lemon vinaigrette, and tonight’s was a lightened up Caesar (no anchovies! no egg!). If a four-and-a-half-year old can whip these up, what’s your excuse? Here you go.

1. Easy Lemon Vinaigrette

* 1/2t lemon zest
* juice of 1/2-1 whole lemon
* 1t granulated sugar
* 1/2t grainy Dijon mustard (we like Trader Joe’s)
* 1/4-1/2t fine sea salt
* 3T olive oil
* lemon pepper, to taste (regular black pepper works, too, but lemon pepper keeps with the theme and is a little less aggressive to my taste)

Whisk together the juice of 1/2 a lemon and everything else but the olive oil and the lemon pepper in a small bowl. Once the sugar and salt are dissolved and everything is well-combined, add the oil in a steady stream while continuing to whisk the dressing constantly, until it’s fully blended together. Season carefully with the lemon pepper and add more sea salt if you feel you need it. Add more lemon juice to get a better balance if needed. If you add anything, make sure to whisk thoroughly to blend. Dress your salad and you’re good to go. (We put this on an all-green salad of arugula, spinach, avocado, cucumber, and apple, in case you’re wondering.)


2. Light Caesar Dressing

* 4-6t minced garlic
* 3T Greek yogurt
* 2T grated Parmesan cheese
* 1T grainy Dijon mustard (again, try Trader Joe’s)
* 2t red wine vinegar
* 1/4t salt
* 1/4t black pepper
* juice of 1/2 a lemon
* 1/2C olive oil

To a food processor or blender, add everything but the olive oil. Blend until completely combined. While still blending, slowly pour in the olive oil until fully incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste. BOOM. The end. Light Caesar dressing! (This one goes with this chicken Caesar we love, but hadn’t had in forever until tonight – slightly modified!)


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