Swap The Bottle For A Mason Jar

April 29, 2014   22 Comments

It is time to talk about a very dull subject, salad. Ho hum.

DIY Viniagrette

There is a section of the grocery store devoted to "salad dressings" and I say skip it. Making your own is super easy and the taste is SO much better. If you eat salad—and you should eat salad—why not make it super tasty?

Also, it is healthy to use a little fat to aid the digestive system to absorb the nutrients in lettuce and other vegetables - see: A Little Fat Helps the Vegetables Go Down.

Isn’t that funny? It tastes better and it is better for you as long as you don’t drown your lettuce so it needs to be rescued by a lifeguard.

Here is the label from a popular dressing in the supermarket:

Okay, there are a lot of ingredients there and the first one is water. Water isn’t one that I would think of when it comes to dressing. The second, soybean oil, lacks flavor. When I eat a salad, I want it to taste delicious. There are a bunch of ingredients here that many of you will not like. This is a label for ranch dressing - and my friend Katie shared a great homemade one here: healthier ranch dressing.

My favorite salad dressing is comprised of oil, vinegar, and a little Dijon mustard. Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, has an informative and fun video on her site for how to make vinaigrette: Ina Garten Makes Salad Dressing.

I mention Ina because I love her work, and my salad dressing is almost the same except for these facts:

  1. No garlic - I am too lazy to chop it
  2. She whisks in a bowl - I shake in a Mason jar. No whisk or bowl to clean up and I can store it in the fridge
  3. She is a much better chef. I mean LOOK at her salad. yum.

Here is a photo of my "house" dressing (ha!):

Ina and I agree on California olive oil. I am a fan of California Ranch olive oil, which I can find at my Stop & Shop. It has a buttery flavor without any bitter or spicy kick and is my favorite for the price. To make a tasty salad dressing, you MUST have good quality olive oil. I know that sounds like I am some Food Network tyrant, but I have tried lesser brands and they just don’t taste very good.

Do you make your own dressing? What do you use? Please share.

Homemade Green Salad Dressing Recipe

1.6 from 24 reviews

Makes about 3/4 cup

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1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil


Mix mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil in a small jar by shaking it. Pour over washed fresh lettuce. Store leftover in your refrigerator for a month.

Nutrition Facts

For 1 tablespoon: 74 calories, 8.4 g fat, 1.2 g saturated fat, 4.8 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugar, 0.0 g protein, 0.0 g fiber, 152 mg sodium, 3 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 22 )

Ah good idea, think I'll save a bowl and whisk too! And make a larger batch. My very favorite dressing is juice of one lemon, a good squirt of grainy mustard and EVOO to taste. It does need to sit on the counter for about 10 mins to un-congeal the oil OR if in a hurry, running the jar under warm water does the trick. It's been stored longer, maybe 2 months with no deterioration. I'm hooked on this lemony dressing for more than salads; steamed broccoli, asparagus, green beans, kale, spinach, etc. I find using it sparingly adds a brightness to bean soups too. And in a pinch for a quick dinner it works as a pasta sauce with some minced garlic and parsley, just add to hot pasta, no sauce pot necessary! Think I'll do tonight! :)

I have been making this dressing for years, but add fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice to it. It really brightens it up. Also love Ina's Ranch dressing. Bye-bye Hidden Valley - even my young kids are converts!

I make the same dressing, but I add DILL WEED to it :) Yummy!

I love all things Ina!!! She has been my my then friend for about 8 years or so. I have not had the pleasure of making her Ranch dressing, but ok gonna try it to see if my kids like it. For now they like my strawberry vin with berries, Dijon and EVOO. They've never liked any Ranch dressing ever so I've had to stick with the above recipe and have had great success or they'll eat salad with no dressing at all because that's how I have it to them as toddlers :-)

My favorite is olive oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and sriracha.

I love homemade salad dressings...although I do buy some store bought ones too.

I wish your recipe was not 3 WW points.

Do you know how to reduce the use of fats to lower calories in salad dressings?

Good idea, faster than making a little container of dressing every morning for the salads I take to work for lunch! (usually I just do olive oil, one of various vinegars, dried onion flakes or Italian seasoning.)

I always make our salad dressing anymore. Here is my blue cheese dressing for two:

3 tablespoons Danish blue cheese or Rocquefort

1 heaping tablespoon of mayo

1 tablespoon of yogurt, milk or kefir

1 tablespoon of Bragg's apple cider vinegar

A couple of shakes of Seasoning salt

A dash of white pepper

This can be served over greens and veggie salads.

My biggest objections to commercial brands are that many have a lot of sugar and the one posted here has MSG.

Thanks Snack Girl for posting your recipe.

You are right about the good olive oil. This is so easy to make

And once you make a few dressings at home, you will not go

Back to the expensive store dressings. You will also start craving salad more often because they taste sooo much better. Love your site Lisa!!

Great timing! Just last night, I made a new dressing in a mason jar! The dressing I made is actually the house dressing used by a great vegetarian restaurant in Toronto called "Fresh". It calls for 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 tsp agave nectar, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp sea salt, 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 3/4 tsp tamari, 1⁄4 tsp mustard powder, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 cup flax oil and 3/4 cup sunflower oil. You put all dressing ingredients, except oil, in blender and purée. Then, with blender running, you add oils in a thin stream until dressing is emulsified.

I couldn't do the last part - there was no speed low enough so that the liquid didn't spray out the top of the blender as I added the oil! So I just added the oil a bit at a time and pulsed the mixture until fully blended.

Would avocado oil work in this (and other) homemade dressings? I recently bought some but I never see it in recipes... What are your thoughts about avo oil? Thanks! Love your site!

CORRECTION! Sorry, I just realized I left out the addition of 1tbsp honey in my lemon dressing, first comment above! Enjoying the salad dressing ideas today, the one from Sandra sounds so vegan-healthy, will have to give it a try.:)

Hi Lisa! If I'm in a diet-conscious frame of mind, I may use merely balsamic vinegar w/added fresh basil/garlic/whatever herbs from my backyard on my lettuce salad. If its just spinach, I sprinkle on my homemade orange zest-infused EVOO & add nuts, red onion, fresh and/or dried fruits, water chestnuts; possibilities are endless! And fresher/tastier than store-bought! Yum-o!!!!

As a Weight Watcher down over 80lbs so far, I eat tons of veggies daily. Much as I desire purer foods, I won't give up 3pts for salad dressing, so for now I use either straight balsamic vinegar (no points) or fat-free dressing (1pt for 2T, which I only buy on sale). Because my husband is diabetic, I've tried Maple Grove Farm no-sugar-added raspberry vinaigrette (zero points), but it's doggone expensive for a little 8oz bottle (a company rep told me it's unavailable to purchase in a large value size). Doing the best I can to balance healthy/healthier with sensible, realistic, & points-affordable!! I look forward to salad-dressing ideas from others on WW!! =)

Love the idea of homemade dressings, but I have to agree with the other WW ladies in that I'm not giving up 3 points for 2T of dressing. I know the oil makes it taste richer and fuller, but 74 cal is a lot for a dressing if you're on a restricted diet. I'll use yours for a base, though, and see what I can use instead of the oil. If I find something that tastes good, I'll let you know :)

I agree, also, with the amount of 3 WWPP being too much. I use a very good balsamic vinegar called Leonardo & Roberto's Gourmet Blends. It comes in flavors, (raspberry, fig, white, etc). It is very thick and you only need about 1 TBL - 1 PP, and tastes wonderful! You can only get it at Craft Shows, fairs or on line. Try it. Yum!

I don't like to chop garlic either so I just use the minced kind in the jar. Easy and it's the real thing.

I don't know why everyone is 'chopping' their garlic when the old fashioned garlic press works fine with one squeeze. Jaime Oliver's shows taught me you don't even have to get the paper off the clove, just squeeze with it on and it leaves the paper inside to be pulled out.

i use olive oil,pre made italin dressing in a bag and water.i leave out vinegar,i am always trying to find something that is not to hot that i can also add to this mix.i have no taste and continue to look for something that i may be able to taste

Tried this dressing today- was really tasty! You are so right about making your own dressing- better tasting and cheaper!

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