This posting is for an old college friend that I fed many a meal to during our formative years. These salad dressing recipes are loosely based on the quick mustard based dressing that my sister in law taught me fifteen or more years ago. The best thing about these easy salad dressings is that it you can make them minutes before you need them and they only get better the longer they hang out in your fridge.  Once you are comfortable with the base dressing go crazy changing the oil and acids to fit your personal tastes, three example variations are listed below: Oriental, Southwest and Champagne Citrus. If you can’t find a dressing on this list that you like you need to invent your own!


Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
Juice on half a lemon (in a pinch you can use bottled)
1 tsp Italian spice blend
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper

Put all the ingredients in a bowl or in a shaker and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and spices.

Make the following changes to the balsamic recipe to make three additional simple salad dressings.

Oriental Vinaigrette
Change balsamic for rice wine vinegar
Olive oil for sesame oil
Mustard for teriyaki sauce or plum sauce
Italian spice for ¼ tsp grated fresh ginger
Omit salt until you taste

Southwest Vinaigrette
Change balsamic to white balsamic vinegar
Reduce olive oil by half
Omit mustard
Swap lemon for lime and include zest
Swap Italian spice for fajita/Mexican spice blend
Add one dash hot sauce
4 tbsp sour cream
1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
Omit salt until you taste

Citrus Champagne Vinaigrette
Change balsamic to champagne vinegar
Omit mustard
Change lemon for orange or grapefruit
Omit Italian spice
1 tbsp honey or agave syrup, double if you use grapefruit
1 clove of micro grated garlic or finely diced shallot,  be careful the garlic can be strong
Salt and pepper to taste

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