Salad and Salad Dressings – the Simplee Delicious Way.

Homemade salad dressings in jam jars.

Homemade salad dressings in jam jars.

And so, Summer is in full swing. Its the June Weekend and the sun is promised to shine. Are you getting out your barbq?

I often find that choosing meat is really easy; some burgers, chicken wings, fish fillets and steaks are pretty good choices and are always delicious. More tricky, is what kind of salads should you serve without making everyone feel like they are eating rabbit food.

A good salad should start with the greenest leaves you can find. I really like the salad bags with rocket, watercress and spinach. Its full of vitamin c and iron while also bursting with flavour. Mix this in with a bag of baby leaf salad and you have something colourful and tasty to begin with.

What else should you put in there? I like thinly sliced red onion, walnut halves (you will find packs in the baking section) pitted black olives, cucumber, radishes, cherry tomatoes, sesame seeds, torn serrano ham, croutons and anything else you might like to eat. There are no rules. Just put in whatever you like.

When it comes to cheese, I love blue cheese, feta and goats cheese. Just match to the meat you are eating. If you are having steak, blue cheese will elevate the flavour to heavenly. Feta and goats cheese are wonderful if you are eating fish or chicken.

Now that you have a big bowl of salad, or maybe a few smaller bowls to keep everyone at a party happy, you now need to think about dressings. I can honestly say that I stopped buying bottles of salad dressings 10 years ago. A tasty salad dressing can be made in a couple of minutes and lasts a few days in the fridge.  Below, I have recipes for three mouthwatering dressings that you can even get the kids to help make. Dig up an old jam jar, pop the ingredients in and give a really good shake. Pour over the salad just as soon as you are ready to eat it.

Vinaigrette Dressing:

Ingredients: Olive Oil, Balsamic vinegar, Simplee salt, and pepper.

Optional: mustard, honey, 1 clove of crushed garlic, fresh chopped oregano, parsley or basil.

Method: The rule is 2 parts oil to one part vinegar. (however, I always put in equal amounts, I like a lot of bite) For a salad for 4 people, use 8 tbsp oil and 4-8 tbsp vinegar. Add 20 twists of Simplee salt, the herb salt works really well here, and another 20 twists of pepper.

If using, add a tbsp of mustard and another tbsp honey. Close the lid on the jam jar and shake well. Give it a little taste and season again to your liking.


Ranch Dressing:

The Americans LOVE ranch. It is available everywhere and is a staple in every home. This one is rich and creamy and delicious. Ingredients are very easy to get.

Ingredients: 6 tbsp buttermilk, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 garlic clove crushed, 1 tsp mustard, small bunch of finely chopped chives or parsley, Simplee salt and pepper.(Serves 4)

Method: Mix up all ingredients in a jam jar. Add 20 twists of Simplee salt and pepper (Sweet & smoky salt gives fantastic depth here) Shake the jar well and pour over just before serving.


Yogurt and Lemon Dressing.

This salad dressing is super easy and ridiculously healthy. It is full of flavour and works very well if you are serving your salad with a grilled piece of fish. Its also great on a meatless salad too.

Ingredients: 6-8 tbsp natural yogurt, juice from half a lemon, 1 crushed garlic clove, Simplee Salt and Lemon pepper, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, chopped parsley, coriander or mint (optional) Serves 4.

Method: Mix up all ingredients in a jam jar. Shake well. Pour over salad just before serving.