A great salad dressing can make even a pile of lettuce exciting, and these fruity dressings are so good you almost want to eat them on their own.  I made up a bunch of small batches on Sunday so I’d have exciting salads all week long.

I love fruity dressings because they are so colorful and they have the bright flavor of fruit to balance out the sharp vinegar.  Some of them, don’t even need any vinegar at all.  They rely on simple combinations so that the individual flavors shine through.   You can make them in a mini food processor, or with a whisk.  Make small batches of all of them, or one big batch of your favorite.  They’ll keep in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.

This is a classic that goes with just about anything, but try it drizzled over avocado, or melon salads, and you can use it as a marinade for grilled chicken.

Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette
the juice and zest of 1 large lime
a palmful of fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more if necessary)
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

  • Put the lime juice and zest into the bowl of a mini food processor.  Add the cilantro and process until the cilantro is very finely chopped.  Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • With the machine running, drizzle in the oil slowly through the small hole (s) in the top.  Stop the machine and taste the dressing.  If it is too tangy, drizzle in a little more oil.
  • Season with salt and fresh black pepper to taste.  Refrigerate until needed.
  • Note:  Olive oil partially solidifies in cold temperatures, just bring the dressing to room temperature before using.

You’ll really taste the shallot in this dressing, and the color will be a coral-y pink.  Very pretty and elegant.

Shallot and Pink Grapefruit Dressing
1/2 large shallot, rough chopped
juice of 1/2 pink or red grapefruit (approx. 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp sherry or champagne vinegar
a dab of honey (about a tsp)
salt and fresh black pepper to taste

  • Put the shallot and the grapefruit juice in the bowl of a small food processor.  Blend until the shallot is very finely processed.  If using a whisk, mince your shallot as finely as possible.
  • With the machine going, drizzle in the oil through the top.
  • Stop the machine, add the vinegar and honey, then process again to combine.  Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Blackberry vinegar is a thick deep purple vinegar that has a lot of body due to the blackberry puree.   This kind of vinegar married with fruit puree is a new item in the gourmet market and they can be really pricey.  I’ve fallen for them several times, and they are so good, the flavors just explode.  I’m actually recycling one of the bottles that I paid big $$ for.   Just mix this with olive oil for an instant dressing.

Blackberry Vinegar
6 oz box of blackberries
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

  • Rinse the berries and put them in a small saucepan.  Heat over low to medium heat for about 5 minutes until the berries start to break down and release their juice.  Add the vinegar, bring back to a full boil, and then take off the heat.
  • Let cool a bit and then process in a small food processor until the berries are completely pureed.
  • Strain through a mesh sieve, pushing the thick juice through but leaving the seeds behind.
  • Bottle and keep in the refrigerator.

This is another classic.  The tarragon gives it a little unexpected flavor.  The whole grain mustard gives it a kick.

Lemon Mustard and Tarragon Vinaigrette
juice and zest of 1 lemon
a heaping Tbsp of fresh tarragon leaves
1 Tbsp whole grain mustard
1/4 (plus extra if necessary) walnut oil
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

  • Put the lemon juice, zest, and tarragon in a small processor.  Process until well blended.  Stop and scrape down the sides if necessary.
  • Slowly drizzle in the oil as the machine is running.
  • Stop and taste, add more oil if it is too tangy.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

This one comes from my friend Mary.  The color is gorgeous, and it’s a little thicker than the rest.  I think it has potential as a glaze for chicken or pork, too.

Roasted Strawberry Vinaigrette   ~~~ adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen
oven to 450F
a heaping cup of strawberries, about 10
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

  • Halve the strawberries and spread them out on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Roast for about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer the strawberries to the bowl of a mini food processor.  Add the rosemary leaves, lime juice and vinegar.  Process until the berries are pureed.  Slowly drizzle in the oil through the hole in to top as the machine runs.
  • Add the salt and pepper to taste.
Here’s to a healthy salad filled week!

 

One year ago today—

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9 Responses to Minimal Monday: a week’s worth of fruity salad dressings

  1. Julia says:

    I love this post! I eat salad pretty much every day and adore making my own dressings. I’ll definitely be trying each and every one of these!

  2. okay: you win at food today. because you just gave me a week’s worth of dressings, all of which i would happily eat, and you put them in one post. so, pinning for future reference.

  3. katrina hall says:

    Lovely assortment and can’t wait to try!

  4. bellini says:

    Yumm to all of these dressings.

  5. I’m printing out the tarragon one.
    I love tarragon; one of my favorite herbs.

  6. What a great idea!! I usually have one in the fridge but these are wonderful choices – especially the lime and cilantro – YUM
    Mary x

  7. Eva Kosmas says:

    I need to start doing this, what a beautiful and refreshing way to add extra flavor to salads!

  8. What a fabulous idea, lots of delicious dressings making summer salads that little more tasty, I love if.

  9. Sophie Brown says:

    I love the photos on your blog! Everything looks so delicious!

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