350 Best Salads & Dressings (Featured Recipes)

Courtesy of 350 Best Salads and Dressings by George Geary © 2010 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

Easy Ketchup 

Making your own ketchup may seem a bit over the top but it’s worth it. It’s easy to make, and the homemade version is so much more delicious than supermarket varieties, which 
are loaded with corn syrup.

Makes 2 cups (500 mL)

  • Blender or food processor
  • 1          can (28 oz/796 mL) crushed tomatoes   1

2 tbsp  extra virgin olive oil       30 mL

1          onion, chopped            1

1 tbsp  tomato paste   15 mL

2⁄3 cup             lightly packed brown sugar      150 mL

1⁄2 cup apple cider vinegar     125 mL

1⁄2 tsp  sea salt            2 mL

 

  1. In a blender, purée tomatoes until smooth.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add puréed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar and salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 hour. (Stir more frequently toward end of cooking to prevent scorching.)
  4. Add ketchup to blender in 2 batches and purée until smooth. Let cool.

 

Buffalo Blue Cheese Dressing

 

Here’s a rich and fresh creamy dressing with chunks of blue cheese.

 

 

Makes 11⁄2 cups (375 mL)

 

  • Food processor

 

4 oz     cream cheese, softened         125 g

1⁄2 cup             buttermilk         125 mL

1⁄4 cup mayonnaise, store-bought or homemade      60 mL

1 tsp    dried onion flakes        5 mL

1⁄2 tsp  garlic salt         2 mL

1⁄2 tsp  hot pepper sauce        2 mL

1⁄4 tsp  hot pepper flakes         1 mL

2 oz     blue cheese, crumbled            60 g
  (see Tip)

 

  1. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process cream cheese, buttermilk, mayonnaise, onion flakes, garlic salt, hot pepper sauce and hot pepper flakes until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and fold in blue cheese.

 

Tip: If you process the blue cheese in the food processor instead of folding it into the dressing, it will be become an unattractive gray/blue color.

 

All-Summer Potato Salad

 

Serve this zesty salad alongside red meats or poultry.

Serves 4

 

1 cup  mayonnaise, store-bought or homemade          250 mL

1 cup  onion, minced         250 mL

1⁄2 cup          chopped green onions       125 mL

1⁄4 cup          Dijon mustard, store-bought or homemade       60 mL

3 tbsp rice vinegar   45 mL

2 tsp   sea salt         10 mL

1 tsp   chopped fresh tarragon     5 mL

1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper         1 mL

2        hard-boiled eggs, chopped           2

3 lbs   white fingerling potatoes, cooked and cut into quarters 
 1.5 kg

2 cups          diced celery  500 mL

 

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, onion, green onions, mustard, vinegar, salt, tarragon and pepper. Add eggs, potatoes and celery and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours prior to serving or for up 3 days.

 

Avocado and Corn Pasta Salad 

Bright colors, combined with contrasts in textures and flavors, make this salad a crowdpleaser.

Serves 4

8 oz     fusilli pasta, cooked and drained          250 g

11⁄2 cups         Roasted Corn (see below)      375 mL

2          ripe avocados, diced   2

1 tsp    freshly squeezed lemon juice  5 mL

1⁄2 cup             diced red bell pepper   125 mL

1⁄2 cup black olives, pitted and chopped         125 mL

1⁄2 cup             chopped green onions 125 mL

1⁄2 cup Sherry Vinaigrette (see below)           125 mL

1⁄4 cup             oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes,           60 mL
           finely chopped

 

  1. In a large bowl, combine pasta, corn, avocados, lemon juice, bell pepper, olives, green onions, vinaigrette and sun-dried tomatoes.

 

Roasted Corn

 

I enjoy roasted corn kernels shaved from the cob and sprinkled on top of a spicy salad with a peppery dressing. (I’m especially fond of the frozen roasted corn at Trader Joe’s)

Makes 4 cups (1 L)

 

2 tbsp  olive oil 30 mL

3          ears corn, kernels removed (about 2 cups/500 mL)  3

1⁄2 tsp  sea salt            2 mL

1⁄4 tsp  cayenne pepper          1 mL

 

  1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add corn, stirring until completely roasted, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne. Let cool. Transfer to a covered dish and refrigerate until ready to use for up to 4 days.

 

Sherry Vinaigrette

I like to pour this tart vinaigrette on fresh garden tomatoes.

Makes 1 cup (250 mL)

1⁄4 cup sherry wine vinegar    60 mL

1⁄4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese          60 mL

1 tbsp  Dijon mustard, store-bought or homemade    15 mL

1 tsp    minced dried shallots   5 mL

1⁄2 cup canola oil        125 mL

1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil      60 mL

 

  1. In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, Romano, mustard and shallots. While whisking, pour in canola and olive oils in a thin steady stream until emulsified.

 

Asparagus and Bacon Salad

You can serve this as a main dish for lunch or as a side for dinner.

Serves 4

1 1⁄2 lbs  asparagus, sliced on the diagonal 750 g

8 oz    smoked bacon, preferably 250 g
         applewood, sliced

2 cups chopped Belgian endive    500 mL

1⁄2 cup    Creamy French Honey Dressing   125 mL

Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

 

  1. Fill a shallow saucepan or skillet with 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Have a bowl of ice water nearby. Drain asparagus, then immediately submerge in ice water to set color and stop cooking, 
about 3 minutes. Transfer with tongs to a bowl.
  2. In same pan over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon.
  3. In a salad bowl, toss together endive and bacon. Add asparagus. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.