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Listen, I understand that eating salads repeatedly can get really old, really quick, even if you’re switching up the ingredients that you toss with your spinach, Romaine lettuce, arugula, or whatever. But what I if I told you there was a way to make any salad that you’ve head over and over again taste refreshingly new and it’s something you can do with your own hands?!

Must Read: Green Smoothies? I’m Hooked (& You Will Be, Too)

Well, there is something you can do–make your own dressing! It’s not as intimidating as it sounds, promise! Check out these four DIY salad dressings–as a matter of fact, try one this week and let me know if it didn’t change your salad-eating life!

You’re welcome!

1. Sesame Roasted Onion

Makes about 1 1/2 cups


1 medium onions (about 6ounces), peeled and quartered

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons confectioners sugar

Pinch cayenne pepper

1/2 cup olive oil or blend (olive/canola)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds


Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Toss the quartered onions in a tablespoon of oil and roast in a small pan, stirring occasionally, until softened and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Combine the onions, water, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sugar and cayenne pepper. Puree until smooth.

With motor running, slowing drizzle in blend oil until emulsified. Transfer to a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and stir in sesame seeds. Whisk in a bit more water to thin if necessary.

Store covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days (add sesame seeds later if you plan on storing for more than 1 day)

HOT TIP: Be sure the onion is well cooked then cooled to room temperature before pureeing with the other ingredients. In general, the longer vegetables are sautéed at moderate temperature, the more sweetness and flavor they’ll add to dressing, soup, stew….

2. Horseradish Chive


1 1/2 cups low-fat sour cream

1/4 cup horseradish cream

6 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon dressing

3 to 4 tablespoons water, to thin to desired consistency

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Black pepper to season

HOT TIP: Use a good quality low-fat sour cream. Consider adding some fresh grated horseradish to the horseradish cream.

3. Roasted Red Pepper


4 whole roasted red peppers (peeled and seeded), about 400 grams

4 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

Black pepper to season

Put onion with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in the pan until caramelized and soft (1/2 cup cooked onion). Blend all ingredients together; with motor running drizzle in remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

HOT TIP: Be sure peppers are slowly roasted, the blistered skin should easily fall off and leave only a sweet intensely flavored pepper behind.

4. Sweet Pea Tarragon


1 medium sweet onion, diced

2 teaspoons + 1 tablespoon olive oil

1 10-ounce box frozen baby peas, thawed (1 3/4 cup)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Sweat onion with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in nonstick pan until caramelized and soft (1/2 cup cooked onion).

Blend all ingredients together; with motor running drizzle in remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

HOT TIP for all dressings: If fat (oil) is used to finish, be sure to blend slowly at the end with motor of food processor or blender on.

Thanks to Just Salad and the Executive Chef Laura Pensiero for the recipes!

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