How to make salad dressing

How to make salad dressing

How to make salad dressing

by Great British Chefs17 June 2024

Master the art of making salad dressings with our comprehensive guide, and take your salads from sad to stellar! 

How to make salad dressing


Master the art of making salad dressings with our comprehensive guide, and take your salads from sad to stellar! 

Salad dressings are combinations of oils, vinegars, herbs and spices that transform basic salads, enhancing the natural flavours of the produce while adding flavour and richness. From the tangy zest of a classic vinaigrette, to the creaminess of a Caesar dressing, mastering the basics will mean endless opportunities to turn plain salads into something really special.

How to make a salad dressing

The basic formula of a salad dressing is an emulsion of oil (typically olive) with an acidic base such as vinegar or lemon juice. This is then seasoned with other ingredients such as herbs, spices, mustard, salt and pepper, then tossed with a salad base of leafy greens. To start, whisk together three parts of oil with one part vinegar. For a creamier dressing, substitute part of the oil with mayonnaise or yoghurt. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, minced garlic or Dijon mustard, then whisk until the dressing is shiny and fully emulsified. Store in a jar in the fridge until needed, making sure to give it a good shake before using to recombine the ingredients.

Do I need to use olive oil for salad dressings?

Olive oil is a popular choice due to the rich flavour and health benefits but it is by no means the only option when it comes to making salad dressings. Various oils can be used to emulsify dressings, for example vegetable oil will give a more neutral flavour (or try sunflower oil). Avocado oil has a buttery taste and is packed with healthy fats, making it a great substitute. Nut oils like walnut or almond oil add a distinctive flavour that pairs well with a range of salad bases such as those based on bitter leaves like radicchio or endive.

Easy honey-mustard salad dressing recipe





In a large bowl, add the apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, garlic, salt and pepper


Whisk well, then while whisking drizzle in the olive oil in a continuous stream


Once the vinegar base and the oil have come together and emulsified, taste and season with salt and pepper


Transfer to a jar and refrigerate until ready to use, shaking well before serving

How do I store salad dressings?

The best way to store salad dressings for later use is to keep them in clean, airtight containers, such as glass jars or bottles with secure lids. This helps to maintain freshness and prevent any odours from other foods in the refrigerator seeping in. Most homemade salad dressings should be kept in the fridge and used within a week; simply shake or stir the dressings well before tossing them with the salad base.

Can I freeze salad dressings?

Freezing salad dressings is possible, but it is not a popular way of storing them as the oil tends to separate and solidify, leading to a change in texture and requiring blending or intense whisking to return to the original consistency. Creamy dressings containing yoghurt or dairy do not freeze well as they become grainy once thawed. If you do want to freeze your dressing, make sure to pour it into a freezer-safe container, leaving some space at the top for expansion, and seal tightly. When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight then blend or whisk well before serving.

Salad dressing recipes

Salad dressings are an essential part of any truly great salad, and a non-negotiable for a lot of us here at GBC Kitchen. Whether you are looking for a refined dish like Masaki Sugisaki’s lobster carpaccio with yuzu amarillo vinaigrette, or something more family-style like our rice salad with pomegranate, feta, toasted pine nuts and orange vinaigrette, there are countless chef and in-house salad dressing recipes out there for you to try.

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