We know, we know: The simple fact that you’re eating a salad makes you feel 100 times healthier. But if you’re dousing your leafy greens with bottled dressing, you may be canceling out all their benefits—thanks to the highly processed oils, sugar, salt, and sketchy additives found in the store-bought stuff. And those fat-free dressings aren’t doing you any favors, either: They’ve been shown to inhibit absorption of disease-fighting fat soluble antioxidants in certain veggies.
That’s why it’s totally worth the time to set aside five minutes to whip up your own better-tasting and healthier dressings. All you need is a large jar—and maybe a fork—for the following no-fail formulas. From classic balsamic to smoky tahini, these dressings will add instant zing to your salads, as well as grain bowls, grilled meats, or pasta dishes.
Directions: The standard ratio for vinaigrettes is 3 parts oil to 1 part acid, like vinegar or citrus juice. (This is a flexible ratio, so use more oil if you like a richer dressing or vinegar if you prefer something more tart.) Combine all ingredients in a large jar, seal shut, and give a good shake. If needed, use a fork to whisk together the mixture so items like mustard, nut butter, and miso are better incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Note: Each recipe will make enough dressing for several salads. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator for up to one week. If the dressing separates upon sitting, just give the jar a few shakes to recombine.