Dress for success

Back away from the bottled salad dressing at the super market. No, let me take that back. Get up close to one of those bottles and read the ingredients. Please note the tons of salt and added sweeteners.

Now back away and make your own. Seriously. It only takes minutes and the results far outshine anything in any bottle in any grocery store in America, maybe the world.

A few years ago, I introduced my son, Noah, to the real Caesar salad dressing. He’d grown up only having what is laughably the bottled kind, which resembles authentic Caesar dressing about as much as a dandelion resembles a daisy. Have no fears about the anchovy paste. The dressing is not fishy. The paste just gives it that tangy something something that’s key.

Caesar Salad Dressing

1 medium garlic clove

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons anchovy paste

2 large egg yolks

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


Smash the garlic clove into a paste and add the lemon juice. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

Add the anchovy paste, egg yolks and Worcestershire sauce and whisk together.

Slowly add in the oils, continually whisking to emulsify the dressing.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese.


Blue cheese dressing — my absolute favorite. I can’t stomach the super sweet bottled versions. The key to mine is sour cream and lemon juice for tartness and a little milk to thin the dressing out so it’s not gloppy. This dressing is the “must have” for the traditional wedge salad, along with bacon. Always bacon.

Blue Cheese Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup blue cheese crumbles (or more to taste)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Whole milk to thin the dressing

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, blue cheese crumbles and lemon juice. Thin the dressing out with

a little milk, maybe a tablespoon or two. Add salt and pepper.

Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Ina Garten. I want to be her when I grow up. Every single recipe in every single one of her many cookbooks works. 100 percent. I found out a few years ago that that’s not always the case with some cookbook authors (Martha Stewart). This is my go-to vinaigrette from her Barefoot in Paris cookbook. It’s great on your standard green salad but it also works like a champ in pasta and rice salads. And don’t fear the raw egg yolk in either Ina’s dressing or the Caesar dressing. Just use organic eggs and you have nothing to fear.

Ina Garten’s Green Salad Vinaigrette

5 tablespoons champagne vinegar

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1 large egg yolk at room temperature

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup extra virgin olive oil


Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, egg yolk, salt and pepper.

Slowly whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified.

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