janet @ the taste space

3-2-1 Super Simple Salad Dressing

In Appetizers, Salads, Sides on August 21, 2011 at 6:22 AM

Sometimes I wonder why the heck I stress so much!

I was testing new recipes for the weekend BBQ, plotting a plan of attack with my Mom, and it all came together seamlessly.

My Mom had suggested serving a leafy salad. She figured that was a simple thing to make, but instead, I stressed. I was worried about wasting soggy leftovers and truthfully, I don’t have a go-to salad dressing yet. I eat what you see on my blog, and I rarely make simple side salads with a meal.

Salad dressings are a simple ratio of oil to vinegar. My family’s traditional vinaigrette employs a 3-2-1 ratio, with 3 parts extra virgin olive oil, to 2 parts vinegar, to 1 part sugar with salt and pepper to taste.

However, fortuitously, earlier this week Dawn told me about her new favourite salad dressing, excited because it was oil-free. Super simple. Just as easy with a different 3-2-1 ratio omitting oil.

3 parts balsamic vinegar

2 parts strong mustard

1 part maple syrup (or agave)

I am sure most people don’t need much guidance in the simple salad dressing component, but I thought this was definitely worthy to share. It is a healthy and vibrant dressing, so totally Janet-style. Throw it on top of your favourite leafy greens and enjoy!

While I didn’t snap too many photos of the food during the party, I still hope to share some of the recipes. I decided the best way to avoid the Rob-veto (just kidding!) was to simply try some seemingly simple recipes at the time of the party. Thankfully, it all paid off!

Along with this salad, I also served the 11-Spice Lentil Salad with Capers and Currants, which is definitely morphing into my signature no-think potluck dish. Everyone really enjoyed it at the barbecue. (I also served it to a bunch of other friends, where I was delighted to see how often people dived in for more, despite eating it with chopsticks – now that takes skill!). I also boiled some fresh corn on the cob. Rob tirelessly tended to the meat at the BBQ, where he also perfectly grilled my roasted portobello mushroom which I served with sweet potato fries and a miso gravy (recipes to come!). My peach smoothies were also a hit.  I had planned to serve watermelon with a mint pesto as dessert, but everyone was stuffed (and how can that compete with the macarons and other treats brought by Rob’s cousin?).

Anyways, now that I have this under my belt, it didn’t seem nearly so scary after all!
(Although I hate repeating recipes for guests, so these will have to make my rounds through my family’s side next!)

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to Ricki’s Summer Wellness Weekends.

3-2-1 Super Simple Salad

1 head of Romaine lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp strong mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup

1. Toss together lettuce, tomato, cucumber and carrot (and whatever else you like in your salad).

2. Whisk together vinegar, mustard and maple syrup. Drizzle over salad just prior to serving and mix well.

Serves 8.

  1. Don’t you love it! I have to give credit to the Forks Over Knives companion book. It was the first recipe I tried out of it and it was to DIE for!! I’m so glad you liked it and that it turned out well. XOXO!

  2. As someone who over complicates things (and doesn’t have much spare time), I appreciate your sharing this dressing! So simple, yet with three highly flavorful ingredients how could it not be fabulous!

    And your party food sounds wonderful.

  3. Dude, you have friends with some serious chopstick skills! I’m lucky I can pick up sushi, This sounds like one fabulous dressing! I rarely make side salads either but if I have good dressing, I’ll definitely start!

  4. You did a wonderful job yesterday! Thanks for having us over!


  5. A very easy recipe that sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays.( I can relate to the chopsticks–I eat a lot of salads that way.) 😉

  6. […] the BBQ, I made a variety of seasonings for the sweet potato fries. I tried a batch with garlic, lemon […]

  7. I don’t have a regular salad dressing either and always have to go hunting when I want to do one and the amounts of oil often just aren’t me so I must try this one – great idea

  8. […] Rob’s parents came over for the barbecue, they helped out by bringing some marinaded meat for the grill. They also gifted us with some […]

  9. […] when I wanted a recipe for grilled portobello mushrooms for the barbecue, I quickly turned to Sarah’s blog. There were heaps of meat for everyone else, so I only made […]

  10. […] the party, because the barbecue was hot real estate, I opted to boil the corn. But this weekend, when Rob and […]

  11. I totally need salad dressing guidance and I love that Dawn is so spot-on with this oil-free ratio breakdown. I love how versatile it is, too. I tried it the other night with 3 parts honey ginger white balsamic vinegar, 2 parts dijon mustard, and 1 part lavender honey. If I told you it was a total hit, that would be an understatement!

  12. I love this super simple salad recipe!! 3 of my favourite ingredients. Right now my favourite salad dressing recipe is a modified version of the balsamic dressing from Eat Drink & Be Vegan (not sure if you have that one). Chopsticks might be more difficult to eat with but they’re so much more fun!! 🙂

  13. […] salads, there is only one dressing that I’ve popped into my leafy green salad repertoire. The super simple 3-2-1 dressing, where I sometimes have to remind myself which ingredient goes with the 2 and 1. (Note: Balsamic=3. […]

  14. […] This is a wonderful no oil, no nut based dressing, and oh, so simple to make. I found it at https://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/3-2-1-super-simple-salad-dressing/ […]

  15. […] green salads used to have me perplexed. Growing up, a simple salad was usually always served before a meal, with lettuce, tomato and cucumber and a light vinaigrette. […]

  16. […] either grain-based or bean-based, whereas I don’t make the standard leafy side salad with a simple vinaigrette. I suppose I don’t find it very high-yield. If I want leafy greens, I’ll add them to my […]

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