Monday, May 17, 2010

Dressing up a Salad

Spring has finally arrived and as it made it's grand entrance, so did salad season. Who doesn't love a bowl of fresh, cold greens, fresh cut vegetables and a delicious dressing tying it all together? While I can and sometimes do make my own salad dressings, I still have some store-bought ones that I love. I thought I would share and maybe you would get some new ideas. And if you want, tell me your favorite ones in the comments.

Ken's Steakhouse Creamy Caesar Dressing
This is my greatest secret. Whenever I serve this when people come over, they ALWAYS ask what dressing it is. This dressing is delicious and it makes for the easiest salad ever. I do one head of romaine, cut into bite-size pieces, a bunch of fresh Parmesan shaved with a vegetable peeler, croutons and ground pepper. And then toss in about half a bottle of this dressing and you're done. You will love this stuff.

Marie's Spinach Salad Dressing
My mother in-law introduced me to this one. When she served it at a big family dinner, it was this with baby spinach leaves, cranberries, chopped chicken breasts, candied walnuts and chopped pears. It was divine. It has a sweeter taste and a little goes a long way.

Litehouse Jalapeno Ranch
I like this one because it is spicy, but doesn't set your mouth on fire. Besides being good on some fresh greens, it's great for dipping carrots and celery for a snack. I think I have even served it on beef tacos.

Kraft Light Balsamic Vinaigrette
While balsamic vinaigrette is the easiest, cheapest dressing to make at home, I don't always remember to whip up a batch before dinner is going to be served. This balsamic vinaigrette is surprisingly good for a shelf brand. I like it on a simple salad of chopped greens, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, shaved Parmesan cheese and black olives. Even Jack likes this dressing.

Hidden Valley Ranch
This is something we always have by order of the patriarch of the family. And it can't be low-fat. He wants full fat and a giant bottle of it. So that is what we do. It makes everything taste good, even boring iceberg lettuce. Ethan also likes dipping pizza in it.

Ken's Steakhouse Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette
Here is another one that was introduced to me by my mother in-law. This is such an excellent fruity vinaigrette. Great on a spinach salad and surprisingly great as a marinade. Like pour it over some chicken breasts and grill those babies up. Mmm mmm tasty.

Trader Joe's Champagne Pear Vinaigrette
No picture for this one. But for a lot of people, they already know about this one. This is one of Trader Joe's best dressings. It has champagne vinegar, pears and gorgonzola cheese in it. Even for a cheese hater like me, I like this dressing. There isn't too much cheese at all. This dressing is great with some mixed greens, chunks of chicken and some toasted pecans.


Sparks said...

I really love Newman's Own light balsamic vinaigrette. I am really really really picky regarding my condiments and other some such goos, and this dressing fits all my qualifications: not creamy, low in calories, not white or any variation on white.

Sadly, rather than actually cook something thoughtful, I'm completely content to just use this dressing on everything from salads to pastas to potatoes. Hell, it's even been used for dipping over here.

Shanicherie said...

You're missing all the Bolthouse Farms dressings!! They're better for you than almost all added sugars, they use yogurt for the creamy ones and seriously, you can't tell a difference! LOVE!

kalinapp said...

You introduced me to the Ken's Caesar and I love it. This is the only way I will make a caesar salad!!! May I suggest making Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch. My Poppy and Nanny made this while I was growing up and it is still my favorite. Nothing beats a little buttermilk in your ranch dressing!! Miss ya, hope you, Ethan, Jack, Van, and Violet are doing well.

Donna said...

I love jalepeno ranch, and I Ken's also has a sweet onion that is SWEET

Nama said...

Oh, man...I LOVE Ken's Steakhouse creamy caesar. It's seriously the best. We make a creamy caesar sauce with a bit of alfredo to use on pizza. It's pretty amazing!

sarah22277 said...

I agree with Sparks, Newman's Own Vinaigrette is awesome. I also like Kraft's Extra Virgin Olive Oil Greek Vinaigrette. It's the closest I've tasted to the Greek dressing in Athens. Perfect for cucumber and tomato salads. said...

You've inspired me. We are definitely having a yummy salad with dinner tonight!

NatTheFatRat said...

The new Lighthouse Kefir Ranch dressing is the best dressing I have ever tasted, EVER. I bet even your husband would be willing to give up the Hidden Valley for this one.

Ingrid said...

Thanks for the info. I few of those I've tried and a couple I hadn't.

staceyorlando said...

I LOVE Litehouse products! They have so many flavors - same as all the other brands! They have Raspberry Walnut, Spinach Salad, Balsamic, and so much more. They do have the new Kefir Yogurt dressings as well, DELICIOUS!!!

Emily said...

Johnny's Ranch from Costco except now they only have the lite. Blah.