Mason Jar Buttermilk Dressing with Fresh Herbs

Any regular reader of WKC knows I am obsessed with my food processor. Not all of us have a food processor, and frankly sometimes it’s easier to just be simple – enter humble and wonderful Mason jar. One of my greatest pleasures is watching Ridgely run wild making a Mason jar dressing. She chops herbs and maybe a shallot, pours her oil and vinegars, shakes the jar and then the alchemy – a delicious vinaigrette! There are so many studies out showing kids are more bought-in when they have a hand in choosing and making a family meal. It’s not only being on-board with dinner, it’s that they are proud of their contribution. They become excited to share their creations and we, as parents, want them engaged.

I always serve salads undressed to my family. My kids will only eat a salad plain, but they will try a bite of the dressing. Baby steps!
Jeff and I love this dressing! I was enjoying it so much I had two helpings!

Mason Jar Buttermilk Dressing with Fresh Herbs
Author: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
A perfect recipe to make with your kids! It has a short ingredient list and you can't really mess this up! If your children aren't ready for a knife, just give them a pair of scissors to chop up the herbs. I have 4 pairs designated just for my kitchen and they go right into the dishwasher. Consider this recipe a template - I used a mixture of dill and scallions, but this dressing is equally delicious with chives. Parsley or thyme would also be great. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp Fresh herbs
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ of Lemon, juice (You can also add the zest if you have time)
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • ½ cup Sour cream
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a Mason jar and shake vigorously.
  2. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

 

 

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Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette

I was so blessed to spend a wonderful day last summer with two dear friends. Lyn and Melissa have been my friends since 6th grade, it was so special to get to spend the afternoon with them and have all of our kids – 8 of them – get to know each other. I love cooking for my friends, so I had to volunteer to bring some food. Lunch turned out great, and since we had all told our kids we were having “Mommy time” we were able to chat uninterrupted for 20 minutes at a stretch. Bliss! What a fun picnic table lunch and we even got to catch up with our friend Karen. I gave her the leftover dressing for a dinner she was hosting later that night…multi-tasking at it’s finest.

Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette
Shown here with grilled chicken made with my Oregano Marinade

Oregano Marinade


Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette
Author: 
Serves: 1½ cups
 
This dressing has a zing to it, which you can temper with more or less chipotle peppers and honey. In addition to being a yummy on a salad, this vinaigrette makes a delicious marinade for pretty much any protein...chicken, pork, steak, fish...Plan on getting your money's worth from this recipe - an amazing salad and fab dinner on the grill later in the week. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 3-4 Canned Chipotle peppers (see note)
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 4 tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tsp Minced garlic
  • ½ cup Canola oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp Cumin, ground
  • ½ tsp Oregano, dried
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, add chipotle peppers, lime zest and juice, and red wine vinegar. Pulse until peppers are throughly combined.
  2. Next add the honey, garlic, canola oil, Kosher salt, cumin and oregano. Throughly pulse until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
  3. Use the dressing right away or you can store in the refridgerator for up to 1 week.
Notes
Canned Chipotle Peppers - 4 peppers will give a medium heat. I'm not a huge fan of spicy food, and I like the "kick" from 4 peppers. If you prefer even less heat you can start with 2 or 3, the dressing will still be delicious.

 

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Caesar Salad Dressing

Salad dressings are one of my favorite things to concoct. I love the simplicity of the mason jar, the math of the oil versus acid proportion, and the transformation of a handful of herbs tossed into the food processor. Not only are they great on salads, vinaigrettes are one of the fastest ways to answer the what’s for dinner question – marinate a protein in the yummy dressing you have in the fridge and you are halfway to getting a meal on the table. This vinaigrette is so easy to make, all you need is a handful of pantry ingredients and the secret ingredient – Greek whole milk yogurt.


Caesar Salad Dressing
Author: 
Serves: ½ - ¾ cup
 
A terrific kitchen shortcut is a jar of minced garlic in the fridge. I rarely cook with fresh garlic, but in a recipe like this one, fresh garlic is essential because it is such a forward flavor in the dressing. Think beyond a salad - this vinaigrette is also a delicious marinade for seafood and chicken. Envision a grilled chicken Caesar salad...you can easily whisk this dressing but I just throw everything in my food processor. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Lemon, large, zested and juiced
  • 3 tbsp Greek yogurt, whole milk
  • 2 tbsp Mayonnaise (I use Duke's)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Place garlic in a food processor, pulse to mince.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, pulse several times until the dressing in emulsified.
  3. Serve right away or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

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Creamy Feta Dressing

A jar of this dressing in the fridge is a dinner investment. Drizzled over seafood or chicken this tangy Greek-influenced vinaigrette elevates a simple dinner into something special.

Shown here with Roasted Shrimp and a green salad

Creamy Feta Dressing
Author: 
 
One of my favorite dressings! Try this with grilled chicken, seared fish, roasted shrimp...it's delicious! Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 4 oz Feta
  • 5 tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup Olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a food processor place all ingredients.
  2. Pulse to combine.
  3. Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

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Creamy Herb Dressing

Dressings with loads of herbs are just my favorite – the creamy yogurt, a touch of Dijon, chives, tarragon, parsley and cilantro. A food processor is really helpful here, you just throw everything in and pulse it up. This is type of food I want to eat everyday…delicious and healthy. Try this dressing on a salad or brushed on chicken or fish…a jar of this dressing in the fridge guarantees you have an answer to the whats’s for dinner question.


Creamy Herb Dressing
Author: 
Serves: 2½ - 3 cups
 
These measurements for the herbs are just a guide - in a recipe like this you need to be flexible. I based the quantities based on the way I buy herbs at my grocery store. When I go shopping I find the chives and tarragon in the small bundles and the parsley and cilantro in large loose bunches. So, my measurements are based on what I find at the store. Can't find these exact herbs? You can play around with all types of combinations, have fun with this recipe! Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • ½ bunch Chives
  • ½ bunch Tarragon
  • ¼ bunch Parsley, flat-leaf
  • ¼ bunch Cilantro
  • 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, whole milk
  • ¼ cup Sour cream
Instructions
  1. Place chives, tarragon, parsley and cilantro in the food processor. Pulse until all herbs are minced.
  2. Add garlic, Kosher salt, mustard, yogurt and sour cream.
  3. Pulse until all ingredients are well-blended.
  4. Serve right away or refrigerate for up to 4 days.

 

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Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette

I LOVE this dressing! If you spend enough time on my website, you will see that I am a little obsessed with vinaigrettes and marinades, and this is one of my favorites. This dressing is also one of those crowd-pleasers that is always a big hit at family gatherings, baby showers, you name it…people will ask for the recipe! Make a big batch for the fridge and you not only have a delicious vinaigrette but a marinade option for chicken, meat, pork or fish.

A food processor is so helpful to make a vinaigrette…throw the ingredients in, pulse and you’re dressing is ready
My favorite salad…so simple yet delicious, romaine lettuce, Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette and blue cheese crumbles

Vidalia Onion Vinaigrette
Author: 
Serves: 2¼ cups
 
While I call it “Vidalia Onion” Vinaigrette, any sweet onion works well, is much easier to find, and isn't so seasonal. You can make this dressing without a food processor, just be sure to mince the onion very fine, and whisk away. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • ½ Onion, sweet or Visalia, minced
  • ½ cup Balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup Honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1½ cups Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place onion in the food processor and pulse until smooth (you want a pureed texture).
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse to combine.

 

 

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Green Goddess Dressing

I love cooking with Greek yogurt, and creamy dressings with lots of fresh herbs are a great way to show just how versatile yogurt can be. This dressing keeps in your fridge for a few days, so you can use it for quick salads, tossed with cooked shrimp or chicken, or as a marinade for seafood or chicken to throw on the grill. I know I am probably repeating myself, but a great vinaigrette waiting for you in the fridge will solve the “what’s for dinner” question every time.

Shrimp with Green Goddess Dressing
I always take pictures of my dressings in Mason jars…I wanted to mix things up and show an action shot. Here I tossed cooked shrimp leftovers in the Green Goddess dressing. A super fast and delicious lunch!

Green Goddess Dressing
Author: 
Serves: approx 1¼ cup
 
Don't be scared to try my secret ingredient...anchovy paste. I found it one day a few years ago in the Italian section at the grocery store. It solves so many problems - you don't have to mess with anchovy fillets (which I know means I must not be as sophisticated as I had hoped) but you still get the unami effect - that little bit of salty taste that really makes a difference in this dressing. You could try the same trick when making a Caesar salad....Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Basil leaves
  • ⅛ cup Flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp Anchovy paste
  • 2 tsp Minced garlic
  • 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup Sour cream
Instructions
  1. Blend basil, parlsey, anchovy paste, garlic and lemon zest and juice and Kosher salt until a herb paste has formed (the basil and parsley should be flecks).
  2. Add Greek yogurt and sour cream and pulse until the dressing is smooth.
  3. Use immediately or refridgerate for up to 3 days.

 

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Ridgely’s Salad Dressing

Ridgely’s first foray into cooking on her own was this dressing, so this recipe is very special to me. At first I hovered, then I slowly learned to just let her go crazy. Interestingly, once I got her to start measuring her ingredients, I realized that Ridgely follows a 2 to 1 acid ratio, not the traditional 3 to 1. This vinaigrette is just an all-purpose winner, because it’s made with canola not olive oil it does not harden in the fridge. So, you can pull out a mason jar out of your fridge anytime – I reach for this to baste chicken and vegetables, and it’s just delicious!

Ridgely's Salad Dressing

Ridgely's Salad Dressing 2

Ridgely's Salad Dressing
Author: 
Serves: almost 2 cups
 
White balsamic vinegar is one of Ridgely's favorite ingredients. I started using it years ago in summer salads - it's just so much lighter that traditional balsamic and really works well in warm weather dishes. Give it a try and you will be hooked! Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Canola oil
  • ⅓ cup Red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup White balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Minced garlic
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 - 2 tsp Fresh herbs (lots of combinations work, our favorite is dill and thyme)
Instructions
  1. In a mason jar add all the ingredients and shake vigorously to combine.
  2. This vinaigrette keeps well in the fridge for about a week.

 

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Basil Dressing

One of my new favorite dressings for summer! Everyday Pasta by Giada De Laurentiis inspired me to make basil the star of a vinaigrette. Try this as a marinade for chicken or seafood too – I always have a couple of mason jars in my fridge with different dressings – my personal arsenal of dinner options!

Basil Dressing

My fried chickpeas added great texture to my salad!

Basil Dressing
Author: 
Serves: 1¾ cup
 
Enjoy this dressing in a yummy salad and then use as a marinade for dinner a few days later - this dressing keeps great in the fridge for 3-4 days. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 1 Shallot, peeled and split in half
  • ½ cup Basil leaves
  • 1 Lemon, zested and juiced
  • I tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ cup White wine vinegar
  • 1¼ cup Olive oil
Instructions
  1. Put shallot and the basil leaves in the food processor and pulse to mince both ingredients.
  2. Add lemon, Kosher salt, white wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse to emulsify.
  3. Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Notes
I use my food processor to make all of my dressings. Most of the time I would say you can get the same result with a whisk. EXCEPT for this recipe - you need the processor to reduce the basil to a paste like consistency.

 

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Honey Lime Dressing

I developed this dressing a few years ago as my go-to vinaigrette for the Mexican-inspired meals I make for clients. It is bright and citrusy, keeps well in the fridge for up to a week, and it’s fabulous in salads with lots of Mexican flavors. I love it with a salad of romaine, jicama, red pepper strips, avocado and feta – delicious! Try it alongside my Chicken Enchiladas (soon to be published)!

Honey Lime Dressing

Honey Lime Dressing
Author: 
Serves: 1¼ cup
 
My instructions call for a food processor because I have one and it eliminates all chopping, but if you do not have one, no worries, this dressing is equally great shaken up in a Mason jar. You will just need to finely mince the poblano and the cilantro. This dressing also does double-duty as a delicious marinade. Try it with fish, shrimp or chicken – it’s yummy and perfect for summertime grilling. Happy cooking!
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp Poblano chili, finely chopped (equals about a 1 cm wide strip lengthwise of chili)
  • ½ bunch Cilantro (leave and some stems)
  • 1 cup Canola oil
  • 3 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Honey
  • 1 Lime, zested and juiced
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Place the poblano and the cilantro in a food processor and pulse until both ingredients are finely minced.
  2. Add canola oil, minced garlic, honey, lime and sea salt and pulse until all ingredients are well blended.
  3. At this point grab a spoon and taste – you might want to add a bit more sea salt. You can also turn up the heat by adding a smidge more of finely minced poblano. I always find the amount I call for in the recipe is perfect for my family.
  4. Pour into a Mason jar and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Notes
I love Poblano chiles! For me the flavor is preferable to adding a small amount of jalapeno. Poblanos taste more complex and subtle – but that is my personal taste. Remember when working with chiles to wear gloves (I keep a pack of disposable gloves in my pantry for exactly this purpose).

Another interesting fact about chiles – the heat comes from the seeds, so one of the best ways to ensure the dressing, or any recipe calling for chiles, stays mild is to make sure that you don’t add any of the seeds.

 

 

 

 

Notes

 

 

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