Five essential dressings for spring salads


Spring is one of my favourite times of the foodie year. There will soon be a plethora of fresh veggies in the supermarkets, prices will come tumbling down and we have the glorious Central Otago summer to look forward to. Below are five fabulous salad dressings to store in your armoury for the impending warmer weather. Spring is a great time to hit the reset button on your winter eating habits. Embrace lighter meals that just need a lift and accompaniment of a delicious dressing to complement the produce. Enjoy!

Vegan avocado dressing

1 large avocado
1/4 cup olive oil
1 good handful coriander, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
Juice of lime (or lemon if too expensive)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Water to thin, as required


Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add water as required to get desired consistency.

Asian lemongrass vinaigrette

2 stalks lemongrass
1 garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of a lime
1 teaspoon honey


Take the outer layers of the lemongrass off. Grate the lemongrass on the finest grater you have until you reach the end of the whiter part of the plant.

Combine all the other ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly.

Simple Caesar dressing

1 egg
1 garlic clove, crushed
Juice of half a lemon
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
2-3 anchovy fillets
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
100ml olive oil


Put egg, garlic, lemon, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon and anchovies into a small blender, blend until smooth.

Keeping the blender on, pour in olive oil with a slow drizzle until dressing becomes thick and glossy. Add warm water to make it a little runnier. Season with salt and pepper.

NB: If you don’t want to make the base of the sauce yourself, remove egg and olive oil and replace with cup of mayonnaise.

Herby lemon dressing

1 red or green chilli
1/2 cup rocket
1/2 cup mint
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup olive oil
Zest of lemon
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar


Combine all the ingredients in blender and mix until pureed.

Basic salad dressing

1 cup neutral salad oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (optional)
(Use quality vinegar or it will be hard to balance tartness)
1 large garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely-chopped shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste