Dining In 3 minutes 30 May 2024

9 MICHELIN Chefs share their favorite salad dressing recipes

Toss up your summer salads with a new vinaigrette or homemade Green Goddess.

We’re just going to say it — salads get a bad rap.

Often mistaken as a boring option on a lunch menu or outshined by the main course when served as a side dish at dinner, salads deserve more attention. There are many factors to a perfect salad, from the combination of seasonal produce to use of texture, and no matter what style of salad it is, still maintaining a freshness to the ingredients. The easiest way to achieve this is with the correctly paired salad dressing.

There’s perhaps no more seamless way to elevate a salad than with a homemade vinaigrette – from classic shallot and mustard-based dressings to tomato-infused drizzles and spicy Caesar, below nine chefs from MICHELIN restaurants share their favorite recipes for salad dressings and what they pair best with. The best part? Most of these dressings can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Classic Vinaigrette
By Rose Noel, Executive Chef, Peak, NYC

“My go-to salad dressings are always light and acidic with a little bit of a kick. For heartier greens I will use an egg yolk-base dressing with a wine-based vinegar and a lighter olive oil.”

1 pint olive oil
5 oz lemon juice
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
*2 egg yolks can be added for a thicker dressing

Method: Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl; transfer to an air-tight container and store in the fridge. Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

Tomato Vinaigrette
By Kevin Gillespie, Chef/Owner of Gunshow, Atlanta, GA

"This is a great way to use on-the-edge, ugly, almost-too-ripe tomatoes. Because tomatoes have different acidities, you'll have to season to taste (probably a pinch of salt will do it). I like a greens-based salad with herbs on top. This is also a great sauce for grilled fish!"

1/2 tsp Korean chili powder
1 large pinch kosher salt
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 sprig fresh tarragon
1 Tbsp tomato vinegar (or white wine/champagne vinegar)
1 large ripe beefsteak, or other slicing tomato, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Optional: add your choice of herbs like basil, mint, chives, dill.

Method: Mix all ingredients together in a shallow pan or bowl. Place in a warm location, like a warming drawer, for 3 hours to marinate. Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend until very smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and cool before serving. Makes 1 pint of vinaigrette.

Sumac Vinaigrette
By Alon Shaya, Chef and Co-Founder of Pomegranate Hospitality behind Safta, Denver, CO

“Sumac has such a unique brightness while preserved lemon adds funk and salty depth—it turns even simple greens into something special. Add feta and pita croutons for a satisfying fattoush salad. I love to add grilled shrimp or pan-roasted salmon to turn this into a meal, and it also works as the dressing for a tangy chicken salad.”

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 tsp sumac
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1.5 Tbsp preserved lemons, seeds removed

Methods: Mince the preserved lemons and whisk with the lemon juice until smooth, then whisk in the vinegar, sumac, and salt to incorporate. Slowly stream in the oil while whisking until you have a smooth, emulsified dressing. Yield: About 1 cup

Spicy Caesar Dressing
By Akhtar Nawab, Chef, MICHELIN Bib Gourmand Alta Calidad, NY

“A little spice brings some interesting dynamics to a traditional salad everyone loves! To pair, I recommend a nice, crisp glass of Txakolina!”

1 lime zested and juiced
2 oz roasted garlic
1/8 cup Mexican Crema
1 cup aioli or mayonnaise

Method: Combine ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Green Goddess
By Avner Levi, Chef, CENTO Pasta Bar, LA 

“I feel it's the most universal dressing. It goes well with any texture of greens, whether it's something soft like a spinach or more crunchy or bitter like romaine or radicchio.”

4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup chives
1/2 cup mint
1 cup parsley
1 cup mayo
1 cup yogurt
3 garlic cloves

Method: Combine all ingredients in blender and blitz until texture is creamy. Salt to taste.

Goma Dare
By Reiji Yoshizawa, Executive Chef, MILA, Miami

"This salad dressing is incredibly versatile, enhancing the flavors of a wide variety of proteins such as chicken, beef, and fish, as well as complementing any type of salad.”

2 tsp ginger (finely minced)
3 tsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp roasted sesame oil
1.5 Tbsp soy sauce
1.5 Tbsp white sesame seeds
2 Tbsp unseasoned rice wine vinegar 

Method: Whisk together all ingredients in large bowl; transfer to container to marinate for a few hours then pour over desired salad or protein.

Blackberry Vinaigrette
By Dillion Buckler, Executive Chef at Primo, Orlando

‘With blackberries coming into season here in Florida, [this is] my favorite dressing paired with some grilled peaches tossed with olive oil and some thyme. Some nice little gem lettuce, with purple daikon radish, and local cherry tomatoes.”

2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh blackberries (about 6 oz)

Method: Puree blackberries and basil leaves together in a food processor or blender. Scrape puree into medium bowl. Whisk the vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper into the blackberry puree. Slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the oil is completely incorporated into the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Coconut Jade
By Chef Niven, MICHELIN Bib Gourmand Ghee Indian Kitchen, Miami

“This dressing goes so well with all the great summer stone fruits like peaches and plums. I love to pair Chenin Blancs with this dressing as it complements the citrus and stone fruit flavors.” 

A few cilantro and mint sprigs
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice from 1 lime

Method: Blend together lime juice, Dijon mustard, cilantro and mint spring; as they’re blending, slowly drizzle in the coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. 

Asian Salad Dressing
By Robin Zavou, Executive Chef of One MICHELIN Star Mandarin Grill + Bar, Hong Kong

“The important part of the homemade salad dressing is to remember that it should always be 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil; it could be red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar, or you can also use lemon juice to swap out vinegar. This should act as a base, then season where necessary.”

1 tsp of minced garlic
1.5 cup olive oil
1/4 cup of rice vinegar (other vinegars can also be used)
1/4 cup of soy sauce (light soy)
1 tsp sugar
Dash of sesame oil 

Method: Whisk together ingredients in a large bowl and set aside to marinate before tossing it with fresh greens, chicken, or fish. Salt and pepper to taste.

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