When the sun is turning the pavement outside into a griddle and you can see the heat shimmering off the ground, that’s when I crave things that are cold and refreshing. I want crisp, bright bursts of flavor; I want to taste summer in all its pure goodness.
Summer is meant for barbecuing, lazy days lounging on the beach, letting the waves lap over your toes, and nights spent under the stars. It’s a time for tents, campfires, slip’n’slides, and relaxing by the pool with your favorite book.
It’s also the time when the heat can work up your appetite, and erase it just as quickly.
Summer is a magical time for gardens, farmers markets and for experimenting with new flavors and textures. The plentiful flavors available during the summer occur at no other time during the year.
One of my favorite meals during the summer is salad.
I know what you’re thinking – stick with me.
I’m sure you’re thinking of that garden salad you get with your entree at that restaurant. Or perhaps you’re envisioning that wilting bowl of pale lettuce at the neighborhood barbecue?
Oh friends, y’all have no idea.
The base of salad alone is only limited by your imagination: arugala, radicchio, spinach, romaine, endive, dandelion greens, escarole…
The toppings: bell peppers, banana peppers, cucumbers, red onions, green onions, cherry tomatoes, beefhouse tomatoes, boiled eggs, quinoa, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pears, apples, walnuts, feta, bleu cheese, parmesan…
Seriously y’all, I can go on and on and on.
One of the best ways that I’ve found to make salads new and appealing, to make them enticing to even the most hardcore carnivore is with fresh, delicious, innovative dressings.
I love to experiment with herbs, spices, oils, vinegars and mustards.
Whether I’m dipping, dunking, drizzling or coating – the salad dressing can make a salad sing or simply fade into the background.
With the weather heating up and farmers markets bursting with goods – I’ve gathered 13 Salad Dressing Recipes that will liven up any summer salad.
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Vegan Comeback Dressing 2 of 14
Spicy, Creamy, 100% Vegan this Vegan Comeback Sauce/Dressing by Fat Free Vegan is sure to set your taste buds dancing and will liven up any fresh summer salad.
Homemade Basil Vinaigrette 3 of 14
Basil is one of my very favorite herbs. Whether paired with pizza, mozzarella, tomatoes, pasta... I don't think basil can be wrong. Gaby's Simple Basil Vinaigrette looks perfect for drizzling over a light quinoa salad, or possibly just some fresh sliced tomatoes. No matter what you pair it with, it'll be a winner.
Strawberry Vinaigrette 4 of 14
Strawberries seem to just epitomize summer, and if you're craving a taste of summer; The Gracious Pantry's Strawberry Vinaigrette is just the thing.
Shake-in-a-Jar Mediterranean Salad Dressing 5 of 14
Kalyn always has delicious healthy recipes, and her Mediterranean salad dressing with red wine vinegar, lemon and sumac will take any salad to a new level of flavor and deliciousness. This is a must try for summer 2013. Get the recipe for Shake-in-a-Jar Mediterranean Salad Dressing on Kalyn's Kitchen.
Celery Ranch Dressing 6 of 14
Dairy, egg, soy, gluten free and vegan. If you suffer from any of those allergies, and have been missing your ranch dressing. It's time to celebrate because it's Spabettie to the rescue with her delicious homemade celery ranch dressing recipe.
Poppy Seed Dressing 7 of 14
Not only does this poppy seed dressing look delicious, there's a bonus spinach, cranberry, and almond salad recipe when you click over to Like Mother, Like Daughter to get the recipe for her Poppy Seed Dressing
Dill Ranch Dressing 8 of 14
Dill is an herb that probably doesn't get utilized enough. It's bright, earthy, tangy, and simply delicious. I'm absolutely head over heels for Liz's Dill Ranch Dressing recipe.
Savory Dijon Wine Vinaigrette 9 of 14
Zesty Dijon Mustard, Shallots, and white wine whip together easily to create a savory dressing that's perfect for a leafy green salad or as a fruit dip for a hot summer day.
Get the recipe for Savory Dijon Wine Vinaigrette on A Southern Fairytale.
Curried Yogurt Dressing and Chicken Salad 10 of 14
Chicken Salad is one of my favorite quick and light summer meals. If you want to surprise and delight your friends this summer, shake up your chicken salad with this Curried Yogurt Dressing from CBSOP
4 Tofu Dressing Recipes 11 of 14
If you have food allergies, you probably struggle with finding dressings that don't trigger your allergies - This Mama Cooks has 4 dressing recipes using tofu - including: Dill and Lime, Spicy Ginger Sesame and Creamy Italian. Get these recipes and more on This Mama Cooks
Chile Lime Dressing 12 of 14
I like a salad dressing that can stand up and get your attention. I'm absolutely convinced that What About The Food's Chile Lime Dressing is just such a dressing. Check out her post when she pairs it with a brussels sprout salad!
Jalapeno Vinaigrette 13 of 14
Jalapenos, Shallots, Lemon Juice and more. Domestic Fits had me at hello with this salad dressing. I think I would tire myself out just trying to find food to eat this on. You can snag her Jalapeno Vinaigrette and a Quinoa Crab Salad recipe on her blog.
Green Goddess 14 of 14
Green Goddess dressing has its own following, it's earthy, fresh, delicious, and definitely classic.
Elise's Green Goddess Dressing recipe also includes a bit of fun history about her history with the dressing.