6 reasons to make your own salad dressing

Why make your own salad dressing when there’s a whole aisle of them in all flavours and varieties in every supermarket? Here are six good reasons I think you should and I give you my easy, 4-ingredient, salad dressing recipe too.

I love to eat a salad every day and so I want my salad dressing to be both healthy and tasty.

But you know, salad dressings don’t just make a salad taste great, they also enhance the absorption of the fat-soluble nutrients in the ingredients. That’s one big reason why I’m not a fan of fat-free salad dressings.

The other of course is taste - they just don't taste that great! So here are my six great reasons why I think you should make your own oil-based salad dressing.

1. It's fresh. When you make your own salad dressing you know it's fresh. The ones in the supermarket have been sitting in their bottles for months. What's more the bought salad dressings are full of preservatives just so they can sit there for months.

2. It's got real ingredients. Home-made salad dressings have real ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, and lemon juice in them, not a whole stack of numbers like 330, 332, 407, 410, 415 and 440! 

3. Homemade tastes better. You can use that lovely boutique, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil you bought from the local olive growers at the Farmers' Markets; your own pot grown chives and home grown lemons.

With a bought dressing you don't know what quality oil was used and many of them rely on flavour enhancers to make something that doesn't taste of much at all taste acceptable.

4. You avoid additives, gums, thickeners, colours, flavours and preservatives. If your salad dressing stays evenly mixed (doesn't separate into two layers), you can be sure it's got something in it to keep it mixed. If you can avoid unnecessary additives then I think it's wise to do so especially if you have food sensitivities.

5. It's cheaper. You pay a premium whenever you buy anything ready-made and so making your own salad dressing will save you money.

6. It's dead easy! My four ingredient basic salad dressing, is tasty, healthy and a snap to make. Here's the recipe .... 

Catherine Saxelby's 4-ingredient salad dressing

A basic vinaigrette is just an oil-vinegar mix and adds a wonderful flavour to any salad or vegetable dish. My basic recipe is just oil, lemon juice, mustard and pepper.

You simply start with three parts of oil (I prefer a good quality extra-virgin olive oil in this case) mixed with one part of something acidic such as lemon juice or vinegar.

As a nutritionist, I like lemon juice as it adds vitamin C. Add in a grind or two of pepper and half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, shake well and you're set.

No you don't need any salt - there is plenty in everything else that a salad will accompany.

If you want to see me make it, then watch the YouTube video.

Be creative

Of course you don’t have to stick to basics. Feel free to be creative. For instance you could add a clove or two of crushed garlic or some chopped fresh basil or oregano or other green herb. A squeeze of honey or sesame oil can also add flavour. Or swap the lemon juice for some guava or wine vinegar.

Looking for some great salad recipes?

Visit my Foodwatch website for lots of lovely salad recipes. 


Here's six good reasons to make your own salad dressing and an easy 4-ingredient salad dressing recipe from Catherine Saxelby.

Salad story by

Catherine Saxelby

Catherine Saxelby

Health professional / educator

I love salads and eat one in some form every day, either as a main meal OR as a side to a grill or burger. Some of my favourite accompaniments are a Greek salad, coleslaw, fragrant Vietnamese... Read more

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