The true beauty of homemade salad dressings is that they are so full of flavor that you tend to use less of them. And, ultimately, using less of any food means fewer calories. That’s good if you are trying to consume less overall to maintain or lose weight. I am often looking for ways to decrease my input so dressing my salads with these makes sense.

Several times each year I drive up to Tarpon Springs and buy a big vat of Greek olive oil. I absolutely love its nutty flavor. I have been making the basic vinaigrette below for about 20 years now and every time I bring it to a pot luck dinner I get compliments. People always ask me why it is so goo and I think it is the Greek olive oil. So see if you can get your hands on some. If you live in the Tampa Bay area it should be easy with the strong Greek influence here.

And a word about the heavy whipping cream in the Cilantro Lime dressing: it actually is a very light-feeling dressing because it is whipped. Calorically it is not light but, again, a little goes a long way with this dressing. Whip the cream until it is thick but be careful! I have whipped this too far and I have almost had butter on my hands. If you take the whipping too far, no worries. - you can back out of this problem by whipping in some milk. I researched dressings made from whipping cream and found one by Jacques Pepin. He states that his mother made this in France but only with the cream, salt and garlic. Maybe Jacques’ mom didn’t play around with lime and cilantro. But who knows? I put this dressing on rice and bean tacos the other night and it was amazing.

So enjoy these two dressings. And remember: a little really will go a long way when the ingredients are fresh.

Mason Jar Vinaigrette with Fresh Herbs

This is a 3:1 oil to vinegar mixture. Greek olive oil has a great nutty flavor but any olive oil will do. Vinegar choices are red or white wine vinegar, balsamic or rice. The mustard functions as an emulsifier. Mix all the ingredients into a mason jar or old jelly jar and shake away. The longer it sits the more pungent the garlic gets. Dress greens right before serving and make sure they are very dry.

3 parts extra virgin olive oil
1 part vinegar
1 tbs yellow or Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
Big pinch salt
Big pinch black or white pepper
Fresh chopped herbs in season (thyme, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, parsley)
 

Creamy Whipped Cilantro Lime Dressing

Heavy whipping cream is the carrier of the fresh cilantro in the rich dressing. Lime provides a little tang. Whip the cream with a whisk or hand blender until thickened to desired consistency. Add lime, salt, garlic and chopped fresh cilantro. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Dress greens right before serving and make sure they are very dry.

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 tbs lime juice
Big pinch salt
1 large bunch of fresh cilantro finely chopped.