Eating salad is an act of hope. Perhaps this is a low bar for hope, but if last year taught me anything, it was to turn my face toward any slant of sunlight, no matter how small. Salad is the food of health and vigor, of lengthening sun and dinners outside, of fresh starts, and, yes, of lunches with ladies. You may be wondering—if salad can do all that, why am I not eating more of it? Why don’t I want to? Probably because you’re dressing them wrong. The secret to a really good salad is a really good dressing. Most store-bought salad dressings fall flat: they need more salt, more acid, more fresh herbs, less sugar. Shaking up your own is easier and tastier than you think. A fridge stocked with dressings for all the salads future you is gonna make? Now that’s hopeful.

Creamy Tahini Dressing 

Yield: About 2 cups
Try With: Cooked farro + roasted broccoli and carrots + crunchy chickpeas + sauteéd kale + crumbled feta

1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. maple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and emulsified. Store refrigerated in a jar and shake to re-combine, if separated. Will keep in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.


Photography by Jivan Davé

Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Yield: About 1/2 cup
Try With: Lacinato kale + shaved carrot + toasted walnuts + diced apple + fresh mint

3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1–2 Tbs. honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a lidded jar and shake vigorously to combine. Store in a refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Everyday Pantry Vinaigrette

Yield: About 1½ cups
Try With: Butter lettuce + thinly-sliced radish + avocado + sourdough croutons + fresh herbs + seared chicken or salmon

6 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. honey
2 tsp. dried oregano

Combine all ingredients in a lidded jar and shake vigorously to combine. Store in a refrigerator for one week.