Urban’s Light & Healthy Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

It’s the height of summer here in the Fourth Corner, and a young man’s thoughts turn to…. Awww, how the hell would I know? 

Anyway, our thoughts were squarely on fantastic salads last night, because lettuces, radicchio, cabbage, onions, peppers, carrots, tomatoes and more are ready, right now. M and I tag team salad making, because it’s the most fun, and it fosters mutual inspiration. 

She asked for a light and bright honey mustard dressing and I found I didn’t have such a recipe – so I poked around to see what was out there, then sat down for a couple minutes to build one.

Good stuff, Maynard!

Most of what popped up as popular was heavy on mayonnaise or oil – As a primary constituent, the former is heavy on saturated fat, and the latter is too heavy for a hot summer day. I discarded both options when I found good Greek yogurt in the fridge – that would provide lightness, and build a healthier dressing to boot.

You can use any fat content you like, of course, but we were after lightness, and what we had was non-fat, which was perfect. Built in the ratios I show below, we got a creamy dressing that coats beautifully and was spot on for what M ordered up.

I can’t emphasize enough that the secret here is great, fresh ingredients – pull out the stops for this one and it’ll reward you big time. We used a lovely, peppery Kalamata olive oil, genuine Dijon mustard, our pineapple vinegar, and some stunningly good honey from friends in Minnesota – each contributed fantastic flavor notes to the finished dressing.

Build this dressing to my specs, then taste and see if it’s to your liking – Tweak any of the major notes as needed to make it yours, then let the ingredients marry for 15 minutes before use. You’ll see that I built flexibility into the ratios for key ingredients – start at the low side and work up as you see fit.

If you don’t have pineapple vinegar, see our post and build some of your own. Live cider vinegar will make a perfectly fine substitution.

Urban’s Purty Darn Healthy Honey Mustard Dressing

1/2 Cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt 

1/4 Cup Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Dijon Mustard

2-3 Tablespoons Pineapple Vinegar

2-3 Tablespoons Local Honey 

1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon Juice

1 fat Clove fresh Garlic

2 Finger Pinch Sea Salt

8-10 Twists Tellicherry Pepper

In a non-reactive bowl, combine all ingredients.

Whisk briskly with a fork until the mixture homogenizes.

Taste and adjust as you like – too tart, add a touch more honey – not tart enough, add lemon or vinegar.

Transfer dressing to a clean glass jar with a lid.

Allow dressing to rest and marry for about 15 minutes prior to use

Refrigerated leftover dressing will last a week, easy.

Creamy Italian Herb Dressing

Seem to be on a dressing kick lately – probably because, as I wrote some time ago, most store bought stuff is shit, and if it’s not, it’s pricey. You can and should make fresh – it’s easy, fast, and far better than that other stuff.

I wanted a creamy herb dressing, something with an Italian twist in the herb mix. This turned out to be glorious stuff.

You can make this with anything from fat free Greek yoghurt to homemade mayo, running the gamut of calories and unctuousness.

While you could throw a tablespoon of Italian seasoning into the mix rather than what I did, I find it a lot more soul satisfying to make your own blends – and change those whenever the spirit moves you. Try it, you’ll like it.

Urb’s Creamy Italian Herb Dressing

(You can sub Greek yoghurt, buttermilk, or sour cream for the mayo and crema, as you see fit)

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise

1/4 Cup Mexican Crema

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Prosecco Vinegar

1 Tablespoon fresh Parsley

1 Tablespoon fresh Celery Leaf

2 teaspoons fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 teaspoon Basil

1/2 teaspoon Lemon Thyme

1/2 teaspoon Sage

1/2 teaspoon granulated Garlic

1/2 teaspoon granulated Onion

Pinch Sea Salt

5-6 twists fresh ground Pepper

In a non-reactive mixing bowl, combine mayo, sour cream vinegar, and lemon juice – whisk briskly to thoroughly incorporate.

Whisk in olive oil in a slow drizzle, building up the emulsion gradually.
Whisk in all remaining ingredients.

Transfer dressing to a clean glass jar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Will last refrigerated for up to 5 days.