Cooking DIY Pantry

4 jam jar dressings to transform your office salads

9th August 2018

Banish boring salads and revolutionise your lunch al-desko with these jam jar salad dressings. Food writer, Malou Herkes, shares why they are perfectly portable, easy to make and totally delicious.

DIY dressing office salad

Photo: Natalé Towell

A good salad dressing has the power to transform basic green leaves into something totally delicious. Forget mayo-drenched supermarket slaws or over-priced high-street salads. With a five-minute jam jar dressing and some green leaves or leftover grains, you’ve got a meal that is altogether more delicious. All that with change to spare and a lot less plastic packaging.

Why put salad dressing in a jam jar?

Photo: Natalé Towell

The beauty of making dressings in a jar is they’re easy to transport. They’re small and compact flavour capsules that you can easily throw in your bag to take to the office, or to picnics, camping trips, or any alfresco eating for that matter. Make a batch of dressings at the beginning of the week ready to grab and go in the morning. Then when you’re ready to serve, just give it a good shake, toss through your salad and it’s ready to eat.

4 simple jam jar dressings recipes

1. Basic salad dressing

Basic salad dressing

Photo: Natalé Towell

A basic salad dressing only requires three to four storecupboard staples, it takes 2 minutes to throw in a jar and will add instant flavour to your leaves. You can tweak this to your tastes, but it’s a good idea to maintain a ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. 

To your jar, add 2 tablespoons white, red wine or balsamic vinegar, 6 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, ¼ grated clove of garlic and a pinch each of sea salt and black pepper. Secure the lid. Shake. Dress.

2. Healthy Caesar dressing

healthy Caesar dressing

Photo: Natalé Towell

Swap the mayonnaise in a calorific Caesar dressing for yoghurt. You’ll find it’s just as creamy, tangy and well-balanced. With a good hit of garlic, umami-rich anchovies and a little Parmesan, this will do wonders to a bowl of crisp salad greens.

To your jar, add 3 tablespoons Greek-style yoghurt, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 finely chopped anchovies, ½ a grated clove of garlic, a good squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt and a good twist of black pepper. Secure the lid. Shake. Dress.

3. Asian-style chilli & lime dressing

chilli and lime dressing

Photo: Natalé Towell

The perfect dressing for noodles or a grated rainbow slaw of carrots and beets. Got leftover herbs? Throw in a few coriander or mint leaves before serving.

To your jar, add 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 teaspoons honey, 3 tablespoons sesame or extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, ½ finely chopped chilli and ½ a grated clove of garlic. Secure the lid. Shake. Dress.

4. Simple tahini dressing

Tahini dressing

Photo: Natalé Towell

Tahini’s nuttiness is a wonderful addition to a salad of leftover grains, herby chickpeas or roasted veg. Tahini will last for ages in the cupboard, so it’s well worth investing in a jar, or you can make your own with a simple bag of sesame seeds.

To your jar, add 1 tablespoon tahini, 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar, 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, the juice of ½ lemon and a pinch each of sea salt and black pepper. Secure the lid. Shake. Dress.

From truffle to lemon oil, white balsamic to aged cider vinegar, pimp up your dressings with Farmdrop’s range of oils and vinegars. Or learn how to make your own apple cider vinegar with this easy step-by-step guide.

Here are 8 more hacks to revolutionise your salads al-desko, and these are the vegan salads we’re enjoying this summer.

Leave a comment below if you’ve got a jam jar dressing recipe you’d like to share.

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