Best DIY Salad Dressing

Using a basic ratio, you can make so many dressings in under 60 seconds. Learn more at
After the heat of summer sent lettuces bolting, recent cool fall temperatures and rain mean salads are back. If you don’t grow your own salad fixings, you may not have noticed the shift from sweet, tender greens to bitter, coarse leaves. But home gardeners will be well aware of the change and have transitioned from lettuce-based salads to ones featuring heat-tolerant or late-season vegetables.

In a piece for Clean Pates earlier this summer, I shared my technique and ratio for making a collection of salad dressings. Even if you don’t grow salad greens, I’m a firm believer that you should make your own dressings. Among disappearing food traditions, one of the most lamentable is scratch-made salad dressing. As Mark Kurlansky writes in The Food of a Younger Land, “What could better spell the beginning of the end than bottled salad dressing, the manufacture of a product that was so easy to make at home?”

Easy is right: Using a basic ratio, you can make so many dressings. A pinch of this and dab of that completely change a dressing’s flavor. My technique clocks in under 60 seconds, and I can now eyeball the proportions without even dirtying measuring spoons.
Learn to make the Best DIY Salad Dressing


Crunchy Cabbage Salad

 I grow several cabbage varieties, some to ferment as sauerkraut, kimchi, and slaw and others to shred raw for my favorite salad. Learn more at
Growing cabbage always presents challenges. In my short growing season, each plant produces one head but doesn’t really have enough time to form a second flush. It has a big garden footprint, and I have to protect it under a cover all season if I want to keep cabbageworms and loopers from calling it home. Some varieties need to be harvested midsummer, when everything else is begging for attention in the garden, so I need to check carefully for number of growing days to ensure a long, extended harvest.

Is it worth it? Clearly I’ve answered yes, because as I share in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, I now grow several cabbage varieties. Some I enjoy fresh, especially as young, raw leafy greens. Others I ferment to have on hand all winter. But my favorites remain the raw crunchy heads that I shred for salads.
Learn to make Crunchy Cabbage Salad

Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Asian-Inspired Dressing

Fresh cherry tomatoes and small cucumbers make a delicious salad, especially when flavored with an Asian-inspired dressing. Learn more at
Tomato season is on. I harvested 45 pounds of heirloom paste and slicing tomatoes in one go earlier this week, and these larger tomatoes already need to be picked again. The cherry tomatoes have been prolific too; bowls of them are currently scattered around my house, waiting to be eaten, frozen, or canned.

As I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, fresh cherry tomatoes and small cucumbers make a delicious salad. Nothing beats the taste of homegrown ones, of course, but local farmers can do the work for you and even a larger tomato and cucumber can be sliced up for a similarly quick, bright dish when they’re in season. Although most people think of a balsamic-based vinaigrette for tomatoes, I love to flavor this pairing with an Asian-inspired dressing—especially if I’m eating it with the recipe I shared in last week’s Flathead Beacon column: Zucchini-Basil Pancakes, one of my favorite was to use zucchini.
Learn to make Tomato-Cucumber Salad with Asian-Inspired Dressing