Shake It To Make It Italian Salad Dressing, plus a salad recap

IMG_5460 2 text b(Shake It to Make It Italian Salad Dressing – recipe in post)

Have you seen those salad dressing bottles with recipes printed on the sides? You add ingredients up to the fill lines, shake to combine, and viola – salad dressing! A fun idea, for sure, but who wants to stick to basic pre-printed recipes? Making your own is easier than you think.

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In my month of salads, I don’t know where I’d be without my go-to Italian dressing. Sometimes, the simple things are the best things. With a bottle of this in the fridge, I reach for leafy greens as my late-night snack.

This dressing is based off The Dad’s Italian vinaigrette, which perhaps adds to my fondness for it. It’s simple to make, and easy to adapt.

Once you have the recipe to your liking, making a mixer bottle is simple. Any bottle will do, from glass pours to plastic squeeze. One of the best and easiest containers are pint-sized mason jars – perfect for shaking and storing. You’ll also need a fine-tipped permanent marker. That’s it!

Beginning with the dry, add the ingredients one at a time to your container. After each, make a mark on the side indicating how much the ingredient fills the bottle. Add the next ingredient, and make another mark – and so on. Be sure to label each mark with what, and how much. Shake it up, and you’re good to go! You can even use the same bottle or jar, and label a different recipe on each side.

Simple vinaigrettes like this are perfect for shake-and-serve. With a base of quality oil and vinegar, it’s hard to go wrong.

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Go-To Italian Dressing
Adapted from My Dad
Makes ~ 1 1/2 cups

1 TBSP dried oregano*
1 TBSP dried basil
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried mustard powder
1 TBSP honey (or substitute sugar)
1/3 cup red or white wine vinegar
1 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of cayenne, to taste (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

*Dried herbs can be substituted with up to twice the amount of fresh, chopped.


Add all ingredients to a jar, bottle, or other lidded container. Shake well. Best served after sitting in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to mingle. Shake before serving.


While I’m digging into my simple bowl of tossed greens and Italian vinaigrette, I thought it would be fun to do a recap of salads I’ve shared in the past year – surprisingly, there aren’t very many. Considering my obsession with salads, it’s about time I take a moment to celebrate them!

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna Salad*

Ahi Tuna Salad
This is one of my favorite salads, and is hard to find done well. Be sure to use sashimi grade fish if you plan to serve it rare!

Sprouted Quinoa Salad – raw and vegan

Sprouted Quinoa Salad
Highlighting raw, natural superfoods, this salad demonstrates how easy it is to sprout your own quinoa.

Beet Root Salad with Cranberry-Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette – vegan

Beet Root Salad with Orange Cranberry Vinaigrette
I can still remember the flavors of this salad perfectly. The Boyfriend and I are both big fans of beets, and they add such a lovely sweetness to salads. The dressing was an off-beat, off-the-cuff recipe that neither of us could get enough of!

Shaved Fennel and Smoked Salmon Salad, with deviled Quail Eggs

Fennel and salmon salad
Spending an entire day finding new and interesting ways to use quail eggs, I came up with this simple little side. The flavors are bold and assertive, but aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. For those who enjoy fennel, this is a great accompaniment to any meal.

Two Tasty Twists on Tuna Salad
I’ve always liked tuna salads, not only as a quick and easy lunch but as a great source of protein. Here I found two ways to boost the nutrients, and exclude the mayo!
*Since the Fukushima radiation in Japan last year, some tuna has been found to have elevated levels of radiation. Reports say the level of radiation found thus far in tuna caught in the Pacific is well below any harmful amount, but it may be wise to take caution in where your fish comes from.

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14 Responses to Shake It To Make It Italian Salad Dressing, plus a salad recap

  1. Foodie Stuntman June 16, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Have yout tried the dressing with fresh herbs instead of dried?

    • Willow June 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      I’ve used some (basil, parsley…) but haven’t replaced all of the dried in one batch before. I’m sure it would have great flavor!

  2. June 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    oh that sounds so delicious! i love those fresh salads too! those beets! yum!

  3. Purabi Naha June 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    What a nice roundup of salads! Loved these, especially the tuna salad!

  4. June 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    Hey, Willow! I love the way you’ve displayed this recipe – SO cool! I love a delicious vinaigrette. I should definitely do some more salads. I picked some wild, fresh fennel leaves today and raddish is VERY cheap at the moment… I smell new salads :D. I’ll take a look at your others!

    • Willow June 18, 2012 at 3:04 am #

      Ooh, wild fennel and raddish sounds like a great combination!

  5. Courtney J June 18, 2012 at 1:38 am #

    Great round-up of salads! Especially love the beet salad with cranberry dressing. YUM!

    • Willow June 18, 2012 at 3:04 am #

      It’s one of my favorites! I had no idea when I was making it that it would be such a hit. :)

  6. Jen @JuanitasCocina June 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    I must have missed that ahi somewhere along the way. My eyes about popped right out of my head over that one!

    And I am on such a salad kick lately! Can’t wait to try this dressing.

    My dad’s coming for a visit next week. When I asked what he wanted me to make, he said salads! LOL!

    • Willow June 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

      Haha, nice! Hope you like the dressing!

  7. Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes June 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    I LOVE the Sprouted Quinoa Salad and your Beet Salad – so when can I come over for Cocktails and Salad?

    • Willow June 19, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      Heheh – you bring the cocktails, and I’ll start the beets! ;)

  8. vivian March 20, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    A great, basic dressing to keep in the fridge. My son doesn’t eat dairy, so this works well for us. Today’s the first day of spring so hopefully there will soon be lots of fresh local produce to use it on. I bet this would work well as a vegetable marinade too. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Willow Arlen March 27, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

      Thanks Vivian, glad you like this one! I haven’t tried it as a marinade, but that’s a great idea.

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