These three basic dressing recipes should be indispensable parts of any cook’s repertoire; you can add just an ingredient or two and transform them into dozens of variations. I’ve included my favorite riffs here, along with lots of mix-and-match salad options.
Matching Salad and Dressing
Leafy Salad + Dijon Vinaigrette
Improvise with Leafy greens such as Boston and romaine lettuce; vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, asparagus and green beans; fruit such as apples, pears and grapes; toasted nuts such as pecans, almonds and walnuts.
Crunchy Salad + Buttermilk Dressing
Improvise with Bitter greens such as endive and radicchio; sturdy greens such as mesclun or baby spinach; vegetables such as cucumbers or cherry tomatoes; shaved hard cheeses such as Parmigiano-Reggiano; toasted croutons.
Related: Best Salad Recipes
Peppery Salad + Ginger Dressing
Improvise with Sturdy greens such as watercress, mizuna and arugula; vegetables such as avocados, carrots, sugar snap peas, radishes and jicama; fruit such as Asian pears and green mangoes; poached shrimp and seared tuna.