Top Secret Salad Dressing

Garden Lettuce
When your garden gives you lettuce, wash that stuff up and make some dressing that will complement it, and not completely overshadow it. There I said it… ranch dressing: I love you, but you don’t belong here. Sorry.
Summer Day in Iowa
It is a gorgeous day in Iowa! My kids topped off the morning by picking a ton of lettuce from our small garden and we enjoy other greens in our CSA share from our friend Ellen (Bell Farm).
Top Secret Salad Dressing
I love to have a lighter dressing with a bit of tang for summertime. This dressing is reminiscent of the Olive Garden dressing people freak out for, and is a total family secret that my kids LOVE. But I’m not about SECRET recipes… at all.
Basic Vinaigrette Greens
This is a very simple dressing to make, and if you make it for guests or your family for dinner… you won’t ever buy salad dressing again. Ever. Snag yourself a mason jar, dump everything in and SHAAAAKE! The ‘secret’ ingredient in the recipe is Dijon mustard, which keeps the dressing in suspension and ’emulsifies’ it. (That means the oil and vinegar will not separate, leaving you shaking the container every time you want to dress a salad. ) The garlic stays evenly distributed throughout the container too which is nice.
Vinagrette Close Up
This morning we enjoyed a bit of breakfast on the deck.
This is my favorite breakfast (see picture below). Simple, but perfect. And yes… I like my eggs fried OVER HARD. As in, if you toss them at a wall they will not stick. At all. Ever. Keep your runny yolks, folks. Not for me.
Eggs Bacon Breakfast
Have a great weekend! And do try this dressing… I bet you have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already!
Top Secret Salad Dressing recipe


Top Secret Salad Dressing

This dressing is absolutely divine, and people go insane for it. Top Secret is in the name because something this good should never be revealed! (But I'm totally going for it!)
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Servings: 1 cups
Author: Cristen


  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced finely or 4 small cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 6 tbsp vinegar apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar or red wine vinegar are best
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Combine all ingredients into a mason jar and shake excessively until homogenous. This takes about 30 seconds. (tall quilted jelly jars are my favorite size.) Refrigerate if not using within a couple days. *If you refrigerate, be sure to pull out about 20 minutes or more before using so the olive oil can come up to temperature (sometimes if the olive gets too cold, it can solidify a bit, leaving you droplets of congealed oil.)


Mustard acts as an emulsifier, keeping the vinegar and oil from separating. The mustard is a vital part of this recipe and Dijon mustard is best.
Previous Post Next Post


  • Reply Ceil Slings June 13, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    So happy you shared your ‘secret’ dressing. It is now my ‘new’ favorite!

  • Reply Tony Conrad June 13, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. Can’t wait to give it a try.

  • Reply jenieats June 13, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    This reminds me of my favorite dressing. It’s amazing how delicious homemade vinaigrettes taste.

  • Reply Lynn Jeffers June 14, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I tried the top secret dressing last night with fresh garden greens. It is so good- thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Janet Lynn Hunt June 14, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    I bet if you used avocado oil you can reduce the sugar…that would be delicious as well

  • Reply Brooke Haney June 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    This looks delicious.

  • Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating