Cheap Eats — Katy’s Tea Towel Salad Dressing

by Katy on June 18, 2008 · 19 comments

I used to always buy bottled salad dressing. Sure, I’d tried making it from scratch, but it was never thick enough. It slid off the lettuce like an Exxon Valdez oil slick.

All that changed a few years ago. I realized that the elaborate cursive writing on one of my tea towels, (which I had never actually taken the time to read) was actually a recipe for salad dressing. Hmm . . . I thought to myself, I have all the ingredients for that!

I mixed everything up, and delish, magic was created.

Katy’s Tea Towel Salad Dressing

Mix all ingredients in a bottle and shake to combine:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil (I’ve used canola oil as a substitute)

  • 1/4 cup sweet rice vinegar

  • 3 finely minced garlic cloves

  • 1 Tablespoon honey

  • 1 Tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard

  • Salt and pepper to taste

This dressing gets rave reviews from dinner guests, and the recipe is a frequent request. It transformed my daughter from a salad-hater to a salad-glutton. Something I once thought as likely as Ralph Nader’s purchase of a Hummer dealership.

Remember this, fellow Non-Consumers. Every time you can whip up something from scratch, there are wonderful ripple effects. You’ll save money, you’ll decrease packaging, and you’ll be enjoying the treat of minimally processed food.

Most importantly though, the end product will be far more delicious than something pulled from a dusty grocery store shelf.

-Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristi June 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm

I’ve been both making and buying salad dressing for a while. There’s a favorite of ours at New Seasons that I can’t duplicate. But I decided yesterday I am going to try, and I wondered where I would get a shaker to make and store it in. Well, duh — I could use the old bottle rather than recycling it!! Another option — those Tazo tea bottles are about the size of a salad dressing bottle. (Tazo was on sale last week!) I’ll keep one or more of those around for future re-use!

FYI, I learned recently that mustard is an emulsifier — which may explain why this recipe isn’t giving you the “oil slick” results you used to get.


thenonconsumeradvocate June 18, 2008 at 2:00 pm

I’m glad to hear you are going to try my recipe. The “mustard as emulsifier” makes sense. Ah hah!




Kristi June 18, 2008 at 9:52 pm

Did you know you have a teeny-tiny smiley at the top of your blog? I just noticed that.

I found my way here from I recognize your name — you were my labor nurse when I had my little Maggie in August 2004. You will always be one of my favorite people. Thanks!


Alexis Ahrens June 19, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Katy, this recipe looks great! I always make my own salad dressing, usually with balsamic vinegar, but this looks like a nice twist. I’ll give it a whirl. Thanks for sharing!


Lisa June 20, 2008 at 10:33 am

I make my own dressings too. Try using hazelnut, walnut or other nut oils and other vinegars for a change of flavors. The honey is also acting as a thickener as well as balancing out the acid of the vinegar. You can use a bit of sugar or agave nectar if you are out.


Sigrid May 8, 2018 at 4:46 pm

ooh, that sounds great, nut oils. Have not tried those yet, but i make almost the same dressing with apple cider vinegar. It’s great and has health benefits also


Elle July 17, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Thank you for the dressing recipe. While it did not turn my son into a salad lover, I thought it was absolutely delicious.


Sally August 26, 2008 at 11:10 am

Just found this by way of Slashfood. I make a very similar dressing, only I use a white wine vinegar. Delicious!


Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary August 28, 2010 at 8:35 am

I had forgotten about this recipe, but recalled it yesterday when I was looking for a completely dairy-free salad dressing for dinner last night. It was a big hit!


Mindy July 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I was just having a conversation this weekend about feeling guilty for not regularly making such an easy thing as salad dressing. I am most definitely trying this one out.


Meg July 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm

It’s also particularly tasty with shallots (with or without the garlic – I usually just use shallots.) Sometimes I chop up fresh rosemary or parsley and toss that in too. 🙂


Robin June 1, 2012 at 6:31 am

I think you reposted this a while back and when you did I wrote the recipe out on a piece of paper and taped it to the door of my cabinet. Well, one day I went to grab the dressing from the fridge and realized it had wine in it. This would not do for our Muslim guests so in a panic I tried this recipe and it was GREAT. A HUGE hit with everyone. It is now my go-to recipe for salad dressing. AND, last night I was trying to figure out what to serve for dinner with what we had. So, I used a bag of pasta with frozen veggies and this dressing and made a delicious pasta salad!

Cary, NC


amanda November 9, 2015 at 4:31 pm

I have been making your recipe for a few years now, it’s SO good. I like to use a really spicy dijon mustard in it. Thanks!


susan June 20, 2016 at 3:18 pm

I shall have to try this recipe. I have been making salad dressings for a while now, since I realized how much better and easier and healthier the resulting product comes out. I like to use Braggs apple cider vinegar, as it is allegedly extremely healthy. Supposed to make a drink with it with the vinegar and filtered water, but I tried it a few times and cannot finish the whole glass. This at least is a palatable way to ingest the acv.


Jake June 20, 2016 at 6:51 pm

I like these posts, always great ideas. I need to cook another bag of beans. They a so handy to have them stashed in the fridge and freezer.
1. No drive weekend. Stayed home Saturday – no spend day. Worked in the garden, did chores, read, etc. The yard feels like a get away this time of year.
2. Scrounged in the kitchen for Sunday dinner. Ended up with a potato, spinach from the garden, ricotta pizza. Bits of mozzarella and Parmesan to make it cheesy. Decent. Leftovers for snacks. More pizza dough stashed in the freezer.
3. Birthday celebration for SIL on Sunday. Gift included vintage cocktail glasses from goodwill and a big bunch of peonies from the garden. Home cooked dinner menu: huli huli chicken, Hawaiian Mac salad, a big green salad, angel food with 7 minute frosting and strawberries. Maybe a few tiki cocktails as well. We all had leftovers for today.
4. The stitching is coming out of a favorite pair of shoes. I’ve been trying to find a similar new pair, no luck. Dropped them off at a shoe repair…
5. Trying to be create/frugal using last year’s stakes and bamboo to support tomato plants, cukes using strips of cotton sheets as ties.


Georgiann April 27, 2017 at 10:04 am

Can this dressing be stored at room temperature?


Katy April 27, 2017 at 12:58 pm

All of the ingredients can be room temperature, so I don’t see why not.


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