Beyond Balsamic: 4 Perfect Fall Salad Dressing Ideas
Image Credit: A fall salad with a dressing

Vibrant Autumn salads are ideal for getting creative with your tarty vinaigrette recipes and tangy, fruity dressings. The abundance of seasonal produce makes it easier to create your own salad mix and dress them as per your tastes. 

Fall salads are typically richer in flavour, with stronger accents since they usually contain pears, pumpkins, winter squash, avocado, sweet potatoes and oranges, all of which have vivid aftertastes. However, the best salad dressings can always work on a basic three-ingredient salad as well. 

Pantry staples like mayonnaise, honey, ginger, garlic, pepper, balsamic etc will always come in handy, but during fall consider creamier condiments that can elevate a salad, be it tahini, miso, aioli, harissa, nam jim gai etc. If you're not a fan of dressings that are too overpowering, consider sticking to a simple pepper-Worcestershire base and adding in some seasonal produce with a dash of spice. 

If you're scouting for recipes, here are some great fall salad dressing ideas: 

Pomegranate Ginger Vinaigrette 

Pomegranate is a great autumn flavour especially if you're using seasonal produce for your salads. It's slightly tangy but it has a unique wine-meets-berry flavour when paired with balsamic or something slightly acidic. For this dressing, you need to mix pomegranate juice, with freshly grated ginger, apple cider vinegar, garlic, olive oil and salt to taste. This dressing works best if you lightly caramelise or roast the veggies and fruits in your salad, and add a hint of brown sugar. 

Tahini Honey Dressing 

A simple lemon tahini salad is perfect for summer salads, but for elaborate dinner salads, think of something more filling. A honey tahini dressing is a great idea for autumn and winter; it's creamy, versatile and can also be kept for weeks. You can use store-bought tahini paste for this one, and blend it with apple cider sauce in a 1:3 ratio, and add olive oil, honey, salt, minced garlic and fresh pepper. The garlic and pepper give it a savoury kick so if you're making a protein-rich seasonal salad with kale, roasted sweet potato, zucchini, avocado, sprouts etc, you can't go wrong with this one.

Red Wine Vinaigrette 

If you're planning on indulging in grilled salads this season, a red wine vinaigrette will be the ultimate tableside condiment for you. The full-bodied dressing brings out the sweet and savoury notes in most salads. The best way to make this would be to use a pepper, lemon and Worcestershire base that could elevate the umami in the dressing. It's best to use red wine vinegar meant to be used for salad dressings since they're more delicate in profile and more aromatic. 

Maple Mustard Dressing 

This thirty-second dressing could be the most versatile thing, not just for your salads but also for your veggie roasts or grills. You just need mayonnaise, olive oil, maple syrup, stone-ground mustard, apple cider vinegar and pepper. It's best to make it in small batches and not store it for too long since the dressing has mayonnaise. The blend is refreshing since it tastes very different from pre-made or store-bought products. It's richy, creamy and the maple balances out the earthy kick from the mustard, use it to dress up any basic green salad!