Recipe: Summer Salads Get Dressed Up

CHGA_lettucesSummer is here and so are salads. We eat them year ’round but this is a special time for salads. We grow gourmet greens and edible flowers for the Friday night Avila farmers market. There is nothing as satisfying as growing your own greens. The life force you get when you enjoy just-cut greens is indescribable. I want to share some of my favorite combo salads and dressings. Be creative! Use what’s in season and have fun! Please feel free to use more or less of ingredients you do or do not favor. The key to a good dressing is blending it well with lots of love. Enjoy!
— Cari of Chaparral Gardens


Basic Green

Can include any of the following: gourmet greens, micro greens, spinach, thin sliced onions, shaved fennel, avocado, tomato, a favorite toasted nut, blue or feta cheese…

Basic Green Salad Dressing: Ratio of ½ Chaparral Gardens vinegars to ½ local olive oil blended well.

Asian Salad

Thin-sliced cabbage of any type, shallots or onions, peanuts, grated carrots, cilantro, toasted sesame seeds…

Asian Salad Dressing: 4 Tbs Pacific Spice, Head Ancho, or Pear Ginger Wasabi Chaparral Gardens vinegars, 1 Tbs sesame oil, 3 cloves garlic, 1-inch piece grated ginger, a tsp of fish sauce, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1/3 cup oil and a dollop of peanut butter. Blend this in a blender.

Cesar Salad

Romaine lettuce, grated Parmesan cheese, and croutons

Cesar Dressing: 2 Tbs any of our vinegars, lemon juice, anchovy, capers, ½-cup olive or grapeseed oil, 2 Tbs mayonnaise, 1 Tbs Dijon,  6 cloves garlic. Blend in blender.


Foodie Awards:

  • Blackberry Balsamic 2011 SOFI Gold for best salad dressing
  • Pacific Spice 2011 SOFI Silver for best flavor enhancer
  • Champagne Mimosa 2012 SOFI Silver finalist for best shelf stable foodservice product


You can purchase Chaparral Gardens Artisan Vinegars online at, at more than a dozen local wine tasting rooms, and at a number of specialty food outlets including Nature’s Touch Harvest and Nursery and J & R Meats in Templeton, Lazy Acres Market in Santa Barbara, A Matter of Taste in Cambria, and all three Central Coast We Olive stores. View a list of outlets offering these wonderful products If you would like to have a private tasting in their Highway 41 tasting room, contact Craig to set up a time: 805/703-0829

CCF_logo_parchment-70x70More about Chaparral Gardens on CCFoodie

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salad bowl and vinegar photos: Gaylene Ewing of Inktree Photography

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