What’s for Dinner: Kid-Made Salad Dressings

How to get them to devour their greens

chop chop salad!

Give a kid a salad and you’ll feed him for — well, you won’t. Teach him to make his own, and you’ll have a bunny rabbit for a lifetime.

That’s the philosophy that runs through ChopChop, the first cookbook from the nonprofit children’s cooking magazine of the same name, recently called publication of the year by the James Beard Foundation.

Editor-in-chief Sally Sampson filled the book with easy how-tos for simple, healthy meals that families can evolve to their hearts’ content. There’s nothing fancy: just kid-tested recipes for creations like the salad dressings below.

A green salad is like a favorite pair of jeans; it goes with everything, and there’s always something right about it. We find that when kids make their own dressings, they want to show them off, and the way to do that is to use it on salad, which means more salad eating.

Basic Dressing Method
1. Put all the ingredients in a jar; put the lid on tightly; and shake, shake, shake.
2. Or put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk, whisk, whisk.

Avocado Dressing
A creamy, delicious dressing that doesn’t need any added oil.

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and mashed
1 c. buttermilk
¼ c. fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or chopped
¼ tsp. kosher salt
⅛ tsp. black pepper

Pesto Dressing
Not quite as intense as pesto.

½ c. olive oil
¼ c. red or white wine vinegar
3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced or chopped
1 tbsp. toasted pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds, if you like, chopped
1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
⅛ tsp. kosher salt
⅛ tsp. black pepper

Soy Salad Dressing
This dressing is totally umami.

⅔ c. unseasoned rice vinegar or fresh lime juice
⅓ c. canola oil or vegetable oil
1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce

ChopChop is available at amazon.com, $15. To find out more about the magazine, go to chopchopmag.org.

Photo: Courtesy of ChopChop