I’ve long sought ways to incorporate more salads into the weekly rotation of meals, especially as the warmer weather lends itself to lighter fare. The problem is that they get boring, and the easiest way to spruce up a bed of greens besides some well-seasoned proteins is to add dressing. Unfortunately, most dressings mean a lot of other stuff goes on with the desired flavor. That’s all changed thanks to a new line of dressings from Bolthouse Farms.
In the case of my previous favorite, Ken’s Sesame Ginger dressing, two of the top three ingredients are sugar and soy sauce. The result is a twinge of guilt as I’m liberally applying it to my veggie canvas. Sure, it tastes great, but you know you’re not doing salad right if it tastes too salty. The alternatives such as light Caesar or balsamic dressings don’t really tickle my fancy. But when I tried Bolthouse’s salsa ranch my taste buds officially joined the revolution.
Bolthouse prides itself on having around half the calories of regular salad dressings—between 30 and 45 per serving, compared to between 70 and 90 calories for standard dressings. Bolthouse also looks to leaner bases for their dressings, such as Greek yogurt or olive oil. Cutting out the high fructose corn syrup cuts down on processed sugars and eliminates nearly all of the fat. What remains is a lean, clean dressing that is full of flavor.
The lack of preservatives or crazy processing means that you can’t forget about these dressings for what feels like a year. A bottle of Bolthouse may only keep a couple months at out before it goes bad, and I’m less inclined to push those limits with a dairy-based product. That flaw is, to me, also a benefit, because it encourages me to prepare some more salads to not waste the bottle. Who needs a bun for that turkey burger when it can be served on a bed of greens? Why cook up separate rice or pasta when I can slice up baked chicken and lay it upon lettuce, cucumbers and carrots?
There’s a price to be paid for all this goodness. At about five dollars for a 14-ounce bottle, they’re a couple bucks more than your standard Ken’s or Wishbone dressings. But if you’re planning on making salads a regular thing, a couple flavors of Bolthouse are a worthy investment that pays off with every meal you incorporate it into. In southern New England, you can find them at Shaw’s or Stop & Shop in the produce section.