A dollop or two of high-quality extra virgin olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and quick twists from the salt and pepper grinders, makes for your traditional ‘can’t-go-wrong’ on-the-go olive oil salad dressing. Just ask an Italian. But why stop there? Just as there is more to salads than lettuce and tomato, there’s more to olive oil salad dressings, including the health benefits.

Pre-made vinaigrette salad dressings are the base for creative and delicious salad dressings for every kind of salad – from simple to daring.

Here are some ideas on how you can spice up the above on-the-go olive oil dressing or olive oil vinaigrette. These dressings can be pre-made and kept fresh and ready to use in the fridge for up to around a week.

Olive oil salad dressing with mustard and chives:
Blend olive oil (3/4 cup) and chives (1/4 cup) to create a zesty chive oil. Squeeze of lemon and white vinegar, then strain through a fine sieve to remove any chive bits. Add Dijon mustard and honey to taste.

A fresh ‘sweet and sour’ chicken salad dressing- olive oil plus lemon, lime AND orange:
Add freshly squeezed lime and/or orange juice to your olive oil vinaigrette – depending on taste. Lime will add ‘sour’, and orange will add ‘sweet’. Add chilli flakes for an extra ’bite’. Or honey for some extra sweetness.

Zesty olive oil salad dressing with ‘nuts and bolts’:
Nuts in a salad can be a tooth-cracking affair, so why not include them in the dressing instead. You’ll get an even more intense nutty flavour. And if you have left-over dressing at the end of the week, rub it into your Sunday Roast.

Blending in finely crushed walnuts and pistachios with olive oil, fresh lemon juice and a spoonful of Dijon or hot English mustard. Then add the ‘bolts’: chopped sweet pepper bits or roasted black cherries. Now that’s a salad dressing with ‘Wow!’

For the best olive oil salad dressings, remember to use cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil – always! Now that my mouth is watering I am off to make a large lettuce salad drowning in olive oil salad dressing and some homemade bread.