Castaldi's Salad Dressing: For Salads and Marinades

My grown son is now in his own condo and this collection of recipes I called, Dearest Michael were written when he was younger as you will see by my references, as a gift to him for this very moment.

Whether you read them for the story or the recipe, know that they were written as a tribute to the many people who have influenced my kitchen, my cooking and my notion of family.


Dearest Michael,
I love that I taught you to make your own salad dressing as a regular occurrence. I am not sure when the last time was that you had any bottled dressing pass your lips.

Salads are the foundation of our dinners. I don’t think we generally have dinner without a salad as an accompaniment. Your Great Grandma Belle almost always had a salad with her dinners, Grandma Ann always had one, Grandpa Nik at the helm adding all kinds of different ingredients making me literally crave his salads after they were gone.

Salads are a base for other dinners, adding chicken salads, grilled chicken or even left over sliced steak or burgers to them. I have used the leftover salads as toppings in sandwiched the next day, and like they do in Israel, as a side dish to scrambled eggs for breakfast too.

A good salad dressing is a simple one.This recipe was given to me by my partner, Michael who has been a staple in my life and this simple recipe has been a staple in our life too.

We always have the ingredients on hand and it is super easy to make.This also makes a great marinade for shrimp, chicken or veggies, even potatoes too.

I Love You. Love Mom

*Because I make some product recommendations in my blogs, I may get a small commission as an affiliate and or an Amazon affiliate. Anything I recommend I personally use. I want to make it easier to shop for items you may not have, need to replace-- or if you are a lover of all things kitchen like me, just want to add to your collection.

Castaldi's Salad Dressing

I often make this in a recycled 8 oz glass jar and keep it on the counter for the week to make it quicker to access throughout the week.

Michael never does this. He always makes it fresh right on top of the salad.

woman with sunglasses smiling next to a man wearing a boston university sweatshirt and a hat both standing in front of the ocean.

Prep Time: Less than 10 minutes



  • ½ cup of olive oil (use the Portuguese Olive Oil I always buy at Seabra)
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • 2 cloves of garlic squeezed, using a garlic press OR minced fine if you want some texture to the dressing.
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper
    This is good as is, but I often add:
  • A few dashes of Red’s Hot Sauce
  • A squirt of anchovy paste
  • A teaspoon of fresh Tahini
  • A few splashes of pickle juice from some good pickles and/ or a few splashes of red wine vinegar.


  • A mason jar with cap for shaking well
  • a garlic press


  • Shake well in the capped mason jar.
  • Leave on the counter to use as needed (if you are squeamish about this, then by all means, put into the fridge and take out ahead of time as the olive oil will solidify).


An affordable and delicious Olive oil from Portugal. If you are close to Bristol, RI Seabra, you can go in and purchase. It is usually less than $10.00 and delicious. This is on Amazon and really way more expensive than you should spend, but I just wanted you to see what the can looks like. My friend, Denise over at C+R Mercantile sells some lovely Olive Oil, as does Maria at the Newport Wine Cellar.

I save glass jars constantly because I love to give things away in them and they are so useful, but plastic lids are so much more convenient than the metal ones. Here are Ball Leak proof lids that come in packages of six. Makes it easier.

This is my favorite garlic press because when it reverses it gets all of the left over garlic out of the grid. Brilliant. Because it is OXO.


  • Sometimes I find cloves of garlic already peeled and in a container. Seabra has them in the produce section. I know the garlic purists are horrified at this, but I love the ease of pouring out already peeled and easy cloves!
  • I didn't realize at the time of making this, I was out of lemon, eee gads, red wine vinegar to the rescue.
  • Splash this on tuna or chickpeas mashed with chopped celery and a tiny bit of red onion and you have an easy spoonable lunch all week.

Creative magic!

picture of the ingredients for the salad dressing

Ingredients for the salad dressing. The flowers in background are from Denise's wonderful shop C + R Mercantile in Bristol, RI

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