Salad Dressing Recipes

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Shrimp and Crab Louis Salad Recipe | What’s Cooking

Classic Shrimp and Crab Louis Salad Recipe from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

While which genius chef actually created the Crab Louis (aka Louie) Salad is debatable, it definitely originated on the West Coast, and it’s been a restaurant classic for over one hundred years now. We keep our version (served at Nordstrom Grill locations) pretty traditional with a generous amount of succulent crabmeat, tangy Louis Dressing and hard-boiled eggs—but throw in a helping of crispy fried shrimp, because, crispy fried shrimp. Top it all with height-of-their-season tomatoes and a flavor-brightening squeeze of lemon, and you have a perfect summer dinner in this seafood lover’s salad.


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Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe with Ginger-Sesame Dressing | What’s Cooking

Nordstrom Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe with Sesame-Ginger Dressing. Photo by Jeff Powell.

After being on the menu at our Marketplace Cafe and Cafe Nordstrom locations for years, this Chinese Chicken Salad has quite a following. Because it’s delicious. And, as we show in our Friends and Family Cookbook, it’s pretty easy to make at home too.

We toss together a fresh and tasty mix of julienned bell peppers, carrots, bok choy, oranges and chicken with our Ginger-Sesame Dressing. I was surprised by how flavor-packed that dressing is, considering the small number of ingredients and its easiness to throw together—it has just the right Asian-inspired balance of salty and sweet with a little heat from the dry mustard and ginger. To top it all, crispy fried wonton strips (don’t skip these!) followed by a sprinkling of toasted slivered almonds and sesame seeds.

I had plenty of ingredients left over after composing one of these salads to photograph, so I packed up all the components and took them to a party I had been invited to that night. I just layered the ingredients in a big bowl—which made for a beautiful presentation too—drizzling each layer with the dressing. Not surprisingly, it was very popular, and now I can send a link to this recipe to all the people who asked me for it afterward. Guaranteed you’ll be doing the same once you serve this light but satisfying salad; it’s a tried and tested winner.


Food & Drink

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken BLT Salad Recipe with Honey-Dijon Dressing | What’s Cooking

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Salad Recipe with Honey-Dijon Dressing from Nordstrom Cafe. Photo by Jeff Powell.

Introducing your new favorite dinner salad (unless you’ve already tried our Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Salad at one of our Nordstrom Cafe locations). With layers of satisfying flavor, if a salad can be comfort food, this guy is it.

We toss together mixed baby greens with ripe tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, roasted corn, smoky bacon (!) and tender chicken cooked until its Parmesan breading is crisp and golden brown. Clinging to it all: a quick and delicious honey-dijon dressing that’s spiked with a bit of ginger and a handful of fresh cilantro. This is the kind of salad you’ll want to make again and again, because once you’ve tried a gratifying forkful, it’ll be hard to stop thinking about having another.


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Food & Drink

Grilled Shrimp, Corn and Polenta Salad Recipe with Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing and Parmesan Crisps | What’s Cooking

Grilled shrimp salad with sweet corn, polenta, creamy roasted garlic dressing and Parmesan crisps from Nordstrom. | Photo by Jeff Powell

Succulent grilled shrimp. Seasonal at-their-peak ingredients. Herby, roasted garlic dressing and a nutty Parmesan crisp garnish. Combine them all, and meet the perfect summer lunch or dinner.

Ripe, red tomatoes and freshly picked sweet corn (especially grilled) are two of my favorite summer ingredients. I look forward to them all year, since they aren’t much worth bothering with any other time. So, when I saw this recipe, I had a pretty good feeling we’d be good friends.

Peppery baby arugula makes a delicious bed for all these flavorful salad components, including the grilled polenta croutons. And, with fresh herbs, garlic, scallions, a dash of mayo and the perfect amount of acid and sweetness, our light but creamy dressing that tops it all deliciously straddles the line between ranch and green goddess dressing. Substantial but not too heavy, this salad (also served at our Marketplace Café) has everything going for it. File this recipe under “Going to make again and again”.

Creamy garlic vinaigrette dressing recipe from Nordstrom with roasted garlic and herbs | Photo by Jeff Powell


Food & Drink

Blackened Salmon Caesar Salad Recipe with Spicy Pepper Sauce | What’s Cooking

Blackened Caesar Salad Recipe. Easy Caesar dressing without egg from Nordstrom.

If you have a tendency to burn things in the kitchen, then this recipe is for you! Well, not exactly. Don’t be fooled by the beautiful crust on this salmon—it’s packed with toasty flavor. The trick to this recipe is bringing our Cajun spice rub just past the point of caramelized in a hot skillet while bringing the salmon itself to a perfectly moist and flaky doneness. But there’s not much to it, and our recipe guides you all the way.

Apart from the spicy pepper sauce, which tops the quick-to-cook blackened salmon, my favorite part of this recipe is the couldn’t-be-easier caesar dressing. In our recipe, the dressing is made without the classic raw egg, replacing it with mayonnaise. I hold caesar salads to a high standard (or rather, their dressings, which can be awful), so I wasn’t sure about that twist, but all it took was a taste to make me a convert. I’ll be using this recipe (and that genius substitute) in the future for fast, delicious caesar salad.


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Food & Drink

Kale Salad Recipe with Apple, Farro and Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette | What’s Cooking

Kale salad recipe with apples, farro, blue cheese and lemon-herb vinaigrette dressing from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.
Don’t make this salad because it’s full of benefit-rich kale, whole grains and toasted nuts … make it because it tastes amazing. If you or anyone you know balks at eating kale or farro, consider this a gateway dish. At Nordstrom Bistro and Bar Verde—where our Kale, Apple and Farro Salad is served—we use Lacinato kale, which is more tender and sweeter than other varieties when raw. Farro—a kind of whole-grain hulled wheat similar to brown rice in texture—gets simmered in a quick broth for added flavor.

Toasted pistachios, almonds, sweet apple and a little red onion add contrasting, crunchy textures, while a flavor-packed emulsion of four fresh herbs, lemon juice and Dijon mustard clings to every ingredient. Topped with a creamy Danish blue cheese, this healthy salad is a perfect example of eating well without sacrificing the joy of actually eating good food.



Food & Drink

Niçoise Salad Recipe with Baked Herb-Crusted Salmon and Tuscan Roast Potatoes | What’s Cooking

Baked salmon salad recipe with herbs and roast potatoes from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.

This salad! Unlike a classic Niçoise, our version swaps out bland-by-comparison canned tuna for succulent salmon fillets baked under a blanket of Dijon mustard and fresh herbs. Instead of basic boiled potatoes, our chefs coat baby Yukon Golds in garlicky olive oil and more minced herbs, then roast them until golden brown (a recipe to keep on hand as a side dish in other menus). To finish, crisp-tender haricot verts, ripe grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives and mixed baby greens all get dressed in a richly flavored Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette with quarters of perfectly hard-boiled egg crowning the plate.

Yes, there’s a good number of components here, but they all add up to one big, bold and delicious main-course salad. You won’t need (or want) anything else.

Baked salmon salad recipe with herbs and roast potatoes from Nordstrom. Photo by Jeff Powell.


Food & Drink

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad Recipe | What’s Cooking, Vancouver Edition

Nordstrom Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad Recipe; photo by Jeff Powell.

Fans of our Nordstrom Café Bistro and Bazille restaurants will not be strangers to this Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad; it’s one of our most popular lunch offerings! In celebration of our newest store opening–September 18 in Vancouver, Canada—we’re showcasing some of our (and your) favorite dishes and recipes this month that will be coming soon to our 119th store.

I’ve used this vinaigrette recipe before in our What’s Cooking series—see our Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos and impressive Bistro Crab Stack Salad. Along with the smoky grilled shrimp and Southwest-inspired toppings, this vinaigrette livens up all the flavors in this salad with a nice kick from the chipotle chiles, balanced by a hint of honeyed sweetness and a generous heap of fresh cilantro. As many diners at our restaurants have discovered, this salad is a perfect lunch to punctuate any visit to our stores and now, a new recipe in your repertoire for devouring at home.

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Food & Drink

Summer Berry Salad Recipe with Blackberry-Champagne Vinaigrette | What’s Cooking

Two years ago, one of the first recipes that kicked off our What’s Cooking series was a summer berry salad with balsamic fig vinaigrette and spiced, candied almonds. We thought it high time for a new salad idea featuring everyone’s favorite summer ingredient (berries!) for those hot and sunny days.

Mixed Summer Berry Salad Recipe with Blackberry Champagne Vinaigrette. Photo by Jeff Powell.

This time around, we’ve got snack-on-the-leftovers-worthy candied walnuts and a beautifully colored (and flavored) Blackberry-Champagne Vinaigrette. Rounding out this salad, roasted chicken breast and blue cheese (pick a good creamy but crumbly one or a goat cheese, if you find blue too funky) ground everything with their savory notes. Prep your ingredients up to two days in advance, and you’ve got a dinner salad–or office lunch everyone will jealously eyeball–at the ready whenever you are.

You’ll have extra berries after making this recipe. I’d encourage using the additional blackberries to serve up a couple Amelia Cocktails with vodka, lemon and St. Germain, or get a couple extra pints while you’re shopping and make your menu a real berry bonanza with a summertime dessert like our Shortcakes with Lemon Curd or White Chocolate Mousse.

Mixed Summer Berry Salad Recipe with Blackberry Champagne Vinaigrette. Photo by Jeff Powell.

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Food & Drink

What’s Cooking: Fresh Berry and Balsamic Fig Salad with Goat Cheese

For our second installment of What’s Cooking, Nordstrom Blog Editor Jeff makes a sweet and tangy salad with balsamic fig vinaigrette from the Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook—also featured as a seasonal offering in selected Nordstrom restaurants.

With another simple-to-follow recipe developed by our corporate chef, Michael Northern, and his small army of chefs and contributors, Jeff proves (with his photographic evidence) that you don’t have to be a professional chef to transform beautiful ingredients into irresistible food that’s meant to be shared with family and friends.


After that decadent White Chocolate Mousse, I thought I’d lighten things up a bit with a fresh but complexly flavored salad. Ripe berries bring a juicy flair to this party, but there are three more things I also love about this salad:

1. The goat cheese: I’m a sucker for anything with chèvre (though I am an equal-opportunity fromage-ophile).

2. The spiced almonds (recipe below): sweet and spicy with a satisfying crunch, these not only add great texture to the salad but also make a seriously addictive snack for guests—or a late-night nosh.

3. The balsamic fig vinaigrette: I’ve probably made gallons of vinaigrette over the years, but the fig-and-balsamic reduction in this one—with savory roasted garlic and bright cherry preserves—transforms it into the most sumptuous, flavor-layered vinaigrette of them all (no joke). I’ll definitely be making it again for salads that I want dressed to impress.

Fresh Berry and Balsamic Fig Salad with Goat Cheese
From the Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook
(makes six servings)

Balsamic Fig Vinaigrette:
½ cup (1½ ounces) coarsely chopped dried mission figs
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup cherry preserves
1½ teaspoons mashed Simple Roasted Garlic
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup canola oil

Salad Fixings:
10 ounces mixed baby greens
6 ounces baby arugula
15 dried mission figs, cut lengthwise into quarters
1 cup Spiced Whole Almonds (recipe below)
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1½ cups fresh blueberries
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups (6 ounces) crumbled rindless goat cheese (chèvre)
1½ cups fresh raspberries
1½ cups fresh blackberries

1. To make the vinaigrette, bring the figs, balsamic vinegar, and sugar to a simmer in a small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the cherry preserves and roasted garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Let cool. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Process until the figs are finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream to form an emulsion. One tablespoon at a time, add 3 tablespoons of water.

Spiced Whole Almonds:
(Makes about 2½ cups)
1 large egg white
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2½ cups (12 ounces) blanched whole almonds
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

A. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

B. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white, Tabasco, and salt until very foamy with no liquid. Add the almonds and brown sugar and fold gently with a rubber spatula to coat. Spread the almonds in a single layer, without touching each other, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, without stirring, until the almonds are crisp and golden brown, 16 to 18 minutes.

C. Mix the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in a heatproof medium bowl. Scrape the hot almonds into the cinnamon mixture and toss to coat. Spread on a platter and let cool. (The almonds can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)


2. Combine the mixed greens and arugula in a large bowl. Add the figs and the almonds, drizzle with 1 cup of the vinaigrette and toss. Add the strawberries and blueberries and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Divide the salad evenly among 6 chilled salad bowls. Scatter equal amounts of the goat cheese, raspberries, and blackberries evenly over the salads. Serve immediately.

Note: The recipe for Balsamic Fig Vinaigrette makes about 1½ cups, although only 1 cup is needed for this recipe. Place the extra vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days to use on other salads. Shake well before using.

Download a PDF of this recipe to print, or find it in our Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook. Have a favorite recipe from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!

[Photos by Jeff Powell]