Quick and Easy

Dirty Martini Salad Dressing

March  9, 2023
6 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Welcome to Plus One, a column by Food Editor Emily Ziemski where those small-but-mighty additions that instantly upgrade whatever’s on the table—ingredients, sauces, toppings—are the star of the show. Today, a dressing made in homage to her favorite drink; shaken, not stirred.

As we predicted in our top cocktail trends of 2023, the gin martini is, and will continue to be, a star. Vodka martinis have always landed a tad flat for me, and I believe it's the lack of herbal aromatics—like juniper and coriander—that gin is known for. My go-to drink order lately is “an extra-dirty gin martini, and please can you give me a little extra cup of olive brine, and maybe a few more olives too.” My quest for this piquant saltiness is also top of mind for me when I’m cooking.

This dressing is my weeknight treat, my little “I deserve a dinner that’s so good right now” pick-me-up, a sparkling delight in these bleak winter months. Leaning heavily on olive brine, I add tangy smooth mustard to gin—oh yes, there’s a splash of that in there— plenty of herbs to highlight the spirit’s herbaceous qualities, plus minced garlic. These big, bold flavors are a dream for simple vegetables and leafy greens. My aim here was to make this dressing so unforgettable that it’d make you want to abandon your whole life to go make it for Harry Styles, à la Olivia Wilde.

My chosen pairing here is a bed of little gem lettuce. I love little gem for its tenderness and slight sweetness, along with its delightful crunch. That said, this dressing is all-purpose and can also be used on other veggies and even as a marinade, if you’d like.

Alternately, if you don’t want to drag out the food processor, you can put all ingredients in a jar and shake by hand until combined. Just be sure to finely chop your rosemary first as the food processor won’t be there to help you break down the herb further!Emily Ziemski

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup olive brine (preferably from green olives)
  • 2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon botanical gin (I like Tommyrotter or The Botanist, or Seedlip for a NA version)
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  1. In a small food processor (or a medium bowl), combine the brine, mustard, and garlic. Pulse to combine (or whisk if using a bowl). Using the opening in the top of the food processor, slowly stream in the olive oil until thoroughly combined. If mixing by hand, slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking vigorously. Add the gin, rosemary, coriander, and salt. Pulse or whisk until thoroughly combined. Taste, then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  2. Serve over your favorite veggies or tossed with fresh, crunchy salad greens. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks; whisk or shake to re-emulsify before serving.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • spencer_pdx
  • Garlic
  • MissBecks
Emily Ziemski

Recipe by: Emily Ziemski

Food Editor @ Food52

3 Reviews

spencer_pdx March 24, 2023
This is the worst recipe, by a long shot, I’ve made in a long time. This is for two key reasons: first, this was so salty it was nearly inedible. I had to add additional lemon juice to help, which it did, but it was still far too salty. I used castlevetrano olives from Fred Meyer/Kroger’s olive bar by their gourmet cheese.

Next, the taste of the gin was just gross. I used high quality gin—in fact, I made myself a martini with it as I was cooking. It was at this moment I realized booze does not belong in salad. Do not make this.
Garlic March 21, 2023
This was great to go with the fried chicken my husband ordered for dinner
MissBecks March 21, 2023
I like my Martinis so dirty that I just say Filthy. I’d like a filthy, dirty gin Martini.