Grandma Renelt’s Fresh Ginger Dressing

I’ve been thinking alot about my Grandpa and Grandma Renelt this past week. They’ve been on my mind more than usual because my family just returned from a vacation in Florida, the warm and endlessly sunny state where my grandparents used to spend many of their winters. While I was growing up, our family traveled to stay with them several times over the years, and those visits produced loads and loads of happy memories for me. So much of last week’s vacation time felt like I was reliving trips from the past. Except this time I was the parent!

Grandma & Grandpa in Florida, 1982

Grandma definitely knows her way around every corner of the kitchen, but I especially loved our Florida breakfasts together where she treated us to fresh squeezed orange juice. And not the “fresh squeezed” kind from the store’s jug like we drank every morning last week on vacation. No, Grandma squeezed those sweet Florida oranges with her own two hands, no electric gizmos involved. I think that must be how you know someone loves you.

Another favorite, and still extremely simple, eat that Grandma introduced me to was her Fresh Ginger Dressing. I’ve always loved it, but it wasn’t until just a few years ago that I asked her for the recipe. She laughed that vivacious laugh of hers and then said, “Recipe?! I don’t have a recipe!” So I proceeded to make her guesstimate the measurements of ingredients.

I like to play around with my grandma’s recipe by experimenting with different vinegars and sweeteners. And the amount of ginger I use completely depends on my mood. Sometimes I want mellow ginger. Other times I want it full throttle, spicy and full of zing. But the recipe I’ve included is how I most commonly make it, and a great place for you to start.

I like to drizzle this fresh ginger dressing over my salads any time of year, but its light body and bright flavor is especially nice during the warmth of spring and summer. Please let me know if you try it!


Grandma Renelt’s Fresh Ginger Dressing

Yield: almost 1-1/2 cups of dressing


  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c. rice vinegar (or regular white vinegar)
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1 T. grated fresh ginger
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a pint jar and shake vigorously. That's it! Serve with your favorite fresh greens. Keeps well in the refrigerator for one week.

Adapted from my Grandma Renelt's recipe box, one of my favorite recipes in all the world.


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