~ My Homemade French Salad Dressing ~
The technical definition for French dressing/salad dressing is: 1) a simple oil-and-vinegar combination, seasoned with salt, pepper and various herbs, or, 2) a commercial American dressing that is creamy, tartly sweet and red-orange in color. The latter is the dressing that captivated my younger brother David during his early teen years. His favorite brand was (and still is) manufactered by Kraft Foods and is named Catalina. David would cover (drench) very large chunks of iceberg lettuce with this tangy, orange dressing. In my adult years, I too found myself using copius amounts of it to dress on of my favorites: the classic spinach salad.
The next step for me was to create my own "tangier" version of this beloved bottled dressing. After several attempts and experiments (using "tomato-y" ingredients such as ketchup, chili sauce, tomato paste and even one try with tomato puree), this simple version using canned, condensed tomato soup produced what I consider to be perfection!
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
~ Step 2. Gradually, and in a thin steady stream, vigorously whisk in the oil. Continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth, thickened, satiny and emulsified. This process will only take about 1 minute.
Cover and refrigerate. Return to room temperature and gently shake or stir briefly, just prior to using.
My Homemade French Salad Dressing: Recipe yields 3 cups of salad dressing.
Special Equipment List: whisk; 3-4-cup food storage container (preferably glass) w/tight fitting lid
Cook's Note: This dressing keeps very nicely in the refrigerator for several weeks. Once it is whisked together, it really never separates, which makes it great to serve on a buffet table or at a gathering where repeatedly shaking or stirring a salad dressing can be a nuisance. Because it contains no mayonnaise, it's great for taking to outdoor picnics and tailgates!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010)