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Jan 26, 2007 05:48 PM

Your Salad Dressing History

So what's your preference in Salad Dressings?

What kinds of salad dressings did you grow up with? Do you still like those dressings?

When dining out, what are your favorite types of dressings to have on your salad?

What kinds of homemade dressings do you like?

What kinds of grocery store dressings do you like best?

Feel free to respond to any or all of the above! :)

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  1. When I was growing up, my Mom's freshly made Thousand Island (mayo, ketchup, sweet pickle relish, a few seasonings) was the dominant dressing in out household but we almost always had Ott's French and Wishbone Italian in the refrigerator, too. I still enjoy them when I visit Mom's house mostly as nostalgic comfort food but I don't have them in my house.

    When dining out, my first preference is always either bleu cheese or Roquefort with big chunks of cheese. If that's not available, perhaps Italian with bleu cheese crumbles. Next choice would be either raspberry or balsamic vinaigrette followed by a maybe a good quality poppy seed dressing. If all else fails, I revert to Italian, either regular or creamy.

    I don't really make many dressings myself, but I have made and do enjoy others' homemade raspberry vinaigrette. When I'm on a tight food regime, I love smothering a salad with fresh, homemade salsa (or a commercially made salsa with nothing but veggies, no additives).

    I don't care for bleu cheese dressings in bottles but do enjoy the jars of bleu cheese that are kept under refrigeration at the grocery store. In my part of the country, Marie's Bleu Cheese is probably my favorite but I've tried other cold-stored jars of bleu cheese and enjoyed those, too.

    I've never yet met a Newman's dressing I didn't like but I probably have a preference for Newman's Balsamic Vinaigrette and Newman's Italian. I also like trying the small company dressings, especially those that are locally or regionally made. I've come across some good Poppy Seed, Green Goddess, and Creamy Vidalia Onion dressings that I really like.


    1. Roast a couple chili peppers add fresh squeezed grapefruit juice olive oil and rice vinegar salt pepper....yum

      1. More and more of my specialty salads that have red onion ans possibly a bit of pasta are dressed with: red wine vinegar, honey, rough ground black pepper, salt, olive oil.

        Japanese salad with: mirin or dry white wine, chopped green onion/chives, ground white pepper, salt, ground toasted sesame seeds (key ingredient), neutral oil, sugar (amount depends on white wine vinegar or mirin), touches of garlic and ginger.

        I use the yogurt I make for Middle Eastern, a part of Nicoise, and similar salads.

        I never buy dressings.

        Dining out: oil, vinegar, salt, pepper.

        Grew up on: various homemade.

        1. My Mom used to buy a commercial dressing called "Milano 1890" or "Milani 1890" that was delicious. Is it still made? Anyone? Do we have a recipe?

          1 Reply
          1. re: rruben1

            Your question intrigued me and I had to Google a bit but found that you can get Milani 1890 dressing on Amazon or from Hometown Favorites, but you have to buy in bulk. I remember that sweet/tangy orange colored goop was used in numerous recipes in the 70's and 80's. The recipe usually called for chicken cutlets, a bottle of Miani's and some canned fruit. I seem to recall that if pineapple chunks or rings were involved in conjunction with bell pepper the resulting "gourmet" dish was called Hawaiian chicken and was served over yummy, gummy, white rice.

          2. I think I really prefer vinaigrettes the older I get, but I really prefer restaurant vinaigrettes- I just can't make them as good no matter how hard I try.

            I grew up with Dorothy Lynch (let's hear it for the Midwest!!) because that was the only dressing that my dad would really tolerate... now he likes more kinds, but back then, only DL! Still love it! And this is very, very weird, but when I eat lasagna, I have to have a salad with Dorothy Lynch... I know it shouldn't go together, but it just does for me.

            Almost always vinaigrette in a restaurant, unless there's a good homemade garlicky, creamy dressing. Mass Street Deli (Lawrence, KS) used to have a fantastic garlic feta dressing, but last time I was there, they had switched to bottled dressings! Shocking!

            My dinnertime duty growing up was always to make the salad because my mom hated to make salads! Guess what... now I hate to make salads! I don't know what it is, but it just never tastes as good unless someone else makes it. I still make them because I like salads, and most often I make a balsamic, white wine, or cider vinaigrette. Although, the other day I made Ina Garten's thousand island dip and it was fantastic- I could see thinning that out for an awesome dressing.

            I'm rarely happy with a grocery store dressing, esp. vinaigrettes. Probably going to have to go with Dorothy Lynch on this one again!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Katie Nell

              I don't ever recall trying Dorothy Lynch dressings here in Kansas City, Katie. I might have to look for them. But I do well remember Mass St. Deli's delicious dressing! Sorry they aren't making it any longer. :(

              1. re: Katie Nell

                My mom always had, and still does have, Dorothy Lynch at her house. Yes, midwest girl.
                If I'm buying a dressing it is usually french or catalina. If I'm eating out it is usually honey mustard or ceasar.

                1. re: Katie Nell

                  Dorothy Lynch or "Western". Stil love them both, although I now have to have my Western thinned down with some extra olive oil and vinegar. Too thick and sweet otherwise. Being a midwesterner transplanted to Texas, it drives me crazy that very few restaurants here serve any type of red/orange dressing. You can get 5 different flavors of Ranch, but no French or anything resembling it.

                  My husband and I both love salads, and I'll eat almost any kind of dressing. He, on the other hand, is a purist and in a restaurant always asks for V&O, because he doesn't like most other dressings. We've met in the middle, however, and he now loves any of the various forms of vinegarette that I make. One thing I love to do is start with some type of bottled marinade or sauce and then turn it into a vinegarette by adding EVOO and an appropriate type of vinegar. For example if its something Asian, I'll use rice wine vinegar. If I want it a little sweeter, I always add honey - never sugar. The downside is that once I've concocted something I can almost never recreate it.