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Oct 10, 2009 06:13 AM

What's the best bottled Italian salad dressing - oil type and not creamy?

Any great bottled Italian dressings out there that are oil based and can be used on salads and for marinade?

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  1. The best oil type Italian salad dressing is the one that you make yourself. Good olive oil based vinaigrette dressing is dead simple to make. You whip up only what you need for the moment and you leave out the 16-syllable chemical additives. Commercial salad dressings are generally pretty lame and Italian dressings are absolutely the worst of the bad: oversalted, bitter, strange aftertastes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mandycat

      Yes. I like homemade best, but I like to keep a back up bottle on hand for busy nights.

      1. re: mandycat

        But that was not the question. The question was for a bottled dressing.

      2. My go-to is Kraft Zesty Italian. I use it for marinades, drizzle it on sandwiches, etc.... Having said that, Paul Newman's Family Recipe Italian is pretty good, too.

        1 Reply
        1. I got a great Light Italian from TJ's. I think it was the house brand. No additives or hard-to-define ingredients. It was light simply because it had less oil.

          1. Mandy's comment notwithstanding, if you have access to the President's Choice brand, their Balsamic dressing is very good. The ingredients are oil, including extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and various natural flavourings. The only ingredient I wouldn't add to a dressing I'd make at home is "xanthan gum", which is described in Wikipedia thusly:

            "A practical use would be in salad dressing: the xanthan gum makes it thick enough at rest in the bottle to keep the mixture fairly homogeneous, but the shear forces generated by shaking and pouring thins it, so it can be easily poured. When it exits the bottle, the shear forces are removed and it thickens back up, so it clings to the salad."

            No sixteen letter weird tasting artificial ingredients in this Balsamic dressing. I use it all the time when I'm in a hurry.

            1. Since you asked for recommendations on bottled dressings and not a recipe to make your own, here's another vote for the various Newman's own varieties. Like FrankD said, the only ingredient besides oil, vinegar, water and seasonings is xanthan gum.

              2 Replies
              1. re: cookie monster

                My wife, an inveterate Italian dressing lover, adores my homemade; but Newman's Own dressings are a good second, she says. She's very fond of the original and the balsamic. Plus, profits go to do good.

                1. re: cookie monster

                  I like all of these as well. The raspberry and walnut (light) is particularly nice, as is the balsamic one.