Vintage French Dressing

03bSammichbfLORegular visitors to this here blog thing-y will know that I kinda have a thing for condiments and sauces and…

salad dressings.

Particularly, it would seem (if you look through the salad dressings segment of the table o’ contents), French salad dressings.

It’s just that there are so very many varieties, and they’re all called ‘French’ – tho’ mebbe not by the actual French.

01aIngredientsbfLOSo, when I came across an advertisement from the 1940s or 1950s on a vintage advertising site that featured a recipe for ‘Tomato French Dressing,’ I knew I’d be trying it.

02aBlenderbfLOTruth be known, I don’t recall if the ad was for a certain brand of tomato sauce or a certain salad/cooking oil; what interested me was the ingredient list (kinda edgy for the day, I’d think) and the relatively low amount of sugar called for. In fact, when I made this dressing, I went back and added an extra tablespoon of sugar to the blender after tasting; not at all a usual thing for me to do with a salad dressing recipe, where I tend to begin by slashing the sugar called for in half and find that I don’t miss the excess.

02bAddOilbfLOAside from the amount of sugar, I also updated the method for putting the dressing together. The original called for whisking everything together energetically in a large bowl and then transferring to a cruet or covered jar. How much easier, really, to just pulse everything but the oil together in a blender until smooth and then stream the oil in slowly until emulsified?

Very easy, as it happens.

And a very nice addition to my French dressing repertoire; similar in color and flavor to that bright orange stuff from the market; but compare those ingredients to these.

02cFrenchDressingbfLOYeh, I thought so.

•1 clove garlic
•3 tbsp sugar
•1 tsp dry mustard
•1 tsp salt
•8 oz can tomato sauce (about 1 cup)
•1/4 cup salad (or cider) vinegar
•1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
•1/2 tsp hot sauce
•1/2 cup veggie oil

02dFrenchDressingbfLOAdd the garlic, sugar (the original recipe called for two tablespoons, you can start with that, if you like), dry mustard, and salt to a blender jar, then add the tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire, and hot sauces on top.

Cover and pulse until the garlic is finely chopped and everything is well blended.

03aSaladbfLOWith the blender running, slowly drizzle the oil in through the hole in the blender lid  and continue to blend until the oil has been absorbed into the dressing and it looks thick and creamy.

Transfer to a cruet or other lidded jar and stash in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to allow the flavors to blend.

I am loving it! As nice on a simple salad of chopped Romaine with Persian cucumbers, Feta cheese, and peperoncini as it is drizzled over some greens layered on top of lemon and Feta dip spread on a piece of flat bread or a tortilla.

Sometimes, it is very good to look back…

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