20 old-fashioned salad dressing recipes to try

Old-fashioned salad dressing recipes

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These 20 old-fashioned salad dressing recipes are easy to make, and will give your salads a full, classic flavor that many of today’s pre-made dressings can’t match! They all come from “The American Salad Book,” which was published to wide acclaim back in 1901.

Old-fashioned salad dressing recipes (1901)

Adapted from The American Salad Book, by Maximilian De Loup (1901)

Much has been written by salad masters on the importance of giving the utmost care and attention to the dressing of salads, for on this depends the success of the whole.

The kind of dressings are numerous, almost innumerable, but the really good ones are indeed few.

The French or plain dressing and the mayonnaise are in almost universal use throughout the civilized world and, with slight variations, are more generally approved than any other kind.

In all directions given below, such quantities and proportions are used as experience has shown to meet the average taste, however, nothing is absolute, for the strength of the several condiments varies greatly. For example, a salad with salty foods will require fewer salted ingredients in the dressing, while and one made with peppergrass or other strong herbs will likely need less pepper.

Elegant old salad cruets with dressing
Photo by MPPLLC45/Envato

The following salad dressings and sauces are easily made, and of such variety that it is possible to have a desirable change with nearly every salad made.

1. Vinaigrette sauce

Mix together one tablespoonful of vinegar, three of oil, one teaspoonful each of chopped parsley, capers and scraped or grated onion. Season with one saltspoonful of salt and pepper or a few drops of tabasco sauce.

2. Vinaigrette sauce with egg

Mash the yolk of a hard-boiled egg with three tablespoonfuls of oil, two of vinegar, a finely chopped shallot, one teaspoonful of chopped chives or half a teaspoonful of onion juice, as preferred, a saltspoonful of salt and half as much pepper — Cayenne pepper preferred.

3. Bacon dressing recipe

Made by frying thin slices of smoked bacon or ham fat and after straining, add one-third vinegar to two-thirds bacon oil. It may be thickened by adding a little flour mixed with cold water and then cooking. This is greatly relished on green salads, by many people, and is often available in camp or other places where olive oil is not to be had.

4. Boiled salad dressing

This is best made with a double boiler, or bain marie, or in a small kettle in a larger one of boiling water.

The yolks and whites of three eggs are beaten separately and stirred in the boiler with one cup of cream or rich milk, one-quarter teacup of vinegar, one teaspoonful each of mustard and pepper.

Cook slowly and when thick stir in two teaspoonfuls of salt. If too thick, thin with more cream, melted butter or oil. Butter or oil can be used instead of cream using more milk to keep it from being too hard. Add a good teaspoonful of sugar if it is relished. Stir constantly when boiling and when cooling to make it smooth.

5. Boiled dressing #2

Yolks of eight eggs, one cup of cream (if milk is used put in a little butter), one pint of vinegar, one teaspoonful of sugar. Put in a double boiler or bowl in boiling water and cook to a cream, but not until it is solid.

Take from the fire and add one tablespoonful of salt, one of black pepper and one of mustard, well mixed and rubbed together with oil until all the lumps are dissolved. More oil may be added to thin the dressing if the taste is desired.

20 classic salad dressing recipes (1901)

6. Sour cream salad dressing

To a cupful of thick cream, sour but not too old, add a teaspoonful of salt, the juice of half a lemon, two teaspoonfuls of vinegar, a good sprinkling of Cayenne, or if a mild pepper is preferred use paprika in larger quantities, and a teaspoonful of sugar. Beat all together thoroughly. This is relished on salads of cold boiled vegetables and on tomatoes.

7. Albert dressing

Four tablespoonfuls of oil are well-mixed with one each of wine and vinegar. A teaspoonful of salt, and a little paprika or other mild red pepper is added.

8. Lemon dressing recipe

This is a most healthful and refreshing dressing to serve on lettuce or any green salad, and is frequently more relished by children and convalescents than any other dressing. Squeeze the juice from a lemon and add as much cold water as juice, half a saltspoonful of salt and a teaspoonful of fine sugar.

9. Sardine dressing

Take two sardines free from bones and skin, mash fine with one raw egg, one tablespoonful of oil, two of vinegar, one teaspoonful of made mustard, one of salt and one-quarter teaspoonful of pepper. Stir well together and add a small quantity of chopped parsley. Serve with fish salads or meat.

10. East Indian salad dressing

The yolks of two hard-boiled eggs rubbed smooth with eight tablespoonfuls of oil, a teaspoonful of curry powder and two tablespoonfuls of Tarragon vinegar.

11. Salmi sauce

Take half a carrot of medium size and cut into small pieces: half an onion, two bay leaves, a sprig of thyme and six whole peppercorns. Put these into a saucepan with an ounce of butter and cook briskly for about five minutes or until all are of a golden yellow color.

Chop the trimmings from the bird used and add to contents of the saucepan, together with half a wineglassful of sherry, half a cupful of mushroom liquor, the juice of one lemon, a saltspoonful of salt, half as much pepper and a little nutmeg. Let all cook together for twenty minutes and then strain for use.

ALSO TRY: 6 simple salad dressing recipes from the fifties

12. Mexican salad dressing

Crush fine in a stone or porcelain lined mortar a clove of garlic the size of a small pea and two small strong green peppers that have been boiled or roasted; add also three tomatoes of medium size that have been boiled and peeled. Grind all together thoroughly and pour over lettuce or cold boiled potatoes that have been dressed with salt, oil and vinegar.

13. Old-fashioned Italian salad dressing

Rub an anchovy quite smooth with a tablespoonful of oil and a teaspoonful of made mustard. Add three or four more tablespoonfuls of oil, one of garlic vinegar, and one of common vinegar. Stir until creamy and serve in a dish separate from the salad.

14. Salad dressing with cheese

Rub four tablespoonfuls of oil into the yolks of two hard-boiled eggs, then add a teaspoonful of grated Parmesan cheese, one of made mustard, one of Tarragon vinegar, and a tablespoonful of cider vinegar. A spoonful of mushroom, walnut or other catsup can be added if the flavor is desired.

15. Tomato salad dressing

Put in a frying pan two tablespoonfuls of butter, an onion of medium size sliced thin, and a small green pepper of the strong variety: a little Cayenne may be used if the green pepper is not available.

Fry until highly colored, add about two cupfuls of tomatoes, cook and stir until the tomatoes are reduced to a pulp. Strain the mixture, return to the frying pan and thicken with an even teaspoonful of flour stirred in cold water.

Let it cook slowly for nearly half an hour, seasoning with salt and a little clove or any other spice preferred. If too thick, thin with a little oil or hot water. To be eaten on any green salad with cold meats.

MORE: Try this old-fashioned Imperial salad dressing recipe

16. French salad dressing recipe

Take three tablespoonfuls of sweet oil, one of vinegar, one saltspoonful of salt, one-half saltspoonful of pepper, and one-quarter of a teaspoonful of onion juice. Mix well and quickly and throw over the salad.

This is the most popular of all salad dressings, and the proportions are those generally approved, but are, of course subject to many variations, some of which follow.

17. English salad dressing

This dressing is made by the addition of a teaspoonful of made mustard to the given quantity of French dressing (above).

18. French salad dressing with onion

When onion flavor is objectionable, it can be omitted, but it gives a zest no other condiment affords. It should be used only in small quantities, never enough in a dressing to overpower the other seasonings. Those who are exceedingly fond of it should have onion salads, than which none are more healthful and invigorating.

When introduced judiciously into a salad, onions are usually relished even by the most strenuous objectors to the vegetable who will not notice it in the salad when perfectly blended with the other ingredients and without strong odor.

A few drops of juice, squeezed out with a porcelain-lined lemon squeezer and mixed with the oil is the preferred way of introducing it, but if the onion juice cannot be readily used, scrape a little of the raw onion and mix with a part of the oil, let it stand for fifteen minutes or longer, then press the oil out and mix with the dressing.

19. French salad dressing with garlic

When garlic is used, rub a crushed clove of it on the bottom of the bowl in which the dressing is mixed, or, if mixed in the French manner by working the oil over the lettuce first, rub the garlic on a small piece of stale bread, called in France the “chapon,” and toss it about in the bowl with the salad, rubbing some salt over it after the garlic is used.

20. Old-fahioned herbed salad dressing

When the slight flavor of strong herbs is relished in a salad, a small quantity of them can be crushed in a stone or porcelain mortar and then macerated or soaked in a little oil, which may be pressed out with a thin spoon and added to the dressing.

Summer savory or thyme can thus be used in a plain salad to accompany roasted or broiled poultry. Sweet marjoram or sage is used with green geese or ducks, mint with lamb or venison and sweet basil with fish or clams. Orange flowers, or the tender buds and leaves, may be used.

Basil, burnet, caraway, balm, chervil or any other herbs may be used in place of those mentioned, taste being the guide in all cases.

DON’T MISS THIS: DIY vinegar: Recipes for 16 flavored homemade vinegars, including raspberry, strawberry, tarragon & celery

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