Homemade: Thousand Island Dressing ♥

By any rights, this 1000 Island dressing should be on a wedge of iceberg lettuceThousand Island is the stuff of my childhood, draped thick across a fat wedge of crisp iceberg lettuce, topped and sided with croutons and "the salad" at the Country House, the steak place at the edge of town and the only place to eat out at night in the small Minnesota town where I grew up.

The Country House is still there, though now sporting a new name three or so owners ago. The beer signs portraying fluorescent dreams of sky-blue water and five-pound walleye still light the bar, too. And the door from the kitchen still swings straight into the main room where the tables remain arranged exactly the same as f -- um, some years back.

Then, the menu was sheathed in plastic and short: steak (served with fries or foil-wrapped baked potatoes) and deep-fried shrimp (so exotic!) and the house specialty, fresh walleye from the Lake (ordered only by tourists since locals could catch their own for free).

Still, what I remember most is the relish tray -- fry-cut carrots, black olives (from cans, no doubt) and candied apple rings, my sister reminds me -- and those iceberg wedges that served for salad.

At home, there was no choice of dressing, just whatever Mom put on the table. But at the Country House - la-di-la, we got to choose, to decide for ourselves: Italian vinaigrette ("that's just oil and vinegar and some spices," my Mom coached) or creamy Italian ("you'd like this, Lon," she'd encourage with only small signs of growing impatience) or French or the oh-so-travel-inspiring Thousand Island.

Still it's been years and years since I've tasted the déclassé Thousand Island -- but it won't be long til the next time, now that I've learned how easy it is to make homemade Thousand Island, and how good it is, in 2007 as well as, well, 19x7. (Sorry, that key just sticks ...)



FROM THE ARCHIVES For other homemade salad dressings, see this section in the Recipe Box.

A YEAR AGO You know that old song, Poke Salad Annie? I made Poke Sallet!



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THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Makes 1 cup

1/3 cup low-fat mayo (Hellman's is great)
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I think vinegar might work too)
2 tablespoons red pepper, chopped a bit
1 table onion, minced a bit
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons water (or less or more to achieve consistency you like - don't feel the need to replicate the gloppy globby dressings from the store)

Whiz in the food processor. Serve!



A Veggie Venture is home of the Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and vegetable inspiration from Asparagus to Zucchini. © Copyright 2007

9 comments:

Iceberg lettuce with thousand island dressing was a childhood favorite of mine, too!

Well, that key should be stuck!
What's old is new again ... it's always fun to find the old things over again, like Spike flavoring at Kalyn's the other day and now you.
Oops I don't me we're old things, well, I think actually I am. Enough silly.
There was a dressing I used to make before I was married even ... I'll have to see if I can retrieve that one.
Your Thousand Island reminds me of it except the one I used had an egg I think. Yours look great. May try it before I find the other.

A nice post, nicely written! I love that deep-fried shrimp was exotic. Growing up in St. Louis during that same key-sticking period [I'm guessing], I certainly felt sophisticated ordering it as a teen.

Sometimes déclassé pleasures are the best, aren't they? Thousand Island was my go to dressing for the longest time.

And pickled herring was on the relish tray, too. Yum! I think Alanna and I are the only people I know who grew up eating pickled herring.

The Sister

Hmm .. Thousand Island dressing is called "De 1000 öarnas salladssås" in Swedish.

I found a recipe in a cookbook from 1963. This recipe calls for chili sauce (like ketchup), lemon juice, a few drops of oil and some mayo. (Serve with seafood).

Since i am interested in history, this dressing must have a history, I thought.

Googling, I found several sites: "The history of Thousand Island Dressing dates back to the early days of the 20th century and centers in the small resort village of Clayton, New York...."

"...In the early 20th century, Sophia LaLonde of Clayton, N.Y., served the dressing at dinner for guests of her husband, who was a popular fishing guide. One of the dinner guests was leading actress May Irwin. It was Irwin who christened the dressing with the Thousand Island name, and the dressing was served by Irwin's request at the Herald Hotel in Clayton. The actress also introduced the dressing to the wider world when she gave LaLonde's recipe to the owner of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City."

Lydia ~ This is feeling like a xxty-something reunion!

Tanna ~ Would love to see your dressing. Homemade salad dressing are SO UNLIKE the bottled versions.

Terry B ~ Ah yes, the shrimp. I loved to order it at the Country House because it was never ever served at home. PS Thanks!!

My Dear Sister ~ Ah yes, the herring. And of course, now that you mention it, it was over the Christmas herring that we had this reminiscence. No doubt, herring on the appetizer platter was the result of all the Scandihoovian influence in the northern reaches of Minnesota.

Karin ~ Thanks for all the information! It's one of the things I love about your site!

Sounds lovely, gonna make a point of adding to my shopping lis all the bits i need for next week!

Mmm, that does look good. Loved your story about the restaurant, too.

That reminded me of eating out at the Green Lantern as a child. When it came time to order their dressing, my brother ordered 1000 Island and my nephew said he only wanted one island on his please! Thanks for that memory Alanna!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna