You may find the title of my post “Homemade French Salad Dressing, The American Kind” a bit strange. What does she mean French dressing the America kind? What I mean is that this so called “French” salad dressing is not French but rather an American invention. In France salad dressings are light vinaigrettes. My favorite and the one I came across most often was a delicious and light mustard vinaigrette. As a matter of fact the whole time we lived in France never once did we see a orange-red thick salad dressing like the “French” dressing found in the states and other countries. Wait, on one very rare occasion we actually found a bottle of an orange-red dressing, and it was called American Salad Dressing. When we opened it we realized that the flavor was exactly as the “French” dressing we used to purchase in the US. In Prague Hellman’s sells the American “French” dressing and is called Francouzsky or French. But there is another local brand that sells this as American rather than French.
Did I loose or confuse you guys enough yet? Ok, so the bottom line is that the orange-red sweet-tart salad dressing you see in the photos is an American invention. If you are in France save yourself the embarrassment and do not ask for the orange-red salad dressing at a local restaurant, also don’t complain when your salad does not arrive with that salad dressing but a vinaigrette instead. In case you are wondering, yes I saw Americans in Paris complaining about this. If you simply must have the American “French” dressing then check at a grocery store that carries foreign ingredients.
Does it sound like I’m bashing American “French” salad dressing? Why no I am not. I don’t complain about American style salad dressings, I actually love them. Have you ever dipped potato wedges or french fries into Ranch dressing? Heaven, I tell you! How about using Italian dressing to marinade chicken then grill it? No? Well you must! Don’t get me wrong I also love light vinaigrettes and well pretty much any type of dressing for my salads. I started making homemade “French” salad dressing because our grocery store always runs out when I need a bottle. This recipe is one that I’ve been making for several years now and it’s a very close comparison to the bottled kind. Usually I just taste as I go and adjust as I like, so feel free to do so. I hope you enjoy it and let me know if you try it.
American Style French Salad Dressing:
Makes 2-3 Servings
3 tbsp. mayonaise
1 tsp. sweet paprika
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. each of salt, ground black pepper, granulated garlic
1 tbsp. tomato paste or ketchup
1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. Worchestire sauce
Mix all ingredients until well combined. Taste and adjust to your taste. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before using. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 1 week.