Sunday, July 8, 2012

Home-Made Traditional Russian Vinaigrette Dressing

This is a recipe passed down through at least 3 generations in my family. I remember my grandmother making it for occasions (as her mother had in the Old Country) and it was my mother's favorite salad dressing. It's still a favorite of mine, too. Not exactly low-cal (but few true vinaigrette dressings are), you use so little of it that it's much more economical and delicious than any packaged or prepared alternative. You will see many "approximates" in the recipe. Let's face it: I just pour sugar into a jar, add the paprika and mustard and salt, then pour in twice the vinegar than I do oil; give it all a shake and it's done! After you try it a few times, you will find out your flavor preferences. I like mine sweet/tart in taste. This is particularly good with leaf lettuce or spring greens, although I prefer mixing my lettuce varieties together.

A real Russian Vinaigrette Dressing
Home-Made Russian Vinaigrette Dressing


  • approximately 3/4 c white granulated sugar
  • approximately 1/4 c white distilled vinegar
  • approximately 1/8 c vegetable or canola oil
  • 1-2 tbsp (to taste) paprika
  • 1 tsp prepared or dry mustard
  • pinch of salt

Pour all ingredients into a jar; place lid on the jar and shake until the ingredients are blended and the sugar dissolved. Let chill for a while, to blend flavors and then shake before pouring over salad.

Serving note: Mix lettuce varieties together: Romaine with leaf lettuce; Iceburg with Romaine and Spring Greens or use a bagged selection of greens. Peel and slice cucumbers into thin disks, cutting disks in half and tossing with lettuce. Chop green onions and mix together with the other ingredients. Pour dressing over individual servings so lettuce and other ingredients remain crunchy.

This dressing may be stored for over a week in the fridge. It will darken according to how much paprika you add. You may continue adding to the original dressing. It tastes even better over time (getting thicker and more flavorful). The jar makes it easy to shake it up before serving to ensure the sugar remains dissolved. since it tends to settle to the bottom of the jar.

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