Thousand Island Dressing with Balsamic Toasts

Recipes in this PostThousand Island Dressing with Balsamic Toasts

Why would anyone want to write about Thousand Island Dressing? It’s yucky! It’s that reddish stuff that sits on the salad bar and congeals because no one wants it, and rightly so. It’s the “secret” sauce on the Big Mac, and has become so common that you probably don’t even notice it on your sandwich anymore. That’s a pity, because this is a grand dame of salad dressings with an interesting and honorable history.

One of the Thousand Islands only supports one tree and two bushesThousand Island Dressing is named for the archipelago of 1,864 islands that straddles the Canada-U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River. Some of the islands are very small indeed. The one pictured above supports a single tree and two bushes. The dressing was popularized by May Irwin, a Canadian vaudeville star in the 1890’s. She had a home in Grindstone Island, one of the Thousand Islands. She said that the dressing reminded her of the Thousand Islands, and enjoyed the dressing so much that she requested the recipe from Sophia LaLonde, a fishing guide’s wife who frequently made the dressing for her husband. Miss Irwin then gave the recipe to George Boldt, the proprietor of the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, who instructed his the hotel’s maître d’hôtel, Oscar Tschirky, to put the dressing on the menu. In 1950 the dressing became a standard, and started its decline into the gloppy mess we have today.

One of the things we do at The Good Plate is to reconstruct packaged foods, so they taste better, and don’t have the preservatives common in packaged foods. I knew that venerable Thousand Island Dressing deserved a better place, and making it from scratch would make it one of my favorites, especially for sea food salads.

I made a crab salad for the dressing, and some Balsamic Toasts to go with them. This was in the midst of Spane and his friend making Play Dough on the stove. There are little bits of homemade Play Dough all over the place. Time to clean!

Recipe: Thousand Island Dressing

Mis En Place for Thousand Island Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup good mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Homade Chili Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons creamy horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon caper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 egg, hardboiled and finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Boil the egg, peel and let cool. Then chop finely. Set aside.
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl, and add the chopped egg.
  3. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes for the flavors to blend before serving.Bowl of Finished Thousand Island Dressing

Quick notes

If you want really good flavor for this, use Homade Chili Sauce, and Heinz Limited Edition Tomato Ketchup Blended with Balsamic Vinegar. Both really make it special.

Variations

You can omit the eggs if you don’t want them. If you don’t like capers, remove those. If you are sensitive, remove the horseradish, although it really does not make the dressing very “hot”.

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

The Balsamic Toasts were a last-minute idea as I was preparing the salad. We had some wonderful Ciabatta bread left over from Stuffed Ciabatta Garlic Bread, that I wanted to use.

Recipe: Balsamic Toasts

Ingredients

  • 1 Ciabatta bread
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • freshly cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. Slice the bread into one inch thick slices. Toast the slices in a pan, or on a griddle.
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients together, and using a pastry brush, brush the mixture onto the toasts. Be generous!

Variations

You could add red pepper flakes if you want some heat.

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: Italian

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

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