A summer of salad doesn’t necessarily mean a big bowl of green leaves and starving to death ten minutes after a meal. Hot weather foods can be cool, crisp and keep you satisfied when you are rolling in the waves at the beach or hopping on a plane after lunch to visit relatives. Hearty doesn’t have to mean weighty.
Catalina Dressing is an Oldie but Goody
I whipped up an old-fashioned batch of Catalina Dressing after sampling a few dishes at the Culinary Institute of America, where I occasionally teach an Ancient Cuisines history class. A visiting professor from Napa Valley assembled a blanched green bean salad with almonds and Catalina dressing. I thought it was absolutely marvelous! Tangy with sweet overtones and not a bit sugary, it was the perfect accompaniment to cold roast meats and vegetables.
I tracked down the visiting chef and asked for the recipe. It was directly out of the CIA text book! Thankfully, the ingredients didn’t include ketchup or Worcestershire sauce, which is the classic recipe. Too many bottled ingredients for me.
This recipe is a home sized batch, as the Culinary Institute of America uses recipes yielding quantities for food service. That means quarts of salad dressing, and not cups.
Paprika Oil Add Excellent Flavor
The main flavoring ingredient for Catalina dressing is paprika oil, which you will need to make ahead of time. But the color and flavor are so wonderful in the dressing, it really isn’t a chore. I prefer to make a double batch of the paprika oil ahead of time. Usually, we finish off the first batch of dressing very quickly, and need more, stat.
Try Catalina dressing on sandwiches, or as a dip with cheese and crackers. I hear wedges of iceberg lettuce are native habitat for Catalina dressing. We have been eating it on steak and egg sandwiches… a deliciously cool meal on a summer Sunday evening.Print
Catalina Dressing for Summer Salads
- Prep Time: Make ahead 1 day
- Total Time: 16 minute
- Yield: 1 1/4 cup (300ml) 1x
- Category: Salad Dressing
- Cuisine: U.S.
¼ cup vegetable oil (60ml)
2 tbsp. paprika (10g)
2 tbsp. brown sugar (25g)
¼ cup apple cider vinegar (60ml)
Pinch white pepper
1 tsp. dry prepared mustard (2g)
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch garlic powder
Pinch onion powder (substitute a spoonful of grated fresh onion if you like)
¾ cup olive or vegetable oil (180ml)
Salt to taste
To make the paprika oil, combine the vegetable oil and the paprika in a small microwavable bowl. Heat on high for 10 seconds, until barely warmed. Cover, and leave on the countertop overnight for fullest flavor.
To make the dressing, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, vinegar, allspice, white pepper, mustard, lemon juice, garlic powder and onion powder (or fresh onion). Slowly drizzle the paprika oil and the the olive or vegetable oil into the dressing mixture and continue to whisk until all is added. Add salt to taste.
Keywords: Catalina Dressing