Mamma Mia's Miracle Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Updated on December 26, 2019
YogaKat profile image

I love eating well and delighting in the recipes my mom passed down.

Mom brings the salad dressing for her bridge partnerʻs tossed greens.
Mom brings the salad dressing for her bridge partnerʻs tossed greens.

Mamma Mia has salad with every dinner, if not salad as her dinner. Her salad dressing, a signature gourmet condiment requested at all her bridge party pot lucks, is simple, savory, and tasty. Mamma Mia is a teeny-weeny, Italian-American, retired widow with the zest of a teenager. I strongly believe Mom's salad penchant is the secret of her perpetual peppiness.

My sister and I left Mom's nest long ago, so these days her life revolves around bridge games. Mom grew up in a Carrie St. home on Goose Hill in Schenectady, New York—a place where card games and food took center stage. My Grandma Josephine made a salad every night, but pinocle was the card game played. I have many childhood memories of sitting on an uncle's lap while cards were dealt and quarters anteed. Mamma Mia gambles only on special occasions these days. Bridge is Mama Mia's killer game, and where she brings her killer salad dressing.

This the third in a series as I watch Mamma Mia in her kitchen. She throws ingredients together sans recipe. She has always cooked this way. An artist, whose canvas is the countertop.

"You gotta taste it every step of the way," Mom shakes her jar of dressing, dips a teaspoon in, and touches her tongue to it. "That seems like a lot of garlic salt," I say as I watch her dump in a full tablespoon. She shakes her jar, gives me a spoon to dip in . . . it tastes just right.

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Ready in: 5 min
Yields: 1 1/4 cups salad dressing


  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/3 to 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp ground oregano
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • a few grinds sea salt
  • a few grinds black pepper


  1. Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice to glass bottle or jar; cover, shake, and taste.
  2. Add garlic salt, shaking and tasting as you add up to one tablespoon.
  3. Add oregano, shaking and tasting as you add up to two tablespoons.
  4. Add dijon mustard, shaking and tasting as you add up to one tablespoon.
  5. Shake and taste while adding up to one tablespoon sugar.
  6. Add freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste.

Rate This Recipe

4.7 stars from 3 ratings of Salad dressing
You need a container with a tight lid to shake Mama Miaʻs salad dressing.
You need a container with a tight lid to shake Mama Miaʻs salad dressing.

Does the regular consumption of EVOO lead to a longer and healthier life?

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      YogaKat, Definitely flax seeds! Thank you for the reminder! A vision of a wonderful lunch is appearing before my eyes: salad with Mama Mia's dressing, with sprinklings of flax seeds; my beverage: lemongrass tea. Deliciously, satisfyingly healthy.

      Appreciatively, Stessily

    • YogaKat profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      I will tell Mom about white pepper . . . I like to throw a little flax seed in my dressing. Thanks for your comment stessily.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      YogaKat, All the "must have" ingredients for perfect salad dressing are here in Mama Mia's recipe --- of course! Sea salt adds an exquisite finishing touch. I'm honored to note that my recipe is similar in ingredients and in proportions to Mama Mia's.

      There is a secret ingredient which I like to sprinkle into the recipe from time to time: white pepper! Try it. If you like it, please feel free to share with Mama Mia, not as an improvement (not possible!) to her recipe, but as an inspired, unassuming flavor enhancer.

      Thank you again for sharing Mama Mia. My favorite compliment from my mom was "Tastes like more." I know that she'd say it about Mama Mia's recipes; I say it, too.

      Appreciatively, Stessily

    • YogaKat profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

      Thanks for your comment and visit MHatter99.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I am a big salad freak. This will definitely grace some of them.


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