Mamma Mia's Salad
Mamma Mia has a salad with every dinner (if not salad for her dinner). Her salad dressing, a signature gourmet condiment requested at all her bridge party potlucks, 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 is the third in a series as I watch Mamma Mia in her kitchen. She throws ingredients together sans the 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, and gives me a spoon to dip in . . . it tastes just right.
|Prep time||Ready in||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
- Add olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice to a glass bottle or jar; cover, shake, and taste.
- Add garlic salt, shaking and tasting as you add up to one tablespoon.
- Add oregano, shaking and tasting as you add up to two tablespoons.
- Add dijon mustard, shaking and tasting as you add up to one tablespoon.
- Shake and taste while adding up to one tablespoon of sugar.
- Add freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste.