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Mamma Mia's Miracle Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

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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.

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"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 timeReady inYields

5 min

5 min

1 1/4 cups salad dressing

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

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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.

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