Last Sunday I was going to the grocery store, so I asked my husband if there was anything he wanted me to get for him while I was there. Yes, he said, get me some Thousand Island Dressing, the one that sits upside down on its cap. He couldn’t remember the brand. So I found the one he was talking about and brought it home. It sat on the counter and the more I looked at it, I realized I hadn’t eaten Thousand Island Dressing for about thirty years. However, I did have fond memories about it, especially the black pepper sprinkled on top, so I thought maybe I would have some the next day.
Monday at work, I continued to think about that salad I was going to make, and by the time I was driving home, I was really looking forward to it. I went to the market and bought a nice big, fresh head of iceberg lettuce, one of those heads that feel solid and you know will be crisp and sweet.
When I got home I got out my salad bowl and chef’s knife. I ground some fresh black pepper. I unwrapped the head of lettuce. I looked over on the counter expecting to see the Thousand Island Dressing bottle, but it wasn’t there. I looked in the refrigerator, thinking he might have used some and put it in there. No sign. I looked in all the cupboards. I looked in the garage. I felt a little panicky. Maybe I was having a Senior Moment and had just missed it. It had to be around here somewhere.
So I called up my husband and asked where he’d put the Thousand Island Dressing. Oh, he said, I brought that to work with me so I can put it on my salads for lunch. Cr*p! Foot stomping. Teeth gnashing.
The Act of Desperation
Well, I stood there with this profound feeling of disappointment. I was so looking forward to that salad. I wanted it bad. And then it came to me that, guess what, I am a chef. I know how to cook and make things from scratch. It was a Eureka Moment. By golly, I would make my own Thousand Island Dressing and never have to depend on some huge corporate entity for my dressing fix again. So there, you guys.
I went online and looked at about 30 recipes for Thousand Island Dressing. I checked a few of my cookbooks. They were all similar. I checked my fridge and, lo and behold, I had all the ingredients. So I recorded the amounts I used as I made it and it was indescribably delicious. So much better than any bottled or restaurant memories of mine. And I hope you enjoy it, too.
Thousand Island Dressing by Lynne
Yields 1 ½ cups
1 cup mayonnaise (Best or Hellmans)
¼ cup ketchup (Heinz)
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish (Heinz)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Thai sweet chili sauce or 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk or more for consistency
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
Optional: one hardboiled egg chopped fine
Freshly ground black pepper for sprinkling over salad
1. Mix all ingredients together, except black pepper, in a bowl. Store in airtight container.