Old-fashioned Dutch Salad

Dutch Salad in bowl

I recently came across a hundred-year-old recipe for Dutch Salad, and decided to give it a try. It is a lettuce salad with a hot vinegar dressing. The this simple, classic salad was delightful.

Here’s the original recipe:

Recipe for Dutch Salad
Source: General Welfare Guild Cook Book (1923, The General Welfare Guild, The Beaver County General Hospital)

This makes a lot of dressing, so I halved the recipe. And, I skipped seasoning the lettuce with salt and pepper.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Dutch Salad

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 head lettuce

1/2 onion

salt and pepper, if desired

1 1/2  teaspoons butter

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Wash lettuce, dry, and then tear into small pieces and put into a bowl. Cut onion into small pieces and add to the lettuce. If desired sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Melt and lightly brown (using care not to burn) the butter in a skillet. Stir in the sugar and vinegar, using medium heat bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over salad. Toss and serve.


21 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Dutch Salad

    1. It is a better name. Similarly to your family, we used to call a similar dressing Wilted Lettuce dressing, but it also contained bacon – and we put the lettuce into the skillet with the dressing and wilted it more than this lettuce was wilted when the hot dressing was poured over it.

    1. Was your grandmother’s dressing called “Boiled Dressing”? I’ve seen numerous recipes for a Boiled Dressing that is cooled and used cold – though still need to make it. Sometime soon. . .

        1. I think that I can picture the kind of dressing you’re talking about. When I was a child my mother often made it, and kept it in a jar in the refrigerator to use when she made cole slaw.

    1. When I made this recipe, I wondered what type of lettuce would be the most “authentic” for a hundred years ago. I think that iceberg lettuce or maybe leaf lettuce would more typcially have been used a hundred years ago – but I had romaine so went with it.

    1. hmm. . . No idea. Maybe this type of salad was commonly served in Holland. . . or maybe it referred to Germany (as used when referring to the Pennsylvania Dutch).

    1. I thought that the dressing had a nice balance between sweet and sour – though, if desired, less sugar could be used to make it less sweet.

  1. I’ll have to try this recipe. My ‘hot’ salad starts with sliced mushrooms sauteed in butter. I make a dressing of olive oil, tarragon vinegar, dijon mustard, minced garlic and pepper. I sprinkle grated cheese over torn lettuce then spoon the hot mushrooms over the cheese and then add some dressing.

  2. This is what people in PA Dutch country call “wilted lettuce,” as previously noted, or at least it’s a variation on the theme. I mostly remember wilted lettuce served with hot bacon dressing which was also sweet and sour. I’m a fan, by the way, though I’ve never made it. And believe it or not, here in PA it’s always looked like iceberg lettuce anytime I’ve had it. When I was a kid, unless you grew leaf lettuce, iceberg was the most widely available.

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