Old-fashioned Chives Salad Dressing

Chives Salad Dressing and Lettuce on Plate

I’m always looking for recipes for healthy, easy-to-make homemade salad dressing, so was pleased to find a recipe for Chives Salad Dressing in a hundred-year-old cookbook.

Chives Salad Dressing was a lovely vinaigrette with chopped chives and chopped hard-boiled egg.

Here’s the original recipe:

Chives Salad Dressing
Source: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries (1922)

I used olive oil when I made this dressing.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Chives Salad Dressing

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped

1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped

Put vegetable oil or olive oil, vinegar, salt, paprika, and white pepper in a small bowl; stir to combine. Add chives and chopped egg. Serve on tomato, lettuce, or other similar salads.


Several Hundred-Year-Old French Dressing Recipes

Salad and Salad DressingSome recipes don’t change across the years; others do.  As tastes and preferences change, recipes are updated. In other cases, lack of availability of an ingredient might lead to tweaking of an old recipe. Also, for commercially-prepared foods, government regulations can affect their composition.  Last week I was amazed to discover that the government regulated French Dressing for many years.

On January 13,  the Wall Street Journal had an article titled “The U.S. Federal Government Deregulates French Dressing.”  The government established the standard for French Dressing 72 years ago, and “according to the original 1950 standard, a French dressing should include vegetable oil, and a vinegar and/or lemon or lime juice, and could be seasoned with ingredients such as salt, sugar, tomato paste or puree, and spices such as mustard are paprika.”

This article made me remember the many French Dressing recipes that I’ve seen in hundred-year-old cookbooks over the years, and how those recipes differed from today’s seemingly ubiquitous creamy orange dressing. Back then the dressing was often more of a vinaigrette. Here are two French Dressing recipes from 1922 cookbooks:

French Dressing Recipe
Source: Mrs. DeGraf’s Cook Book (1922)

French Dressing RecipeSource: Good Housekeeping’s Book of Menus, Recipes, and Household Discoveries (1922)

I made the French Dressing in the photo using the first recipe.

Several years ago, I did a post with a recipe for Endive Salad with Homemade French Dressing that contained three 1912 French Dressing Recipes. Here are those recipes:

3 French Dressing Recipes
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

And, here is a 1922 magazine article that responds to a reader’s question about French Dressing. The response differentiates between French Dressing and Russian Dressing -though it is mostly focused on French Dressing:

magazine article
Source: American Cookery (June/July, 1922)

Whew, my head is spinning. Who would have guessed that for a least a hundred years people have been giving lots of thought to exactly what comprises French Dressing?

Hundred-Year-Old Recipe for “Mother’s” Salad Dressing

Old cookbooks often contain recipes with names that memorialize someone, but provide almost no clue about the food. For example, I’ve seen recipes for Grandma’s Cake and Mrs. Johnson’s Dessert. I usually shy away from these recipes because of the unhelpful title – but I recently made an exception. I decided to give “Mother’s” Salad Dressing a try, and I’m glad I did This tangy, creamy, old-fashioned milk, vinegar, and egg dressing was delightful.

Source; Larkin Housewives Cook Book (1915)

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Mother's Salad Dressing

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3 hard-cooked eggs

1/2 of a 5-ounce can of evaporated milk

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

dash pepper

lettuce or cabbage

Cut hard-boiled eggs in half and remove yolks; mash yolks with a fork until fine. Set aside.

Put evaporated milk in a small bowl; slowly add vinegar while stirring. Add mashed egg yolks, sugar, salt, and pepper; stir until combined.

Serve with lettuce or cabbage. If desired garnish with pieces or rings of the egg whites.

I only used half as much salt as called for in the old recipe. One teaspoon seemed like it would make the dressing too salty.

Old-fashioned Thousand Island Dressing Recipe

I’m always on the look-out for good homemade salad dressing recipes. so when I saw a hundred-year-old recipe for Thousand Island Dressing, I had to give it a try.

The Thousand Island Dressing was delightful, though much thinner than the typical modern commercial rendition. This olive oil- and mayonnaise-based dressing had just the right amount of spiciness and a lovely citrous undertone.

The modern version typically contains sweet pickle relish; the hundred-year-old recipe called for sliced chestnuts and olives. The sweet nuttiness of the chestnuts and saltiness of the olives added an appealing new  (old?) dimension to this classic dressing.

Here’s the hundred-year-old recipe:

Source: The Housewife’s Cook Book (Lilla Frich, 1917)

And, here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Thousand Island Dressing

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1/2 cup olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

juice of 1/2 orange

1 teaspoon onion, grated

3 teaspoons parsley, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise

8 olives sliced (I used stuffed green olives.)

8 chestnuts, sliced ( I used vacuum-packed, recipe-ready chestnuts.)

Put the olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice, onion, parsley, mustard, salt, paprika, Worcestershire sauce,  and mayonnaise in a medium bowl; and whisk together until smooth. Stir in the olives and chestnuts.