Russian Salad Dressing

Russian salad dressing is creamy with spices and pickles, and comes in several flavors. Read our guide for more facts & information about Russian salad dressing…

Salad dressings have a rich history which dates back to the ancient era, and it is known that the Chinese soy sauce is some 5,000 years old. While early Romans dressed their herbal salads with salt, Egyptians dressed their salad with vinegar, oil and oriental spices. Salad dressings impart a rich taste to dishes that are otherwise plain. The mayonnaise type dressing and the vinaigrette type dressing are the two main types of salad dressing.

History of Russian salad dressing

It is believed that Russian salad dressing originated in America in the late 19th century. Its name derived from the earlier versions of the salad, which included caviar, a distinct Russian ingredient. It is also believed that Russian salad dressing is the predecessor of the famous Thousand Island dressing. The latter is a variant of the former and was initially published in the early 20th century. Though both are mayonnaise based dressings, the main distinction is made by chopped hard-boiled egg present in Thousand Island dressing.

Ingredients used in Russian salad dressing

Russian dressing is tangier than the usual vinaigrette and basically includes mayonnaise, chili sauce or ketchup, pimiento, chives and several herbs. During the earlier days, Russian caviar was also supposed to be an ingredient.

A nice recipe for the Russian dressing requires one-and-a-half cups mayonnaise, half cup sour cream, two-thirds cup chili sauce, one tablespoon of lemon juice, minced parsley and minced green pepper, and two tablespoons  of minced dill pickle and minced green onion.  Further, four teaspoons of grated horseradish, two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and sugar, half teaspoon of tobasco, salt and paprika, and one-eighth a teaspoon of ground pepper are required. A fine blend of all the ingredients will make the delicious Russian salad dressing, which can be refrigerated and used as required.

A simpler recipe for Russian garlic salad dressing would require thirty cloves of garlic, half-cup of extra virgin oil, quarter cup of lemon juice, four tablespoons of white vinegar, half teaspoon of oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. The garlic cloves have to be blanched in boiling water for about five minutes and then plunged into cold water. After draining the water, the remaining ingredients must be folded with the garlic and left to set for about nine days, and then served.

Russian salad dressing and Russian salad

Russian salad or Salad Olivier has no relation to Russian salad dressing. It is a salad from Russia made of potatoes, chicken, green peas, pickles and carrots, with mayonnaise as the binding agent. It is believed to be the creation of M. Olivier, a French chef, who owned a restaurant in Moscow, during the later half of the 19th century. Russian salad is popular in Russia and is a staple item in festive menus.

Russian salad dressing is used as a condiment for salads and sandwiches, particularly Reuben sandwiches. Blending the ingredients in a blender or food processor is important, as the ingredients have to be emulsified well in order to be retained for several days.

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