Everything I Know about Russian Dressing - Our Family's Recipe

Photo by Sally's Trove
Photo by Sally's Trove

Trip Down Memory Lane

My recent adventure into the facts, fictions, and personal warm memories of Russian dressing began a few months ago in the grocery store while I was buying "fruit on the bottom" yogurt. I quickly found what I was looking for and collected two small containers to put in the cart. In an instant, some unknown collection of brain cells flashed me back to my school days, and I stood motionless in the grocery aisle, a container of yogurt in each hand.

In those years, my favorite lunch was blueberry "fruit on the bottom" yogurt, a small garden salad drowning in Russian dressing, and a cup of coffee. My favorite dinner out was a cheeseburger, a lettuce wedge likewise drowning, and again the cup of coffee. Any dinner at home always included a garden salad drowning once more in delectable Russian dressing, this time home-made by my mother.

There I was in the grocery store, holding two yogurts, staring off into nowhere, and a pressing urge hit me, worse than having to pee...I absolutely had to find a bottle of Russian dressing. Right then and there.

Dressing Gone Missing

There was no Russian dressing in the store. Not one salad dressing brand of the 15 or so on the shelves offered this object of my immense desire. No problem, I thought. I'll go down the road to the other store. No luck. Over the next few weeks I called everyone I knew and asked them if they had seen Russian dressing anywhere in their grocery shopping travels. Apparently, the dressing had gone missing, or worse.

The Search Is On

Time to hit the Internet.

Russian dressing, I soon discovered, has been around since the early 1900s. It was a mainstay not only of my centric life, but of the Russian Tea Room in New York, Rombauer's Joy of Cooking, and even Larousse Gastronomique. How can such a noble tradition fade into oblivion?

Once past the history, I found an exciting clue on a web page called See the WORLD'S OLDEST Salad Dressing. The page featured a bottle of Seven Seas Russian Dressing. There I learned that Seven Seas is a Kraft brand. I went to Kraft's website and started searching using their product locator. No luck. Then I sent Kraft a hopeful inquiry using their "Other Contacts Form". My message was returned as "undeliverable". Geeze.

That pressing urge I felt in the grocery store had settled in to a dull ache. Since I couldn't find any bottled Russian dressing, it was time to call Mom.

Mom to the Rescue?

"Mom, remember that Russian dressing you used to make when we lived on Taylor Avenue?"

"Sort of," she said.

"How did you make it? I know it had ketchup, mayonnaise, pickles, vinegar, milk, and sugar in it. But I don't remember in what proportions."

"I don't either," she said.

"Aw, come on," I said. "You made that dressing every day I was in high school and college."

"It was a snap to make," she said.

"So," I said, "How did you make it?"

"I guess you put all those things you said together and mix it up," she said. "And make sure you use sweet pickles, not sour ones."

That's exactly how she made it. She never measured ingredients then, just as she never measures them now. What was I thinking?

Wonderful Salad Cookbooks - Try Your Homemade Russian Dressing with These Salad Ingredient Ideas

I Make My Memory

A few jars of mayonnaise, ketchup, and pickles later, here's what works for me. It's a thick, piquant dressing and makes four to six servings.

In a small bowl, add these ingredients one at a time, mixing well before adding the next:

  • 3 mounded Tablespoons Miracle Whip salad dressing (if you want a thinner dressing, add a little milk now and beat it in well)
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sweet pickle (gherkin) juice from the jar
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 2 mounded Tablespoons ketchup

Blend in:

  • 3 Small sweet pickles (gherkins) minced finely
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste (the more, the better)

Cover and refrigerate.

My recipe has been taste-tested by my daughter, who loves it. I have yet to share it with Mom.

If you have any information regarding the bottled Russian dressing gone missing, please comment!

© 2008 Sally's Trove. All rights reserved.

Recipes appearing in Sally’s Trove articles are original, having been created and tested in our family kitchens, unless otherwise noted.

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Comments 105 comments

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

I would think a lot of heritage recipes were measured like this..a pinch of this and a smidge of that and yum a perfect dish

good hub regards Zsuzsy


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 8 years ago from Philly Burbs

It's good... it's great... it's... MOMTASTIC! I did love that dressing, much more than the deli-bought one. Not nearly as much as I love you, but it's up there. Ma's voice is clear in my head... "You just mix them up!" Of course you mix them up, Ma!

I think this new hubbing habit of yours is great, both for you and for anyone lucky enough to stumble across what you're writing. Here's to many more!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You are so right, Zsuzsy. My mother's family is from Poland. They are wonderful old-school cooks. Not one of them measures a thing! Like I said, what was I thinking???? Thanks so much for the good words.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

annemaeve, can't wait to see your first hub. You rock, girl! (I think we need to get Ma hubbing.)


Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 8 years ago from Around the USA

Oh man, I hope Russian dressing is still available here. I love it. But if not, I can try your homemade recipe. It sounds delicious. And I love the background information as well. Probably most of the best recipes are "a little of this and a little of that".


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 8 years ago from Philly Burbs

This Russian dressing recipe has invaded my workplace... and it's a huge hit! I had planned to enjoy my iceberg lettuce, home-baked chicken, and grape salad all by my lonesome, but when I popped open my Tupperware full of Russian dressing, people started gathering around asking... "what's that?" Before I knew it, we were all dissecting my salad with our fingers and dunking each bite in creamy, tangy deliciousness. Russian tops ranch as a dipping sauce any day! Now, if only Sally's Trove would post the recipe for that baked chicken...


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

And what did the horses think about the Russian dressing, annemaeve?  Thanks so much for the good words!  One baked chicken recipe coming up.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

UPDATE! I found a bottle of Ken's Steakhouse Russian dressing in my local Giant supermarket. Not only did I find it there, but I found a great review of it at http://www.epinions.com/content_417655066244?linki... . I haven't tried the Ken's yet, but maybe you will, and let us know what you think about mine and Ken's.


proudgrandpa profile image

proudgrandpa 8 years ago from Charlotte, NC

My cardiologist says if it looks, tastes, or sounds good you can't have it. Well if you don't tell I won't. I had not realized the slipping away of the wonderful Russian dressing. Thanks for the reminder.

Thanks also for your kind comments on my recycling hub page. I really appreciate the info about the links. I have fixed them, it was a newbie mistake.

Since I sense a kindred spirit I will be looking for and reading your hubs. I do want you to know that you are couple ahead of me but I am on your heals with 4 so far. My wonderful wife says that when I disappear into my computer I come back a little more cheerful. My theory is that I can find folks like yourself and that is where I like to spend my time. Thanks again. NEIL


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Neil, thanks for your wonderful words.

Fettuccini Alfredo, one of my favorite dishes, has another name which is "heart attack on a plate". So, since I'm not telling, you better not either!


Blogger Mom profile image

Blogger Mom 8 years ago from Northeast, US

Mmmm, so good on a wedge of iceburg lettuce! =)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

"Mmmm" is right, Blogger Mom. In recent years iceburg lettuce has taken some bad press, being called "tasteless" and "bland". It has become the less-desired variety of salad greens, while the more exotic leaf lettuces dominate the market. As far as I'm concerned, iceburg has an unmistakably delicious flavor, a superior snappy texture, and you can shred the heck out of it so it blends nicely with Mexican cuisine. :)


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 8 years ago from Philly Burbs

Hear hear. Exotic greens are weird rabbit food. Iceberg is the way to go! I want to see someone try to make a lettuce bowl out of chickory. Ain't happenin'!


funnebone profile image

funnebone 8 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

wow..great hub....how do you drawme like that using condiments! good job


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

funnebone, I'm just crazy about you and your work. But sometimes I guess I don't understand, or I don't speak your language...what is "how do you drawme like that using condiments" ? Do you mean that the pic up on the right looks like you as an underwear model? (omg) :)


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

I think sometimes there are boiled eggs added ? is that correct or is that not really Russian dressing? I made this and it is good, I added lots of pepper for kick -- then I tried a version with the chopped/mashed up boiled egg and it was good, but I was wondering which version is authentic?

I want the baked chicken recipe too S. !! =) Marisue


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

HaHa about the baked chicken! I need to get annemaeve together with a camera and a chicken one afternoon in order to finish up the hub for it that I have in the works. It absolutely will not be possible for me to take pictures and prepare the chicken at the same time, since prep requires that your hands get really messed up.

Follow that link up at the top, "Russian dressing" under "The Search Is On" for a history. Although the origin of the dressing isn't known, it is fairly certain that the earliest versions contained mayonaise and caviar. As for the eggs, I have never heard of chopping up eggs into the dressing. Which did you like better, with or without egg?


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

Ahhhh you've done it again ST--no wonder I am your loyal fan:-) Haven't thought about Russian dressing in years but now I have a recipe I'm gonna make some.....or maybe I'll just hie myself over to Giant and get some Ken's. Either way, my all time personal fav is "turkey on rye with cole slaw and russian dreessing" followed closely by russian dressing on a big chef's salad......and just for nostalgia I may make myself a "hearts of lettuce"salad with iceberg lettuce and you know what. Thanks to you and your mom for another great hub.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Robie, your comments are so cool. Yes, yes, YES to the turkey on rye with cole slaw and Russian dreessing! It gives you two opportunities to eat mayonnaise on the same sandwich. I love that combination!

My daughter and I did try the Ken's and, well, let's just say we like mine better. It's so easy to make. Just double the batch so you have enough for all the foods you want to pour it on this week.

Your fan, ST.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

Well, each had a great taste...I'm not a big fan of boiled eggs but it worked in the dressing. I have to say tho...i think I liked it without best.

Can I add a link to your Russian Dressing recipe in a HUB I'm about to publish?? let me know I'm online but you can email me too either way....Marisue =)


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

OK--home made it is then--bye bye weightwatchers:-)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

marisue, thanks for your thoughts on with egg or without egg. And, I would be honored if you would link to my hub. Please do.

Robie, I have good news for you. You can have the Russian dressing, just eliminate the sugar or use a substitute, and treat the dressing as low-fat mayonnaise in your food plan. Granted, you won't be allowed a large portion with this recipe. However, you can thin the dressing with skim milk to make it go a little farther!


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

marisue, thank you for linking to my hub. Now my hub links to yours. :)


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

yippeeee!! thanks!! Marisue


Minnie's Mom 8 years ago

Russian dressing on iceberg lettuce sounds tasty.

My favorite deli in Boston made a Russian turkey sandwich with slaw on rye. I had one everyday resulting in Size 16 for 2 years until I moved out of there. They also used as condiment for their french fries.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Minnie's Mom, Robie2 shares your passion! (See her comment above.)

Russian dressing on french fries? I will die on the spot!

Thanks so much for stopping by.


minnow profile image

minnow 8 years ago from Seattle

Russian dressing on fries? Absolutely. When I lived in Utah, my friend ate something called fry sauce (seriously) which was a combination of ketchup and mayonaise. It was divine! I'm a little confused about the sweet pickles in your recipe. I thought Russian dressing did not have the sweet pickles, but thousand island dressing did (I always thought the islands were the pickles). Could be I just remember wrong--I haven't seen Russian dressing listed on the menu for years, but it is one of our favorites. Thanks for reminding me. I'll make it for dinner tonight.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

minnow, thanks so much for stopping by.

Your Utah story reminds me of being in Holland in 1970, enjoying snacks from street vendors. A favorite was french fried potatoes served in a paper cone, sprinkled with salt, and lathered with mayonaisse and malt vinegar. There is no end of what can be done to french fries.

There is debate about what what differentiates Thousand Island from Russian. I don't have the answer. But I love the idea that the pickles might be the islands. How cool!

Please let us know how you like the Russian dressing from this recipe.

Best regards, ST.


minnow profile image

minnow 8 years ago from Seattle

Skip and Tad loved it. I made a smaller recipe, and Tad finished it off. It's a good thing we took that three mile walk this afternoon. Best, minnow


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Minnow, I'm so sorry I didn't see your comment until now. So please forgive me for not responding sooner.

I am so glad Skip and Tad loved it. Two months later, are you still taking those three-mile walks? :)

Best wishes, S.


Margaret Ann 7 years ago

I was on goggle to search for Russian Dressing for an "old receipe" that I wanted to cook and "low and behold" there was your article. The recipe that I use Russian Dressing goes like this.

Chicken Breasts, I can of (Jellied) Cranberry Sauce, 1/2 16 oz. bottle of Russian Dressing, 1 package of Lipton Dried Onion Soup.

Cook all ingretiants in a Crock Pot on Low for 4 hours. Bake 1 1/2 hours @ 350 degrees. Serve. This dish tastes like barbeque chicken falling off the bone. Yum!!!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Margaret Ann, I am so glad you found this *old* recipe through Google and took the time to comment. And thanks so much for sharing your chicken dish. This dish sounds like one of those old-time, easy comfort foods. It is definitely on my list of new dishes to try!


Denny Lyon profile image

Denny Lyon 7 years ago from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Too funny and very well written! Blogging this on over to my Comfort Food Louisiana blog as Russian dressing has been a favorite in this culture for ages - now I know just how long from you: a century! Thanks for such a great hub!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Denny, I was so delighted to read your comment. First, thanks so much for linking here from there. Second, when I read the intro to your blog, I realized that the Russian dressing interest among the folks in Louisiana might have a lot to do with its Jewish population.

It used to be that in the neck of the world where I grew up, metropolitan New York and congested New Jersey, Jewish delis and bakeries were plentiful. That's different now. The Jewish deli is going the way of the dinosaur. Fortunately for me, there's a deli just a few miles away that not only serves outstanding meals but also sells deli items. Shortly after I wrote this Hub, I discovered, to my delight, that Pumpernick's sold their homemade Russian dressing by the pound. Of course, I bought some! Turned out that mine is very similar to theirs, although my daughter says mine is better (a lot to be said for "pride and prejudice").

http://pumpernicksdeli.com/

Thanks so much!


Uriel profile image

Uriel 7 years ago from Lebanon

oh i am gonna tell mom to ry it :D ill come back soon when it is done ! n ill tell ya :D:D lol...still thumbz up


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

plz do!

tks 4 stpg by.

It's delicious!!!! Hope your mom likes it too.


Heather 7 years ago

My husband just found WishBone Russian dressing at Meijers in Michigan :-)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Heather, thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, there is no Meijers near us. But the good news is that now we know WishBone and Ken's Steakhouse are available. I'd like to think this little Hub had something to do with that!


fran 7 years ago

I had almost the same experience today in the supermarket, not the first time, and here I am. Looking for the ONLY thing to have on my corned beef /swiss cheese/red cabbage on pumpernickel ( the 'red reuben). Buckets of that wan 1000 Islands stuff around, but not for me. I've made Russian periodically for myself for years anyway, I like a zing to it. This time I'm going to try a little Ken's Country French in place of the catsup and I always add a touch of mustard. I didn't realize it actually WAS NOT available anyore, or so limited - what a shame!. Its easy to make though, and worth it!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

fran, when we are passionate about our Russian dressing, there's no stopping us to get what we want. Thank you so much for adding your angst to mine.

At least we know now that Ken's and WishBone are on the market in places, and in some good old Jewish delis you can get their own, and you can always make mine or yours. Life is good!


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 7 years ago from USA

I just have to tell you, this continues to be a new favorite dressing for my family. They love your recipe and request it everytime I make salad. We pepper it to an extreme but it's just yummy!! Simple, refreshingly "fresh!" Forget the bottled dressing - nevah again once you taste this! =))


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Marisue, that's so funny about "pepper it to an extreme". One day, I made the dressing and left out the pepper. Just not thinking, I guess. Well, the dressing tasted exactly like Miracle Whip with ketchup and sweet pickles. No more, no less. The pepper is a major key to this taste sensation. (I just now modified the recipe, thank you!) Thanks so much for your comment, and cheers to your family!


Russianlover 7 years ago

Kraft quit making Russian Dressing a while back, not enough demand for it. I actually called them and asked because my husband and I love it and have not been able to buy any in over a year. Wishbone and Ken's don't hold a candle to the (not non-existent) Kraft Russian, not even close to as good. My one question about the recipe is: Are you sure about the Miracle Whip? That stuff makes me gag, yuck! I don't remember ever tasting any type of a Miracle Whip taste in Kraft's Russian Dressing...and I had been eating it for over 20 years. Kraft's did not have any celery salt, any celery anything. It was bright red, sugary sweet and tangy. Very delicious. Oh well, someday maybe I will find the Kraft recipe.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Hey Russianlover, this recipe is what I grew up with. Definitely, there are many variations. But I'll give you a challenge...make this recipe with Miracle Whip, and then make it with mayo (your own or store-bought)...I think you will see the difference right away. Also, don't forget the pepper. If you leave it out, the entire taste sensation disappears.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Sally


Omar 7 years ago

Ken's makes a decent traditional Russian dressing and Wish Bone makes a crappy, syrupy kind. Yeah, I have noticed over the last couple of years it is getting harder to find it around here. I personally think it's crap on salads (and fries? barf) but absolutely essential for a variety of sandwiches, particularly Pastrami on Rye and Reubens.

I also live in SE Pa (Philly to be exact)-- if you're a fan of Russian dressing and deli sandwiches, check out Koch's Deli on Locust and 43rd some time (across from the CVS)-- best sandwiches ever, especially the Reubens (and they put their excellent Russian dressing on most of the sandwiches). Be warned, however, it will take at least 15-20 minutes for them to make your sandwich, often longer. Well worth it in my opinion, though.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Hi Omar,

If you ever find yourself in Montgomeryville on 309 at Upper State Road, try Pumpernick's Deli. They'd been in CC for a couple of generations, I think, and then they moved up here about 4 years ago. They make their own Russian dressing which you can buy by the pound. Their classic Jewish deli fare is, of course, outstanding, and their pickle bar is unique.

Thanks for the word on Koch's. I get down there now and again, so I'll try it out.


Omar 7 years ago

I'll be sure to try it


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

It sound delicious food. I like it. Thanks for share. great recipes.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Prasetio30, thank you so much for reading and commenting.


Salad lover 7 years ago

Wish Bone still makes their old stand by Russian Dressing, in fact I"m eating a salad with it right now! Got it at Ralphs in San Diego (Kroger elsewhere) Enjoy!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Salad lover, yes they do still make the old standby. And we're all grateful for it! Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


Ya-YA 7 years ago

Thank You SO-O-O-O-O much! I've been looking for Russian Dressing for at least a year. Today was my last try. Decided to search for it on the web and found this site. Now I know why I couldn't find it. Thanks for the recipe. Will be making soon.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Ya-Ya, thanks so much for reading and commenting. I assure you, this recipe will delight you.


marti garrett 6 years ago

as a lover of this stuff since i was a kid my mom made chicken over rice with this and it is great.i have found the dressing and have been havibg it shipped to me from canada of all places.had some just yesterday when my wife made my favorite dish if chicken over rice with russian dressing and lipton union soup mix it is the bomb.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

marti, there is comfort food and then there is comfort food. There is nothing better than what you described. To marry Russian dressing with Lipton onion soup mix is to die for!

It does not surprise me that your source of Russian dressing is from outside of the country that spawned it. How resourceful are we that we can make it or procure it. There's a lot to be said about this incredible food sensation.

Thanks so much for your comment.


Bea 6 years ago

I'm pretty sure that Russian Dressing was merely renamed rather than banished a long time ago, and is very widely available under the new name "Thousand Island dressing"

That being said, I LOVE your homemade recipe, and if you are going to use it on a sandwitch - like a Ruben, I recommend adding just a touch of hot sauce for a tasty kick!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Bea, you bring up some interesting thoughts about Russian vs. Thousand Island. Some agree that they are mostly the same, but with different names. Others see it quite differently. Here's a great series of posts at snopes.com where folks weigh in with their knowledge and opinions on the subject:

http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=23536

Thanks so much for the good words. Love your tip about adding a touch of hot sauce for the Reuben!


Rick Stine 6 years ago

I've been buying Russian Dressing at my grocery store for some time. I grew up loving it as well. Try looking at Ken's Foods for Russian Dressing. That is the only manufacturer that makes Russian I've found.

http://www.kensfoods.com/kf/welcome.servlet

Thanks for the recipe. I'll probably try it myself. My wife isn't too keen on Russian Dressing.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Rick, thanks for mentioning the Ken's and providing a link.

I do hope you enjoy the recipe...maybe your wife will like this version!


Frank 6 years ago

Really, you can't find it? I'm eating a big bowl of salad with russian dressing right now. Wish-bone brand no less! Just found it at one of my local stores (can't remember which one) the Ken's Steakhouse version is terrible, not even russian dressing to me. This is the real stuff, although it's in a tiny little bottle, used almost 1/2 on this one bowl of salad! I think the store was either Wal-Mart or Stop 'n Shop.



Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Frank, thanks for the comment and the link. Still and yet, Russian dressing is not usually available in our local stores. Since I wrote this Hub two years ago, the only Russian dressing I eat is the one I make. I hope you'll try this very easy, delicious, and economical recipe.


Marg H 6 years ago

I was in Cape Coral, Florida recently and found Wishbone Russian Dressing at "Publics).


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Marg, thanks for that info. There are many of us on the search for that old and fine dressing.


Dan Smith profile image

Dan Smith 6 years ago

From Southeast Pennsylvania you say? Philadelphia then.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Close...from Bucks County's "gateway", just 11 miles away.


Boneman 6 years ago

I don't know how you can even compare russian to thousand island, try wishbone russian and tell me where the pickles, eggs and whatever you say is in there is.

maybe you could compare french to russian, but NOT thousand island.


Debbie 6 years ago

I was just in Kroger's in MI (June 2010)and they had a store brand and a name brand of Russian dressing. The first ingredients were sugar and/or high fructose syrup that is really bad. I decided I'd try the web and make my own. Your recipe sounds really good. Thanks.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Debbie, since you left your comment I took a look at the ingredients lists for both ketchup and Miracle Whip, and was glad to see that the first couple of items in the lists didn't include sugar of any kind. Although my recipe calls for granulated sugar and the addition of the pickle juice, I doubt it has the overall sugar content of the store brands. Thanks for reminding us that homemade is better-made!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Boneman, you are not alone having strong opinions about the relationship (if any) between Thousand Island and Russian dressings. There's a quite spirited forum thread here you might find interesting:

http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=23536


new2u 6 years ago

I was just curious whether or not you have tried substituting honey or some kind of molasis for the sugar.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

new2u, no I have not. But there's no harm in trying. You might even try leaving the sugar out altogether.


Fort Lauderdale catering 6 years ago

Food is not just something to appreciate, it also brings back fond memories of where you first tasted a particular dish or who was with you at that time. Food and history go hand in hand in reminding us about our own health and preference, especially when you indulge with meaningful conversations as you share a meal.


kinseysbabycakes 6 years ago

http://www.canadianfavourites.com/Kraft_Salad_Dres...

they sell krafts russian dressing you can order!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Fort Lauderdale catering, thank you for sharing your thoughts about food and how we make our memories of it.

kinseysbabycakes, thanks for the link. Apparently, Kraft Russian dressing is easier to find in Canada than it is in my neck of the woods!


saladlover 5 years ago

Russian dressing and Thousand Island are not the same thing. I make homemade versions of both- just cannot tolerate manufactured dressings any longer.

Thousand Island- mayo, chili sauce, chopped hardboiled egg, chopped onion,sweet pickle relish, salt and pepper.

Russian- mayo, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, grated onion, tiny bit of ground clove, salt and pepper. Secret ingredient-a little pickled beet liquid.

I'm not giving quantities since it's up to personal taste.

The dark red, clear dressing that was sold commercially as "Russian" is bogus and as bogus as the orange French dresssing and the ketchup, sugar, oil and vinegar French dressing that people used to make at home to trick their children into eating salad.

Have fun experimenting and personalizing the recipes.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

saladlover, I agree with you about not tolerating manufactured dressings. They are like "hamburger helper"...they seem like such a good idea, but they leave a taste in your mouth which is distinctive, showing that aritficial things are in play. Unfortunately, most of our young population doesn't know the difference, because they are not being raised on homemade foods.

Thank you for sharing your ingredients for Thousand Island and Russian. I hope folks experiment; I know I will.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

I'm definitely gonna try this one out! Thanks for sharing the funny story and the lovely recipe!

Love and peace

Tony


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Glad you enjoyed the story, Tony, and that you'll try the recipe. But beware! It can get kind of addictive, and it's not all that good for you if you're watching fats and calories. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


nrgpost@AOL.com 5 years ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Thought I was the ONLY one who could not find Russian Dressing at grocery stores. Love your version !!!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

nrg, thank you! You are not the only one who can't find Russian dressing. Russian dressing seems to come and go on the grocery shelves. But now that you have this recipe, who cares about the grocery shelves? Thanks so much for your comment.


Robynne 5 years ago

Hi there! I stumbled upon this while searching for an old Russian dressing recipe I remembered from when I was a child in the 70's and 80's. My dad and I made it, and it was from an old Oster blender cookbook. I was confused with everyone comparing it to thousand island, because the Russian I remember (homemade and the lovely dark red sweet tangy store bought that I loved!)is nothing at all like any thousand island I've ever had (we used to make thousand island at home with ketchup, mayonaise, and pickle relish...and I can't stand thousand island! I did find a post elsewhere with the original Oster recipe I remember, made some tonight, and suddenly I was a kid again enjoying my salad with homemade Russian dressing! (if only I also had a leftover roast beef sandwich to go with it...it would have completed my childhood memory!)


Robynne 5 years ago

Here is the Oster recipe I remember and love, it makes a sweet, tangy orange-red dressing:

Russian Salad Dressing

1 Small Onion

1 1/2 Cups Of Sugar

1 Can Of Condensed Tomato Soup

3/4 Cup Of Vinegar (white)

1 1/4 Cups Of Salad Oil (which You Will Pour At The End In A Small Stream)

1 Small Clove Of Garlic

1 1/2 Tablespoons Of Dry Mustard

1 1/2 Tablespoons Or Worchestershire Sauce

1 1/2 Tablespoons Of Salt (I actually reduced this to about 1/2 to 1 tsp...1 1/2 TBSP seems like a LOT!)

1 Teaspoon Of Paprika

Put all ingredients except oil in the blender, blend until smooth. Trickle in oil last, slowly, while blender is running.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Robynne, thanks so much for your comment and for providing the Oster recipe.

In my memory of Russian dressing, the Oster recipe is for what I remember Thousand Island dressing to be.

There have been comments back and forth here about which is which, and the most interesting thing is that it all might be a matter of culture and semantics. Larousse, the classic culinary dictionary, doesn't discuss either.

Thanks so much for providing the Oster recipe and contributing to these comments. Perhaps the Russian/Thousand Island enigma will find an answer in the future.


marimccants profile image

marimccants 5 years ago

Great hub, I am glad to visit this article, Thanks for sharing.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

You are welcome, marimccants!


Sun-Girl profile image

Sun-Girl 5 years ago from Nigeria

Nice hub, thanks for sharing.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Thanks for the good words, Sun-Girl!


Rudy 5 years ago

So there was some corned beef sitting in the fridge, and some fresh sub buns in the pantry. (The wonders of an Italian bakery so near the house.) The mayo didn't cut it with the corned beef, and I wanted a Russian-type dressing. Your recipe here reminds me of what they use at the delicatessens around the area, so I gave it a shot.

Got out a small leftover container. Dumped in a few spoonfuls of mayo. Squirted in some ketchup (Simply Heinz), put in a bit too much sweet pickle relish and added more ketchup until the color came out just right...then a splash of balsamic vinegar (since I'm out of white vinegar). That pretty much did it for me! I may actually try a splash of Tabasco to give it a tiny amount of zing.

But that sandwich I just had was pretty darned good. All I need now is the cole slaw! You're right--I cook the same way. For breads and pastries I stick to the recipe, but I usually do everything else in a "kinda-sorta" way and it all comes out fine. The Chicken Marsala I made last night...mmmm...

I've seen other Russian dressing recipes using horseradish. I may try those also. I'm not up for a Russian vs. Thousand Island debate, but I know many of the Thousand Island dressings I've had featured sweet pickles. No matter to me--if I like it, it's all good! And it worked perfect for a certain corned beef sandwich I had for lunch today. I'll probably try it on a burger next--brings back memories of the Big Boy burger!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Rudy, I love, LOVE your comment. Russian dressing is all about what you think it is and what works for you. There's really no ultimate Russian dressing recipe, only the one we knew in delis (big key concept here) and the one we grew up with. It's a wonderful challenge to find, create the recipe we knew from our childhood.

No need, ever, to get into a debate about Russian vs Thousand Island. They don't even LOOK the same.

I'm thinking, Russian dressing is a myth...there is no exact recipe for it, although it does involve mayo and ketchup. Russian dressing is what we each grew up with, according to our cultural and family influences.

I've got a Jewish deli close by that makes the Russian dressing of my childhood, so much my mother's recipe, but I've never asked them about the ingredients...I don't think they'd tell me. It's a trade secret, and people pay bundles to take their Russian dressing home.

So how come you are not writing on HubPages?


Kim 5 years ago

FOUND IT!!!!! I found Russian Dressing at the Walmart in Calera, Alabama. It is made by Wishbone.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Kim, glad to hear it!


Nana 5 years ago

I just used the last of my Kraft Russian dressing and was doing a search to see if any of the local stores were selling it again and found your website. My mother had found the dressing in her local little store in a town of about 500 and gave me 2 bottles for Christmas. Seriously, she wrapped them up and everything. I was so thrilled. I hadn't had any for years and I live in a little bigger town of 50,000. A guy who I went to school with now owns the little grocery store so I know if it's possible he wiil order it for me. My favorite salad is iceberg with tuna and tomatoes and Krafts Russian. I tried Wishbone and it's not anything like Krafts but I'm definitely going to try your recipe. Thanks for the stories and the memories.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Nana, I love your comment! Especially about your mom. She found them and wrapped them up for you. How awesome is that?

Russian Dressing is an enigma: so many recipes and thoughts and memories, and no firm declaration about what this dressing is supposed to be. (Phooey on the culinary experts who really can't say what Russian Dressing is: we all have our special memories, and they account for much more than somebody's expert opinion.)

Thank YOU for sharing


Susan 5 years ago

My mother used to put some mayonnaise, a little sugar, and ketchup in a jar, tightened the lid, and shook it. It was the best...still make it that way today. In fact, back then, I don't think any salad dressing came in a bottle. Maybe French Dressing or Italian. Then soon after came the packages and the carafes...Good Seasons and Hidden Valley Ranch.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Susan, I love your telling of how your mother made Russian dressing. It is as simple as that! And as you say, at that time, few salad dressings came in bottles off the grocery shelves.

I remember the advent of Good Seasons cruets. I still have an old one! That dry package, made up with vinegar, water and oil, made a fabulous marinade for baked chicken. I confess, I still use it today.

Thanks for your awesome comment.


Bad Bevan Bottom (B 3) 4 years ago

Sally, I'm just wondering wether you have shared this recipe with your mother, and if so, what she has thought of it?

I also thought that I should mention our palate changes as we get older, so the same recipe may not taste the same as you remember it from your childhood. Just a small note to anyone who thinks 'this tastes different to the one I had when I was young'. I love so many foods now that I couldn't stand as a child.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

B 3, I am sad to say that I have not shared this recipe with my mother, after all this time! She and I live at a distance from each other, and I just haven't made it a point to make this for her to taste. You are the first person to bring this up, and I promise, promise, the dressing will be made next time we are together.

You are so right about our palates changing as we grow. It will be so interesting to get my mom's reaction. Thanks for your awesome and thoughtful comment!


Lilleyth profile image

Lilleyth 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

When I make a Reuben sandwich which traditionally features Russian dressing, I mix chili sauce with mayonnaise...otherwise, if I'm lucky I will have found a rare bottle of Wishbone. Enjoy your Hubs. Thumbs up!


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania Author

Lilleyth, that sounds delicious! Thanks so much for sharing and for the good words. :)


carol 3 years ago

thanks. my husband was just asking about this dressing.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 2 years ago from Oakley, CA

Hmm...this sound good, but the photo looks nothing at all like the Russian Dressing we get at the store. That product is a much more liquid, and very dark reddish-brown color. Not creamy, and not pinkish.

The photo looks more like what I've always known as "Thousand Island Dressing," which is basically pickles, catsup, mayo and a couple of other things...

Very interesting, what different names different regions have for the same or similar foods. ;-)


Kathy 2 years ago

I haven't read all the posts, so this comment may be redundant. Ken's brand has the Russian dressing that I like the most. At least, it is the one closest to my understanding of Russian dressing. Wishbone has a version, too. It is way too sweet for me and I think it has a terrible mouth feel.


Richard (Australia) 2 years ago

One ingredient I've seen in some variations of this recipe is horseradish. I think those people adding chili sauce are doing so to replicate the "kick" or "zing" that you'd get from the definitely more Russian ingredient, horseradish. And you got to admit, it would go great with either roast or corned beef.

On a different note, Thousand Island was named for the region in New York state near the St Lawrence River (see wikipedia).

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