Old Fashioned French Dressing Recipe

I truly admire individuals who live their truth 100% of the time….whatever that truth is!  When it comes to living a lifestyle akin to the 1800’s, I can think of no better example than Tasha Tudor.  Although she passed away in 2008, her way of living, gardening, and yes, even historical sewing, still captures the imaginations and hearts of kindred spirits today.  While this post is not meant to be an overview of her life, you can be sure that I will be sharing more about her in the future.  To learn more about this little spark plug of a woman, I highly recommend checking out the family website or the fabulous book The Private World of Tasha Tudor. 

So with my garden beginning to show major signs of growth, and with my first harvest (albeit tiny) of lettuce, I decided to try Tasha Tudor’s French Dressing recipe!  This recipe is a fabulous example of simple, flavorful, and fresh cooking.  You literally just put everything in a jar, shake it up, and then leave it alone until you are ready to eat it.  And when you do, boy is it good!!!

Lets start with the recipe:

French Dressing (Excerpt from The Tasha Tudor Cookbook)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/8 cup cider vinegar

1 small yellow onion, peeled and left whole

3 gloves garlic, peeled and left whole

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 teaspoon sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon Colman’s dry mustard (ground mustard)

a few drops of Tabasco sauce

a few drops of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce

thyme, chervil, tarragon, and basil (added for flavor – do not chop)

Combine all the ingredients in a covered pint jar.  Shake well and keep at room temperature until serving time.  Remove the onion and herbs before pouring the dressing on salad.

Use dressing in all salads including chicken, tuna, potato, etc.


And now, let me tell you what I did differently…and why you should stick to the recipe!!

In an effort to use what I had in the fridge, I used chopped garlic and half of a red onion.  While the flavor, I’m sure, didn’t change much, it was quite a pain trying to fish it all out.  I tried to strain the garlic and made a bit of a mess everywhere.  So stick with a small whole onion and whole garlic cloves….save yourself the trouble!  I only had basil in my garden ready so I used that and was quite happy with the taste.  Oh and don’t worry about the brands mentioned too much – I used what I had and felt that was good enough! 🙂



Let me know if you give this recipe a try!  

2 thoughts on “Old Fashioned French Dressing Recipe

  1. Anna

    Oh that sounds so delicious!! My garden hasn’t been very successful so far this year in terms of production, but the local farmers markets have been quite plentiful! This sounds like the perfect dressing to enjoy some of this year’s bounty so far. Thanks for sharing!

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