“Good Seasons” Italian Dressing

http://www.MelJoulwan.com/2017/06/19/good-seasons-italian-dressing/

I really love a big salad.

And I’m not saying that in a “Oh! I’m on a diet. I’ll just have a salad” way. I’m saying it in a sincere way that acknowledges that salads are crisp, cool, crunchy, filling, healthy and—when you have just the right dressing—loaded with flavor.

In my latest cookbook Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less, I included 44 salads (!) and 22 dressings, and there’s not a boring, deprivation-diet bite in the bunch.

Whenever I release a new cookbook, I’m almost always asked to name my favorite recipe. And it’s always a difficult question to answer because there are the recipes I enjoy eating (all of them!) and then there are the special ones that become every-week staples. When Well Fed 2 was published, the recipe that became my go-to favorite was Zingy Ginger Dressing. And in Well Fed Weeknights, the big winner is definitely this ‘Good Seasons’ Italian Dressing.

When I was a kid, it was always my job to set the table, cook the rice, and mix the batch of Good Seasons Italian Dressing—because we ate a tossed salad with dinner almost every night. The Good Seasons mix came in little foil packets, and we had one of the special cruets—free with purchase!—that was marked with lines on the side for the perfect amount of oil, vinegar, and water.

My tastebuds have conditioned my brain to immediately associate the word ‘salad’ with the distinctive flavor of Good Seasons Italian dressing. (Honestly, I think it’s the celery seed that does it.) One bite is like a time machine back to my childhood kitchen: dark wood cabinets, super-seventies (and cool at the time) carpet that was printed to look like hardwood floors, and my whole family in the kitchen, eating and being loud, as usual.

The original mix from the grocery store isn’t a total nutritional nightmare, but it does contain some unnecessary sugar, along with maltodextrin (also sugar), xantham gum, and the always mysterious “natural flavor.” This homemade version can be made in under 5 minutes and the flavors are much brighter and fresher than that store-bought stuff.

‘Good Seasons’ Italian Dressing

Prep 5 minutes | Makes about 1 cup | Whole30 compliant

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse (granulated) garlic powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse (granulated) onion powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

  • 1/8 teaspoon celery seeds

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
1

In a pint-size Mason jar, combine the dry spices, water, and vinegar. Whirl with a stick blender until combined—the liquid will turn opaque and a little frothy. Then, with the blender running inside the jar, slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified.

You Know How You Could Do That?

I love this on a basic green salad: lettuce, red cabbage, cucumbers, scallions, maybe some slivered bell peppers. But it’s very versatile! Try it on…

— sliced summer tomatoes and avocado
— cold cauliflower rice mixed with diced olives and tomato
— quick cucumber salad: sliced cucumbers, slivered red onion, sliced black olives
— Italian slaw: slivered green cabbage, scallions, slivered red bell pepper, fresh parsley
— diced, cold, cooked chicken with diced red bell pepper, fresh basil, and cold zucchini noodles

For more than 40 more irresistible salad ideas, treat yourself to a copy of Well Fed Weeknights.

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Comments

  • Sue says:

    How did you know I was planning a dinner salad tonight that was in need of a dressing??

  • Kathy says:

    Thanks, Mel, I’ve been trying without much success to duplicate this recipe, too. When I was a kid, my mom would marinate cut up chicken in this then we would grill it. Thanks for restoring a healthier version of childhood for me !

  • Katherine says:

    I never had Good Seasons growing up because my family always made our own dressings right on top of the salad we had most nights at dinner, so that’s how I learned to make a vinaigrette. But my husband comes from a GS family and he and his sibs might appreciate this! I will say most people seem stumped at the idea of making their own dressings and I cringe whenever I am at someone’s house or a party and out comes some bottled concoctions to ruin my salad. I have always felt all the store bought stuff is gross!