Thursday, June 2, 2011

Italian Dressing Mix

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch as our family of 6 eats, or tries to, on $6/day.

Recently, I got a crock pot recipe from my brother that called for a package of dry Italian dressing. I didn't have one, so with the help of the handy internet, I created one. It's really really good, albeit a little salty. Thus I'm going to give a range for the salt. You'll probably want to start off at the lower end. Remember, you can always add more, but you can't take it away.

I used this in my crock pot recipe. It was great. And then a made a salad dressing with it, which was so much more vibrant and soul-full than store bought dressings.

Italian Dressing Mix
adapted from
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cost: Truly--I don't know. The salt and sugar are less than a cent. I'd figure a cent or 2 for each other ingredient (if you buy cheap-ish seasonings like me), but I'm not sure how completely accurate that is.

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder (I scaled this back to about 1 1/4 tsp)
1 Tbsp onion powder
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1-2 Tbsp salt (I'd go 1)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground basil
1/4 tsp celery salt

Put all ingredients in an air-tight container and give it a good shake. Be sure to give it a good shake or stir before each use because the granular things tend to settle at the bottom while the dried leafy things hang out at the top.

To make dressing: Mix 2 Tbsp of this with 1/4 C vinegar, 2 Tbsp water, and 1/2 C olive or canola oil (I used canola). Put it in a container with a tight lid and shake the heck out of it to combine ingredients. If you want a creamy Italian, add several tablespoons (start with 2) mayo, sour cream, or yogurt (I haven't tried the yogurt, but I think it'd work just fine).


Note: If you'd like to make this with fresh herbs, you can, though of course, it won't store like the dried recipe will. You'll want to make it into a dressing that you store in the fridge. Generally speaking you use double the fresh herb that you do the dried, though that would give you a lot of dressing, so you might want to scale the recipe back. It would look something like this (warning: I haven't tried this, so you may have to adjust the flavors slightly): 1 clove garlic, crushed; 1 Tbsp onion, mashed; 1 tsp oregano, chopped, 1/2 tsp parsley, chopped, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, dash pepper, 1/4-1/2 tsp basil, chopped, dash celery salt. Combine in vinegar, oil, and water as instructed above.

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