Here’s a midcentury classic from a jingoistic time when Americans (and specifically Kraft Foods) were happy to take international flavors and give them a uniquely inauthentic makeover. French Dressing is tangy, a bit heavy, but delicious on a composed Chef Salad (another made up conceit) which I lived on at one time in college. Makes about 14 oz.
1/2 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3/4 c vegetable oil
1/2 c ketchup
1/4 c cider vinegar
1 T white sugar
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 t lemon juice
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t Kosher salt
Method: put the onion in a blender of food processor with a little of the liquid ingredients and processed until it is pulverized, no visible bits remaining. Add oil, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, lemon juice, paprika and salt and blend until smooth. Let it set an hour before using so the sugar can dissolve and the flavors meld. Will keep quite a while in the refrigerator, or a few days on the kitchen counter.
*This is what they put on their salads on the boulevards of Paris, non? No. That would be vinaigrette, or what we call “Italian” dressing. Anyway, I’m going with the Association for Dressings and Sauces (now there’s a trade group for you) who define it as “tangy, zesty and spicy, flavored by tomato and/or paprika products added to oil (35% minimum) and vinegar”.