Thousand Island dressing has always been one of my favorites, a full bodied, creamy dressing with just the right amount of sweetness and tang. The name presumably comes from the Thousand Islands, which lie between the United States and Canada, in the St. Lawrence river and there is some debate as to when and where the dressing originated (to read more, visit Wikipedia).
Either which way, gastronomes everywhere would be lost with out this condiment/dressing. What would a Reuben sandwich be without this very important component?
And there certainly could not have been this (which probably would have been a good thing):
Gosh, I remember singing that darned jingle all the time when I was a kid, “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” Cripes, now it’s stuck in my head again!
If you have never made your own dressings before, listen up!
DO. NOT. BUY. store-bought dressings! They taste hideous by comparison. Really, it should be a sin. If I have one thing to be thankful for my corn allergy, it’s that I had to start making my own salad dressings (many contain distilled vinegar which is usually derived from corn and xanthan gum is one of those “fuzzy” corny ingredients (you can read about that more here).
I won’t even mention how much money you’ll save by making your own and they are so simple to make. I feel like a nincompoop for it having taken so long for me to start doing this.
And now I’m here to save you from following in my footsteps!
Sweet Pickle Relish (Corn-Free and Refined Sugar-Free)
(adapted from Gourmet)
2 cups finely chopped Cucumber (about 3 Kirby cucumbers, or you can use regular cucumbers, just be sure to seed them first).
1/2 cup finely chopped Onion
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp. Sea Salt, divided
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
1 tsp. Arrowroot dissolved in 1 tsp. Water
Toss the chopped cucumber and onions with 3/4 tsp. Sea Salt and place in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl for about 3 hours (this will draw the water out so your relish isn’t too wet), discard the liquid from the bowl, rinse the salt from the cucumbers and onions then wrap them in a cloth to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
Bring apple cider vinegar, agave nectar and 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Boil until mixture is reduced 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes.
Add cucumber/onion mixture to the brine and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 2 minutes.
Stir in the arrowroot/water mixture and simmer while stirring for 1 minute.
Transfer relish to a bowl, uncovered and chill until cold, about 1 and 1/2 hours.
Relish should keep for 1 month in an airtight container in the fridge (I find the Pint-Size Glass Mason Jars to be perfect for this and I like using the Plastic Storage Caps instead of the metal lids, they’re not as messy and are easy to open).
If Thousand Island Dressing isn’t your cup of tea, how about French Dressing? My pal Alexa over at Lexie’s Kitchen has a recipe for THE BEST French Dressing I have ever tasted in my life (and it just so happens to be free of all the top 8 allergens and can be easily made corn-free with my corn-free ketchup recipe! Mike actually walked in on me licking the bowl one afternoon.
That sounded a little weird, didn’t it?
What is your favorite way to use Thousand Island (and/or French) dressing?
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