Some of the coolest legacies are ones with true roots that went to the grave with those involved. Here in the Quad Cities, chefs try to recreate “Plantation Salad”, a local specialty salad dressing named for the restaurant that created it. Robust with garlic flavor and thick enough to coat a large salad with minimal amounts, it’s one of those menu items that I always order. Well, I USED to always order.
A few years ago, we were celebrating Christmas Eve with my aunt and uncle and their extended family. My aunt was raving about a new beer cheddar dip that she was serving. I grabbed a cracker and tried it and agreed that it was truly fantastic. When I commented that it didn’t taste like beer or cheddar, she said I was tasting the wrong one. What I had been eating non-stop with crackers was actually Plantation Salad Dressing. She said she had recently found a new version of the recipe that she felt was closer to any other she had tried. With my mind now in the right frame, I sampled it again and agreed. It was the best I had tasted.
So we brought the recipe home with us and began to tweak it some. Everyone that has tried our new version has agreed it is wonderful. We like it so much that while we were trying to change our eating habits we ate it every single day on heaps of lettuce. It’s thick and grabs the lettuce well meaning not much is needed to coat all the leaves. Being able to fill yourself up with a LOT of greens and only a few tablespoons of really tasty dressing is pretty awesome. The fact that I no longer have to track down a local restaurant that serves it is just a bonus.
Plantation Salad Dressing
½ cup Real Mayonnaise (We recommend Hellmann’s)
½ cup Light Mayonnaise (Hellmann’s)
¼ cup Light Sweet & Spicy French Dressing
1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
3 Large Garlic Cloves
2 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Anchovy Paste
4 oz Filtered Tap Water
I typically measure both types of mayonnaise at the same time to ensure the total amount is correct. This is best accomplished by using a plunger-style measuring cup. Not only is it easier to get the ingredients out of the cup but it also limits the number of cups you need to use!
Add all ingredients to a large bowl mixing bowl. Use a whisk to combine evenly. Refrigerate. Serving size = 2 tbsp For a large salad, combine 1½ cups iceberg lettuce, 1½ cups green leaf lettuce and 3 tbsp Plantation dressing. Top off the salad with a handful of Melba toast, pita chips or croutons that have been crushed into smaller pieces.
All these ingredients should be available at your local Walmart. I know you want to ignore it, but don’t let the anchovy paste scare you. Be sure to include it! You’ll locate it in the same area as the canned tuna.
We have a weakness for traditional sweet tea but after making Cherry Sweet Tea earlier this summer decided that flavored sweet teas make #TEArifficPairs with some of our favorite foods. My girls are finally old enough to make some things but I’m not comfortable with letting them deal with boiling water or brewing tea in our coffee pot. Since they enjoy helping, we decided to pick up some Lipton Raspberry Sweetened Iced Tea Mix during our last trip to the store. Whether they want to make a glass for themselves or a pitcher for the family, I know they can safely do that. Mix some Lipton Raspberry Sweet Tea to serve with your Plantation Salad, brew up some Lipton iced tea or even make a unique summer drink to create a delicious lunch that fits with your tastes.
Do you love garlic?