Italian dressing may be the stepchild of American dressing tastes, but it’s a common sight in American refrigerators, and it’s versatile in its own right. Aside from being a competent salad dressing, it also makes for a pretty good marinade and seasoning, including for meats.
Aldi sells a bottled Italian dressing, but the grocer also sells a powdered dressing and seasoning mix.
Tuscan Garden Italian Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix is a Regular Buy. That means you can find it in stores all the time. The 7-oz. mix packet is 45 cents.
It’s important to know that you’ll need three additional ingredients if you want to make salad dressing:
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 3 Tbsp water
- 1/2 cup oil (i.e. vegetable, canola, olive, etc.)
To make the dressing, first you need to find a container with a tight-fitting lid, because you’re going to be shaking this thing. (If in doubt, test the container with regular water before you attempt to make this mix. I didn’t, and my first attempt created something of a mess.) You add the Italian mix, the vinegar, and the water, and then cover and shake vigorously until everything is combined.
Next, you add the oil to the mix, then cover and shake again until well blended.
And you’re done.
The package says that, to maintain freshness, you can refrigerate the dressing for up to four weeks. It does note that the contents will separate when refrigerated, so to reuse you should let the dressing stand at room temperature for 1 hour and then shake before using. In that sense it’s maybe a little more fussy than traditional Italian dressing.
So how does it taste?
I really liked it. It was both a little bitter and a little sweet, like the Italian dressing I get from a restaurant. I liked it a lot more than the stuff from a bottle. It didn’t make a lot, unfortunately (maybe 1 cup total) so this isn’t the most efficient option if you like Italian dressing often, but it was good.
This Italian mix is a solid option for those who like Italian dressing. It’s not too hard to make, and it has a good taste and consistency.