What could be more delicious than a sweet and tart ketchup-based salad dressing? Pour this luscious homemade dressing over your salad creation, and you’ll see what a difference it makes!
What is Catalina Dressing?
Catalina dressing is a popular American salad dressing that uses tomato ketchup as the main flavouring ingredient. It usually consists of red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder and a spicy element.
Over the years, the original version of the Catalina dressing has morphed into many different variants, with the ketchup being the one ingredient that remained true.
Is Catalina Dressing the Same as French Dressing?
In the USA, French dressing is Catalina dressing.
This caused much confusion for non-Americans as the classic French dressing is, in fact, a vinaigrette. It’s the traditional recipe of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, be it white or red. Some popular additions to this recipe include garlic, Dijon mustard and shallots.
When Kraft decided to create a bottled French dressing in the US, it was the Catalina dressing as we know it. So, to differentiate the 2, chefs tend to refer to the classic recipe as French vinaigrette.
What Is the Origin of Catalina Dressing?
No one can truly verify the origins of Catalina dressing.
Some believe the Catalonia region of Spain may have inspired it, hence the etymology of its name, where its people loved the combination of sweet and savoury flavours.
Most, however, believe it is the brainchild of Kraft Foods. In 1925, this predominantly cheese producing company decided to branch out into bottled dressings. They acquired the Milani Company that had their own French dressing. It contained the ingredients we are familiar with today, except the olive oil part.
The Catalina part of the puzzle appears to indicate the spicy version of the manufactured French dressing.
Tomato ketchup: This is the clincher of what makes this Catalina dressing so sweet and tart at the same time. Ketchup is sweeter and thicker than the regular tomato sauce we find in Australia, but that would work just fine. If not sweet enough, you can add some sugar.
Red wine vinegar: Red wine vinegar is preferred over white to tame the bite that vinegar can sometimes give. Seeing there is already some in ketchup, the red wine version is a better choice.
Olive oil: As always, use good olive oil for this salad dressing. Although true Catalina dressing doesn’t contain olive oil, it makes it more like a thick sauce. The olive oil helps to make it more of an authentic dressing.
Worcestershire sauce: Love the distinctive taste of Worcestershire sauce with all its molasses, tamarind and anchovy flavours. Stick to the original and make sure you get the Lea & Perrins version.
Hot paprika: Hot and smoky paprika is called for to make this Catalina dressing. If you don’t want it spicy, use regular paprika.
Celery seeds: Much like its actual vegetable, crushed celery seeds have an astringent flavour that is earthy and slightly bitter.
Garlic and onion powder: All the necessary alliums in powder form that enhances the flavour of the dressing.
Place all the ingredients in a food processor or hand blender and blitz thoroughly.
Best Salad for This Dressing
Taco Salad with Catalina Dressing
This dairy free taco salad is so flavoursome and a perfect example that you don’t need cheese and sour cream. The Catalina dressing is beyond tasty, making the whole recipe completely delicious!
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- ½ cup tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp celery seeds
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor or hand blender and blitz thoroughly.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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I’m so excited to try this homemade dressing to my veggies and fruit salad.:) Thanks!
The Devil Wears Salad
You welcome Jerika! so tasty and so versatile.