• Chef Pete

Italian Dressing, An Italian-American Classic

Italian dressing is a staple in our kitchen at Pietro’s Trattoria. You have probably used it countless times in your own kitchen. It’s great to use on salads; some people even use it as a marinade. Well, let me be the first tell you that Italian Dressing is not Italian. In fact if I were to make this dressing for my family in Italy, they would probably look at me and say “CHE PAZO!”, or in Italian “You’re crazy!”

This salad dressing is a true Italian-American recipe. I am proud of it because we are not just Italian, we are Italian-American. Italian dressing is a great representation of immigrants adapting their cuisine to fit the palates of people in their new home, it’s a beautiful thing.

I can confirm that this is the recipe that we use today at Pietro’s Trattoria. Unlike the meatball recipe I will be sharing with you later in the week, we have never modified this one and have received many requests for the ingredients.

The Italian dressing is very versatile and can be used in an assortment of different ways. It goes great with any type of green leaf salad. For a great contrast to the acid of the Italian dressing, use a creamy cheese like a gorgonzola or feta. Just place the cheese on top after your salad is dressed and the other toppings have been added.

Original Pietro’s Italian Salad Dressing Recipe 2 Quarts Salad Oil 1 1/2 Quarts Red Wine Vinegar 6 oz. Bottle Tomato Catsup 1 Tablespoon Salt 1 Tablespoon Garlic 1 Tablespoon Oregano 1/2 Tablespoon Black Pepper

Directions: Mix everything together and store at room temperature.

Quartered Italian Salad Dressing Recipe Suitable for Family-Sized Groups 2 Cups Salad Oil 1 1/3 Cups Red Wine Vinegar 1 1/2 oz. Tomato Catsup 1/4 Tablespoon Salt 1/4 Tablespoon Garlic 1/4 Tablespoon Oregano 1/8 Tablespoon Black Pepper

If you're not in the mood for salad, the dressing also works as a great marinade for proteins. It might even be what we use to marinate the broiled chicken at the restaurant! A quick and easy BBQ recipe is as follows:

  1. Marinate Chicken Breast and/or thighs overnight in the Italian dressing. Completely submerge your raw chicken in the dressing.

  2. Once chicken is marinated overnight, fire up your BBQ. I prefer a charcoal based grill. Once the grill is hot, bbq the chicken according health guidelines for the piece of chicken you are using.

  3. Have a separate fresh batch of Italian dressing on the side for finishing. Make sure you do not use the same dressing as what you marinated the chicken in.

  4. Once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees, take the chicken and dip it in the fresh Italian dressing. After dipping, place the chicken back on the grill for 1 minute or until the chicken begins to caramelize and has a glossy glaze to it.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to put that chicken between two pieces of bread and make a sandwich!

To download a printable version of the recipe, please click here.

Original bulk recipes like this one are for restaurant use with commercial grade quantities. I have minimized the recipes to make them suitable for home use below. Always remember, quality ingredients mean quality product.


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