Makers come in all shapes, sizes and talents. The one thing they have in common: they sure are creative with what’s in — or on — hand.
Which brings us to our “R&R” recipe of the month: Thousand Island dressing with fresh greens!
Did you know that this ever-present staple of American salad dressing cuisine actually originated in New York’s Thousand Islands (hence the name) and that those pickles are meant to represent the “islands”?! And of course, it is disputed who was the actual creator (too many chefs…?)
Although there are other contenders, two stories seem to be the most popular. One is that a resourceful chef of George (builder and owner of Boldt Castle on Heart Island in the New York Thousand Islands region) and Louise Boldt whipped up the recipe with random available ingredients when a dressing was needed.
Boldt Castle on Heart Island, Thousand Islands, New York.
The other (which presents itself as the true contender) is that Sophia LaLonde, a fisherman’s wife, would make the dressing for her husband George to take on fishing trips. He would serve it to his male — and female — fishing-mates. One such was an actress named May Irwin. May knew the Boldts. Rumor has it, she may have been the source of the recipe leak! According to a recent owner of The Thousand Islands Inn, Allen Benas, he discovered the original instructions for “Sophia’s Sauce”, a.k.a. Thousand Island dressing, in the restaurant — that Sophia and George once owned...
In any event, Thousand Island dressing has been lending flavor to our salads and sandwiches since the early 1900s.
Mix together these ingredients:
1 1/2 cups prepared or homemade mayonnaise
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced or grated onion
3 to 4 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder or freshly ground black pepper
1 large hard-boiled egg, peeled, pressed through a sieve
A dash of Worcestershire sauce or the 21st century addition a dash of sriracha or hot sauce
Or a kick of horseradish (if following the fisherman’s wife’s recipe!)
Pour (amount to your liking) over fresh greens and vegetables. Enjoy!
Love the Thousand Islands region? This handmade Thousand Islands topographic pillow by Greentree Fiber Arts may interest you! It’s the perfect house gift if you are going to stay with friends at their house or on their boat.