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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Meridian Hills Special Salad





When I was in high school, my best friend Deni and I spent way too much time at Meridian Hills Country Club.  Her grandfather was happy to pay the bill so we indulged.  We'd eat lunch there most days.  Jimmy would bring us our favorite salad then fresh strawberries for dessert.  YUM! 

For oh so many years as an adult, I tried to figure out what the dressing was on the salad.  I'd ask around and nobody could find out.  Then, one day sbout 6 years ago I was meeting a friend there for lunch and I discovered the salad was no longer listed on the menu.  Horrors!  Oh, but we can still make it for you the waiter assured me.  They did and it tasted just like always.  Wonderful.  So I asked the waiter if he'd be so kind as to ask the chef what was in the dressing.  He came back out and said it was just a Caesar dressing.  Hmmm, it certainly didn't taste like that.  On the way out of the parking lot, the AH HA moment hit - pickle relish.  There were little specks of green in the dressing.  On the way back to the office I stopped at the grocery and bought the ingredients.  That night I made my own Meridian Hills Special Salad.  It tasted just like the real deal.  And, the pickle relish made all the difference.

The Caesar dressing I use is homemade but there are some really good ones sold commercially.  I just like the recipe I've always used and I like knowing what goes into it.  The recipe came from a friend MANY years ago.  I've not measured in eons so all the measurements are guesstimates.  Actually, talking about the dressing reminds me of a funny story.  The friend who gave me the recipe was going to teach me to jet ski.  I showed up at his house with my makeup still on.  He suggested I take the makeup off since I'd be honked off when I dumped the ski and my makeup ran.  I said I had no intention of dumping the ski.  Thanks to doing a lot of Jazzercise in those days I had great balance and was lucky enough to not dump the ski.  He said it was the first time he'd taught someone and they'd not dumped it :-)  Today, well, I'd have to take the makeup off!

Now, when I have leftover turkey, this is one of the recipes I typically make.  Don't you love to make those dishes that evoke wonderful memories?

Meridian Hills Special Salad

Ingredients:

For the salad:



chopped lettuce
slivered swiss cheese
chopped turkey
chopped ham
Caesar dressing
pickle relish

For the dressing:




Eggbeaters - equal to two eggs
dijon mustard, about 1 T
lemon juice or lime juice or key lime juice - about 2 T
white wine vinegar, a couple of teaspoons
anchovies - 1 tin
Worcestershire Sauce - a couple of good dashes
Tabasco - a few drops
garlic - about 1 T chopped
olive oil - until the dressing thickens

Directions:

To make the dressing, put the anchovies in the blender.  Add everything else but the olive oil.  Puree until it's well blended and smooth.  Slowly pour in olive oil until the dressing thickens.

To make the salad, layer the lettuce in a bowl and top it with the meats and cheese.  You can also add hard-cooked eggs and ripe olives.  Pour on some dressing and top it with a dollop of pickle relish. 

9 comments:

Kimberly Peterson said...

The secret to a good salad is always in the dressing - an area I constantly struggle with! Thank you for this wonderful, wonderful dressing recipe. Oh and the salad of course. But I am a bit obsessed with dressing, lol.

Monet said...

Hi Kate. What a fun story. I love when you finally solve a food "mystery" like that. This salad dressing sounds amazing. I'm sure it turns a good salad into something great! Thank you for sharing this yummy meal. I hope you have a wonderful New Years with your family and friends!

Anonymous said...

Now if I can just find the recipe to the dressing they used at Brother Juniper's/Christopher's restaurants. It was absolutely wonderful, and I remember it used a seasoning called Spike.

lori said...

Do you remember the Tee Pee famous salad and that dressing?? Would LOVE to find that recipe. I remember that it was light orange in color!

Lizzy said...

So fun to read about local favorites.
I don't know if I could have solved the dressing mystery! But glad you did so we all can try this~

Now on to MY mystery! What were the yummy bars that looked like brownies but were not chocolate? They had delicious caramel undertones. I think I sampled every one of your desserts, but those were the ones I am dying to make :)

Toby said...

I love it when I can pick out the ingredients to a "secret" recipe on my own. Congrats to you on that!

Peggy said...

This salad sounds wonderful. I love Caesar Dressing and the idea of adding pickle relish definitely intrigues me!

Jason Phelps said...

Great detective work and I bet now being able to make this when you want is going to be bring a lot of joy!

Jason

Tiffany said...

This sounds really good, I will try it, and it just so happens I just bought a jar of sweet relish on a whim!