A dressing that is very simply made and that can probably be used with a greater variety of salads than any other is French dressing. For instance, it may be used with any vegetable salad, with salads containing almost any combination of fruit, and with meat, fish, and egg salads. It is true, of course, that fruit-salad dressing blends very well with fruit salad and is considered by most persons to be more delicious than French dressing, but if one is pressed for time and does not have the necessary ingredients for making any other kind, this one may nearly always be utilized. In addition to these uses, French dressing, as has been previously explained, may also be used to marinate salads before mayonnaise or other dressing is mixed with them. A point that should always be remembered in the making of this dressing or any other dressing containing oil is that the flavor of the oil has much to do with the desirability of the finished dressing.
Measure the dry ingredients and place them in a bowl. Measure the vinegar and oil and add them to the dry ingredients. If possible, place a piece of ice the size of a walnut in the bowl. Beat with a fork until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and the oil and vinegar form an emulsion that will remain for a short time. The ingredients will separate if the dressing is allowed to stand, but the colder they are, the more easily will the emulsion form and the longer will it remain. If ice cannot be used, have the ingredients as cold as possible before mixing them.
Sometimes a more highly seasoned French dressing is desired. In such an event, there should be beaten into the dressing just described the following ingredients: