Q: I have been searching (for years) for a recipe for the clear French salad dressing served at the George Diamond's Steakhouse restaurant on Wabash just south of Congress. I hope you can find this one for me; it was a favorite.
—Gerry Cload, New Port Richey, Fla.
A: George Diamond's Steakhouse was a long-running, old-fashioned restaurant where, judging from newspaper stories, the humongous salads were almost as famous as the steak. The founder, George Diamond, died in 1982. The 630 S. Wabash Ave. building that housed the restaurant burned down in 2006.
The restaurant lives on via Internet memories and stories. I looked and looked and looked for the salad dressing you described and could only find a recipe in the Chicago Sun-Times online archives for one of those tomato-red French dressings — and a recipe that would serve 40 at that. So, I want to do what I always do when stumped: Put a call out to readers.
Hey, readers, do you have a recipe for a "clear French" salad dressing from George Diamond's? If so, contact me below and we'll run it.
In the meantime, try playing around with the recipe from the Sun-Times' site. Take out the condensed tomato soup, reduce the volume of the various ingredients and taste. Vinegar, oil and mustard are the classic components of a French vinaigrette, upon which this "clear" dressing you remember is surely based.
George Diamond's salad dressing
Makes: 40 servings
1 (10-ounce) can condensed tomato soup
2/3 cup oil
1/2 cup each: white vinegar, sugar
1 small onion, peeled and grated
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon each: salt, ground black pepper
Place undiluted soup, oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper, onion and garlic in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Cover and blend or process on high speed until pureed, about 2 minutes. Serve chilled. Store covered leftovers in refrigerator.
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