This Italian dressing mix is a combination of eight pungent herbs that you can store and use to whip up fresh Italian dressing in seconds whenever the mood strikes! You don't have to use this just for salad dressing. Try it. Experiment with it.
1. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, oregano, pepper, thyme, basil, parsley, celery salt and regular salt. Store in a tightly sealed container.
2. To prepare dressing, whisk together 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2/3 cup canola oil, 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons of the dry mix.
My Note: I eliminated the 2 tablespoons of salt and it was just right without it. I doubled this recipe to fill a 16 oz bottle. I used balsamic vinegar which makes this extra special. It seemed like the amount of oregano was excessive but really it is perfect once mixed and poured on the salad. This dressing mixes and tastes best when the ingredients are allowed to "marry" overnight in the refrigerator. Finally a wonderful salad dressing that tastes as good as any in an Italian restaurant - we loved it! **- Update - Since I doubled the recipe, I used 1 tablespoon garlic salt and one tablespoon garlic powder which really gives this dressing a smooth taste with less saltiness. After making this quite a few times, adding a bit more sugar will temper down the acidic taste. I've also been adventurous and added dried, minced onion bits.
To replicate the Zesty Good Seasons mix, add 1 tablespoon dried red and green bell pepper mix (found with the dried spices) plus 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes. Also, I suggest omitting the 2 tablespoons salt. You may want to add 1 tablespoon lemon pepper (not lemon pepper salt!) to increase the "zest." Experiment with balsamic vinegar, fruit juices (orange juice is great with red wine vinegar) and flavored oils. Side notes: Blend the vinegar and 2 tablespoons mix and let sit for at least 5 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. This helps dissolve the individual spices and herbs. The water is unnecessary. You only need that with the Good Seasons mix, for goodness knows what chemical reaction to occur. This dressing will not stay emulsified (mixed) when stored in the refrigerator. Just shake it up well before use. I have used it for everything from marinading steaks to on popcorn. I think it is actually more flavorful that the packaged kind. I recently added this mix to a 50/50 blend of mayo/sour cream to make a veggie dip. It was great. I would say it would also be great for chips, or if you thin it with a little milk, it would make a great ranch dressing.
I have made it several times with modifications per our taste of the day. I've used olive oil, canola, red wine vinegar, cider vinegar, balsamic and combinations of these. I have also substituted salt-free seasoning (just the cheap kind from Big Lots) for the salt. These changes all work well. Substituting Marjoram or Savory for the Thyme, celery seed for celery salt, 1/2 garlic powder for the garlic salt also works well. Sometimes I add a squirt or two of spicy brown mustard when mixing in the oil & vinegar. The great thing about this recipe is it is a versatile Italian season mix. I spooned out this mix into a cold pasta salad, and I spooned some into a homemade pasta sauce.
When spooning out the seasoning mix, I felt that I couldn't get an even amount of the granulated seasoning and flaky seasoning. The next time I make this, I will separate items like sugar, salt, onion powder, pepper, celery salt from items like basil, oregano, parsley, thyme and spoon 1T of each (granulated and flaky).