In my recipe box are a few scraps of paper with recipes scrawled on them. The oldest one is from my graduate school roommate. It was her claim to culinary fame. We have used it as a sweet & sour “French” dressing for years. It serves as the basis for this recipe. But the fermented ketchup elevates this recipe to another level.
The taste bud tickler: Umami
Why does the fermented ketchup make such a difference? Umami. It is the meaty, brothy complex flavor people crave. It is why food companies and restaurants add MSG (monosodium glutamate) to recipes. But there are naturally occurring sources of umami like tomatoes, mushrooms and parmesan cheese.
Umami is in tomatoes, especially concentrated tomatoes like tomato paste. Fermentation amplifies this flavor making it more complex. It turns a good salad dressing into something company-worthy.
First you need fermented ketchup. So you need to start three days before you want to make this dressing. You can. make it with regular ketchup, however it is truly a different dressing with fermented ketchup.
Besides salad, this makes a great dipping sauce, or drizzle over warm vegetables. Enjoy!
Fermented French Dressing
- 1/3 cup fermented ketchup
- 1/3 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup canola or other liquid oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 shakes onion powder
- Combine ketchup and vinegar. Mix thoroughly. If the mixture is still much thicker than "regular" ketchup, add water, a little at a time, until right consistency.
- Add maple syrup, garlic, onion powder & mix well.
- Stir in oil. I find using a whisk to be easier and faster, but not required.
- Refrigerate leftovers.