A native Midwesterner, I was raised on steakhouses where the only question besides “How do you want your meat cooked?” was “Whatcha want on your salad?” The answer was always the same, “Italian” (aka vinaigrette), because it was usually the only one made in-house. (Everything else was from a bottle.)
That stereotype was shattered not long ago when a friend took me to Del Frisco, the prime steakhouse chain that started in Dallas. Imagine my surprise when the waitress asked what I wanted on my salad. “What’s your house dressing?” I asked. “Creamy avocado,” she said.
A few minutes later, she placed before me the coldest bowl of chilled mixed greens with a soft blanket of creamy, pale green dressing topped by two strips of thick smoked bacon. I was transported back to my 1960s childhood when my mother served big chef salads to her bridge ladies for lunch and made what was in those days an “exotic” dressing—creamy avocado. I loved it then; I still do. I recently found this faded recipe in her files.
—Sally Stich, Denver, Colo.