I will never buy salad dressing again.
I saw a post on the PBS Food Facebook page recently about a book called “What Actors Eat When They Eat” (hilarious title!) by Rex Lease and Kenneth Harlan. Published in 1939, the book contains the favorite recipes of more than 100 of the biggest actors and actresses at the time. It also features publicity photos (including a now-shocking shot of Al Jolson in black face), bios listing the actors birth date (no year for most of the women), height, weight (!), and the studio they were contracted with, and funny notes about the food. It is really interesting and I’ve highlighted two more recipes I hope to create and share with you before I have to return the book to the library.
I decided to try this French Dressing recipe submitted for the book by Judy Garland. It looked really easy, I had a hankering for salad, and I loved the page dedicated to her. Wizard of Oz was released in 1939, but it’s clear this book was compiled the year before, as her bio lists her latest movie as Listen Darlin’.
Judy instructs the cook to mix the dressing into the salad using your hands, to ensure that all the lettuce is coated evenly! She ends by saying, “Then you eat it and you’ll say it tastes swell. And mother says it’s very healthy too.”
I used smoked paprika and it was beyond swell… like I said, I don’t think I’ll ever buy dressing again.
1/2 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 close garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Put all the ingredients into a salad bottle and shake! Enjoy!