The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.

NO.53
SUMMER2017

Driving Shoe Dressing

Driving ShoesAccording to Cooper Zelnick, the formula goes like this:


Shake together in a jar:

-¼ cup vegetable (not olive) oil
-½ cup red wine (or sherry) vinegar
-½ cup lemon juice
-2 teaspoons orange juice
-1 teaspoon smashed and minced garlic (or, for something milder, shallot)
-2 teaspoons Dijon (or, for something more fiery, English) mustard
-1 Tablespoon paprika
-1 teaspoon sugar
-salt and pepper


That, as Mr. Batali says, is the dish (or dressing). Driving Shoe Dressing is sufficiently good that addicts have been known to toss it back straight, from a demitasse, although we did alter the proportions a little by increasing the original amount of oil, so doing a demi-shot with our version may not be as refreshing.

-For most salads, including this one with orange and onions, we prefer sherry vinegar to the traditional red wine product.

-An interesting (and vastly voluminous) variation on orange vinaigrette appears in the June 1930 issue of Modern Priscilla magazine. It is worth quoting:

“2 cups oil, 1½ lemons (juice), 1½ large oranges (juice), ¾ cup powdered sugar, ½ clove of garlic (may be omitted), ½ cup tarragon vinegar, ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, ½ tablespoon mustard, ¾ tablespoon paprika, ¾ tablespoon salt.

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat well with a rotary egg beater, or mix by shaking in a tightly covered fruit [sic] jar.”

This recipe makes a quart of dressing. Obviously you would need to smash and mince the garlic before mixing the dressing. Modern Priscilla claimed that this dressing "has the advantage of keeping almost indefinitely." That may or may not be true, but it was "tested at Priscilla Proving Plant."

-We realize that both Modern Priscilla and Driving Shoe Dressing incorporate a higher proportion of acid to oil than, say, a traditional French vinaigrette. Try not to be alarmed.

-Contemporary iterations of citrus dressings variously include balsamic vinegar, blood orange juice (always welcome), honey (not always welcome), orange zest, herbs and shallots. In common with the Priscilla or Driving Shoe version, which entreats the cook not to use olive oil, they tend to specify vegetable rather than olive oil. The notion here: The Anglocentrically assertive citrus instead of the Mediterranean olive tone should predominate.

-We now are squaring the circle: If you would like a lighter shrimp dish than a pudding with your salad, try it 'barbecued'.