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CELEBRATE THE FOURTH

Dress it up fresh and light for the holiday

By Sheryl Julian
Globe Staff / June 30, 2010

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American cooks based their early dressings on European classics, such as vinaigrette. In almost no time, they got sweeter and thicker and became more of a dip than a dressing. What we call French dressing, with paprika and honey, is never served in France. Our blue cheese dressing, with chunks of cheese and a creamy base, is often served as a dipping sauce for crudites. Ranch, a vinegary mixture of mayo, sour cream, and buttermilk, is one of the most popular dressings served or sold. Many moms get their kids to eat vegetables by presenting them raw with ranch. All these dressings are commercially made, but they’re a cinch to mix yourself. Make it a weekly practice, and rather than sending the old bottles from your fridge to recycle, use a funnel to fill them with your own salad toppings.