Mom and the Mitch Miller Salad Dressing

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So who is having flashbacks to Mitch Miller and his “Sing Along with Mitch” popular television show in the early ’60’s?  I can still see his face and watching him direct the men’s choir with the words to songs flashing across the bottom of the screen so we could sing along at home.  My mom and grandmother loved his show and I would join in and sing with them.  I was probably in about fourth grade and felt so grown up being allowed to join in on this activity with them. They both knew almost all the lyrics and rarely had to look up as they knitted or sewed some kind of project on their lap.

One of my favorite parts of the show was at the end when a celebrity would be hidden and in disguise among the twenty-five choir members.  It was a game to find out who it was that week and how they were disguised.  Some celebrities included Johnny Carson, Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle, and even Shirley Temple.  The program ran from 1961 until the network canceled it in 1964, a victim of changing musical tastes like Elvis Presley and the Beatles.  Mitch Miller was not a fan of rock ‘n roll and one of the reasons he wanted audiences to sing the ‘Old Time” songs.  It was obvious that his audience was an older age group and advertisers wanted instead to target the youth market.

This whole scenario came back in a flash when I found mom’s old clipping in her recipe box for “Mitch Miller’s Salad Dressing.”  So how did this come about?  Did he turn to cooking to ease the pain of being canceled?  Was it a recipe from his mother or wife?  I guess we’ll never know but let me tell you about his salad dressing. It sounded very different so I had to make it.  Two hard-boiled eggs are mashed up to a paste along with salt, pepper, dry mustard, and dried basil.  It is then shaken in a jar with salad oil, wine vinegar, a splash of lemon juice, and red onion sliced into thin rings.  I used an old blue Ball canning jar to store it.

It was a rather unusual recipe and I was not sure how it would taste but it was good.  I am a big fan of red onion and loved how they got pickled as the dressing chilled and the flavors blended.  It’s not the prettiest of dressings so shake it hard before tossing it with the lettuce and then you barely see the dressing except for the red onion.  Keep this dressing in mind when you have leftover hard-boiled eggs like at Easter.

Mom may have enjoyed the old-time Mitch Miller songs, but when she was in her 90’s guess what her favorite song was-  Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars!  She would listen to that song and look up all the versions of people dancing to it on her iPad.  Sorry Mitch. But your salad dressing still made it into mom’s recipe box.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Mitch Miller's Salad Dressing
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard'
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¾ cup salad oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced thinly into rings
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce, torn or cut into chunks (or your favorite lettuce)
  1. Chop up the eggs, and with a fork, make a paste of the eggs with the salt, dry mustard, pepper, and basil. Spoon into mixture into a mason or other container.
  2. To the jar add the salad oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and onion rings, saving some for garnish. Shake well, then refrigerate to blend flavors.
  3. Just before serving, place lettuce in a salad bowl. Shake the dressing well and pour desired amount over the lettuce and toss well. Garnish the top of salad with reserved onion rings and serve immediately.




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16 Responses to Mom and the Mitch Miller Salad Dressing

  1. May 4, 2021 at 5:46 am #

    Mom served this when she made beef stroganoff. It was one of my favorite meals.

    • May 4, 2021 at 6:07 am #

      Alan, I didn’t know that! Thank you for telling me!

  2. May 4, 2021 at 10:19 am #

    Good memories Kidd and you tell it well. I’m gonna make this dressing because I only have three I make now and I also love red onion. You are a PRO with your sets and photos. Love the musical notes napkin.

    • May 4, 2021 at 8:47 pm #

      Gayle, I’m glad you noticed the napkin! I have a box filled with scrap pieces of fabric and I thought the one with musical notes was appropriate.

  3. May 4, 2021 at 10:38 am #

    Wow!! Mitch Miller!! For real?? My father LOVED that show!! I’ll be visiting Gram in the home on Thursday …. I’ll ask her if she remembers the show and if she ever heard of a salad dressing made like that!! Thanks for sharing and thanks for the memories!!

    • May 4, 2021 at 8:49 pm #

      Sue, I am betting your Gram will remember. It was such a popular show. I wish I knew where my mom got the recipe so long ago.

  4. May 4, 2021 at 7:15 pm #

    Another great story, recipe and photo! You have a talent w food storytelling and food styling, Debbie. (I’m sure you’re a talented cook as well!)

    I’ve never heard of the show “Sing Along with Mitch”, but it sounds like fun and such a warm memory. Maybe I can find a recording online . . .

    • May 4, 2021 at 8:53 pm #

      Denise, you will find many recordings and photos of the show online. It’s one of those old time ones people remember well.

  5. May 4, 2021 at 7:16 pm #

    Oops! I just realized you included a video! Thank you. I thought it was just a photo.

    • May 4, 2021 at 8:55 pm #

      Denise, the video is only a couple of the shows to get an idea what it was like. There are many more online.

  6. May 5, 2021 at 9:12 pm #

    We watched Sing Along with Mitch at my grandmother’s and my Mom would play his records and we kids would march around the dining room table and sing! I have his Christmas album still! I never knew about the hidden celebrities, what a cool thing! Thanks for the great memories. I definitely will try this recipe too.

    • May 5, 2021 at 9:24 pm #

      I love your memories, Lynne! Thanks for sharing. So many have great memories of this show.

  7. May 7, 2021 at 6:29 am #

    Great story! I was too young to see the show, but remember listening to the Mitch Miller singers on the compliation Christmas album that my parents would play every year – it was really fun to see them in the video clip. *Also*: the image of your mom grooving to the Bruno Mars song will keep me smiling all day! What a fun memory – awesome, simply awesome.

    • May 8, 2021 at 6:35 am #

      Mary Kay, the image of my mom watching “Uptown Funk” with her iPad in her lap is in my head forever. Whenever I am missing her, I will go watch it and it makes me smile and not hurt so much. When that song was at its peak of popularity and people were dancing to it and posting videos from all over, she had two favorites besides the original video: the one with the old Hollywood movie dancing clips, and the one that a school teacher from Texas did with his students.

  8. February 12, 2024 at 12:04 pm #

    My parents loved Mitch Miller too. They would make his beef stroganoff and it was a favorite. How I wish I still had that recipe.

    • February 12, 2024 at 7:03 pm #

      Beth, I would love to see that recipe too!

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