Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Le Parisien Vinaigrette Dressing

Le Parisien Vinaigrette Dressing
Le Parisien Vinaigrette Dressing has been one of my favorites for many years!

In college I supported myself by working at a now-closed Utah restaurant named Le Parisien. It was a fun place to work, and the tips were so good that I kept waiting on tables there long after I graduated and became a teacher. At Le Parisien I had memories of serving people like Robert Redford, Vincent Price, and Billy Joel, and "the restaurant" as we called it, was where I learned to eat things like escargot, Bernaise sauce, and hearts of palm. Besides the famous Le Parisien garlic bread, one thing that made this place a favorite with locals was this wonderful Le Parisien Vinaigrette Dressing. I ate a salad with that dressing nearly every shift I worked there, so you can imagine how excited I was when stores in Utah started carrying it about fifteen years ago.

A few years ago I was sad to hear that Max Mercier, the colorful owner of Le Parisien, had died. I wondered what would happen with the dressing, but he obviously passed on the business because the dresing was still on the shelf at my store. Nowdays, I can get Le Parisien dressing at Costco in Utah (although they don't carry it at Costco.com, so I doubt if it's available in other cities.) Whether or not it's widely available, and despite the complaints I'll probably get from people who would never buy pre-made dressing, I've loved this dressing so much for so long it seemed fitting to feature it for Kalyn's Kitchen Picks, where I talk about products I love.

At "the restaurant" this dressing was served on simple iceberg lettuce, but I'm more likely to eat it on romaine or cucumbers. However, my absolute favorite use for Le Parisien vinaigrette is to mix it with chopped fresh basil or basil puree and make basil vinaigrette for drizzling on tomatoes. When it's summer and tomatoes are starting to ripen, this is something I always have in my fridge.

For my readers in Utah, if you've never tried this dressing, give it a try. It just might become one of your favorite dressings too.  (If you're not in Utah, I recently found a place to order Le Parisien Vinaigrette online.  I have no affiliation with this company; I'm just offering that link because so many people have asked me where they can get this dressing.)

South Beach Suggestions:
Although the label lists sugar as an ingredient, this dressing has 0 grams of sugar in 2 tablespoons of dressing, so it's perfect for the South Beach Diet or any other low-glycemic eating plan.
counter customizable free hit

30 comments:

  1. Even though I can't get the dressing, I still enjoyed the post. Did you really serve those celebrities?

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  2. Kalyn, I hopped on your blog from the Utah Hive. I am so, so very impressed with your blog. The photography is amazing, the lay-out is on the top of my list for design and presentation, it is so professional looking! The recipes look delicious to say the least. Very good job! Will be back!

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  3. I can't find this online...can you list the ingredients? It sounds fabulous, and it would be wonderful to re-create it at home.

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  4. no attempt at a recipe ? (for us unlucky foreigners)

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  5. Hi Kalyn,

    This is my 1st time here. You have a wonderful and interesting blog! Will be dropping by more often from now. =) Will definitely try out some of your wonderful recipe.

    Jade

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  6. I will have to go to Costco and try this dressing. Thanks for the tip!

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  7. Susan, yes it was very fun serving those famous people. They were all very nice, but Vincent price was especially charming. And Robert Redford was very short (just a little taller than me actually!)

    Hot garlic, thanks you for the nice feedback. Fun finding your blog too.

    Marisa and anonymous, I debated about listing ingredients in the post and decided not to because it's not really something that can be re-created at home (based on the ingredients.) But here is what's listed on the label: soybean oil, water, red & white wine vinegar, mustard seed, salt, sugar, xanthan gum, black pepper, polyglycerol esters of fatty acids, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, citric acid, tartaric acid, spices.

    Jade, thanks! Appreciate it.

    Maria, you'll love it.

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  8. Oh My Gawd! You use store bought vinaigrette? I would never do that. Now I do buy jars of minced garlic, but that's different. :-)

    Z

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  9. Michael, I know it's shocking but I'm not embarrassed to admit it. (I've been using this dressing long before I really even knew how to cook, so there's no turning back now.)

    I do like to make my own dressing too, but this one is still a favorite.

    (And I buy the jars of minced garlic and ginger too, although I'll use the whole garlic cloves and ginger root too when it seems like it's needed.)

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  10. In my family you knew you were a "grown-up" when you got to go to lunch with my grandmother and the aunties at Le Parisien! Thanks for writing about it.

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  11. Kaylyn, I hope you understood that my post was meant as a good natured tease with a touch of irony.

    Z

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  12. I can't knock store bought, or anyone else's choice, because I sometimes buy bottles of Olive Garden dressing. I don't eat there, I just get one or two bottles to go from the bar.

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  13. Jenefr, that is so cute. I have a lot of fun memories of that place.

    Michael, yes I did know you were kidding. I figured anyone who admits to buying pre-minced garlic couldn't be a real food snob. (Thank goodness for that. I hate food snobbery!)

    Melissa, I like their dressing too! Didn't know you could buy it.

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  14. I'll bet many of us food bloggers have a favorite bottled dressing; I know I do. Even though I mostly make my own, there are times when that bottled favorite is the only one that will do. Thanks for sharing yours.

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  15. hi - I'm bingsy - lurker for about 6 months.

    I always like an insider tip and appreciate the product review, and you never know with places like Costco. I might be able to find it here in Texas.

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  16. I really love your blog and recipes and links. I'm in Sandy, what stores sell this dressing? I saw someone mention Costco but I wasn't sure if that was where we can buy it.

    Yep, it is hot! I'm hosting a German student this year and I'm afraid he is going to be miserable the next couple weeks since we don't have an air conditioner! I'll be fixing your salad and others this next couple weeks because it is nearly unbearable to cook in this weather.
    Thanks again.

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  17. Christine, I'm sure you're right! (Some might not admit it though.)

    Bingsy, Hi. Thanks for commenting. I don't know if you can get this in Texas, but maybe.

    Holly I shop at Costco in SLC and Bountiful and they both have it, and my Smiths Food King store also carries is. (Glad you like the blog!)

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  18. Kalyn, I read about this dressing the other day on your blog and then last night was in the Bountiful Costco and saw it so promptly bought it - it's great - I had it today on fresh lettuce and tomatoes bought at the Bountiful farmer's market. I only ate at Le Parisien a time or two when I was younger and didn't have much money so I have vague memories of it. However, I've just read your recommend of The Paris restaurant - hadn't heard of it - sounds as if it's over by the King's English? I enjoy your blog - thanks.

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  19. Eleanor, glad to hear you like the dressing. It's simple but delicious isn't it? Yes, The Paris is right by King's English. Pricey but very good food. Glad you're enjoying the blog, thanks for taking the time to comment.

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  20. Kalyn, I found your mozzarella salad & the subsequent link to the page about Le Parisien vinaigrette. I found that Bowles Bros. packages and sells this dressing & others online. I've included the link below: https://www.bowlespackaging.com/categories.php?category=Salad-Dressings

    Enjoyed your blog!

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  21. TX2GA, glad you're enjoying the blog. Thanks for sharing a place for people to find this online. I'm still buying it at Costco in Salt Lake and still love it.

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  22. I was a waiter at Max's in the 80s - I found your fantastic blog while looking for the vinaigrette - is it still available? Will do anything (just about) to get a bottle or two.

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  23. I worked there in the 80s too! I think I started about 1977 and worked there about 10 years or so. Yes, you can still buy the vinaigrette in Utah; Costco has it as well as quite a few grocery stores!

    I don't know if you can get it online; never checked since I buy it at Costco.

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  24. Finally! I have been looking where I can purchase this dressing I have been calling other grocery stores and I could not find anything /: but at last I'm going to COSTCO on Monday!
    There is a online store here is the link.
    http://www.bowlespackaging.com/products/The-Original-Vinaigrette.html

    This has been by far my most favorite dressing!
    Thank-you for the info.

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  25. MB I hope you can find it at Costco, and thanks for sharing the link for those who might want to try buying it online!

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  26. I cant find it anywhere! I called the Costco here in Salt Lake City and all of them say that they dont have it!! ]:

    What Costco have you gone to find it? Also, the website is not working anymore...

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  27. Oh my goodness! So, I have been calling all the Costco's in Utah and I have found the only two Costco's that carry this dressing! AT LAST! Hahahaha!

    Murray, Utah Costco
    Salt Lake, Utah Costco

    Hope this helps to all those who are trying to get this dressing!

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  28. Glad you managed to track it down. I buy it all the time at the Costco on 1800 South and 300 West in Salt Lake. In fact, I think they have had it ever since I wrote this post.

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  29. Can you still get this at Costco in SLC? If so, can you give me the manufacturer's name? I would love to try and find some. I live in Louisiana, but remember with great fondness the Le Parisien Vinaigrette. Thanks.

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  30. Yes, Costco here still carries this, but I don't have any right now. I'll try to remember to get some and come back here with that information; feel free to remind me!

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