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Italian Vinaigrette Recipe - The Red Dress Vinaigrette

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Red Dress Vinaigrette and the Legacy of Miss Martha Moore

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As far back as I can remember, this Italian vinaigrette recipe has been on the table. I’ve watched the crushed garlic get fork smashed with paprika in the hands of my grandmother, my mother and myself. The simple act of pressing the spices into the garlic sends me back in time… every time.

I knew this vinaigrette had a history because it was just a given in the kitchens I stood in and watched. It was the first salad dressing I remember liking. In fact, I remember liking it before I liked the salad. It’s gone through a few iterations as it was passed along, each being subjected to particular tastes and trends. For example, my mother took out the olive oil and replaced it with water. She swapped out red wine vinegar for rice vinegar. I doubled down on the dill and put the EVOO back in. I won’t know who did what prior to that but I’m pretty sure that fork smashing part was always there.

So before I pass this precious piece of my family history along, I want you to know about Miss Martha Moore and perhaps think about us as you smash the garlic with your fork yourself.

The Legacy of Martha Eleanor Zumwalt Daddi-Moore

Martha Eleanor Zumwalt Daddi-Moore was born July 12, 1899. She raised 5 children, owned 2 homes and 3 restaurants in San Francisco. While she never made it to high school, she earned her own money and invested it well. She was savvy.

She had a large home and hosted family holiday dinners where she shared this recipe with whomever was working in her kitchen. But my mom picked this recipe up while working as a busboy in Martha’s restaurant as a young girl. Though I’ve been playing with this recipe for almost 30 years, my mother finally wrote it down for me 3 years ago. And with her permission, I am sharing it with you all now. I named it the Red Dress Vinaigrette. Please think of us and enjoy…

Health Benefits of The Red Dress Italian Vinaigrette Recipe

  • Healthy fats dressing

  • Substitute water for the oil and get a healthy fat free dressing

  • How to use: marinade steamed vegetables in the fridge.

  • Vegan

  • Garlic boosts the immune system and lowers cholesterol. Garlic is also an antioxidant that had anti cancer, anti bacteria and anti fungal properties. Garlic has been said to reduce heart disease and risk of dementia as well as burn belly fat and detoxify the body.

  • The EVOO is anti inflammatory (but the tomatoes are not)

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