Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
Homemade is always better. One of the reasons I insist on making food from scratch is the fact that it gives me something I can control. There are so many things going on in the world over which I am powerless. But I can, and do control what I eat and what I feed to the people I love.
Making homemade salad dressing is not difficult at all. Not only does it taste so-ooo-o much better and fresher, you have the added bonus of avoiding ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial flavorings and colors, propylene glycol, polysorbate, xanthum gum, and even EDTA (yikes!) as a preservative. Even if these ingredients are "safe", what cook has such items on hand to add to their food?
When I was a girl helping my Mother in the kitchen, one of my jobs was making the salad. Mama, who is an incredible cook, and who loves a good salad, just does not like making them. I have known other people who feel the same way. And from the looks of the bagged salads in the produce department an entire industry has been built upon those sentiments. I have been on my soapbox before about bagged lettuces, so I will skip that rant for now.
When it is too hot to cook, I make a lot of fresh salads to serve as the main dish, with maybe a sandwich on the side, or a cold soup. I take just as much care making salads as I do with any other dish. I find the handling and washing all the fresh ingredients to be very pleasant. Maybe because my Mother praised me so much for the beautiful salads I made?
I just made a salad with baby romaine lettuce from our next door neighbor's garden, a Kirby cucumber from my Mother-in-law's garden, thinly sliced red onion, fresh cherries, toasted pecans, homemade croutons, and served it with homemade blue cheese dressing.
Blue Cheese Dressing
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (more to taste)
In a blender, blend together the garlic paste, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, along with salt and pepper to taste. With the motor running, add the oil and blend the mixture until it is combined well. Add the sour cream, the cheese, and 2 Tbsp. water, or enough to obtain the desired consistency. Blend the dressing until it is combined well, then transfer to a bowl. Stir in additional crumbled cheese, if desired, and correct seasonings.