When was the last time you purchased bottled dressing? I honestly love making my own. Not only are they healthier than store bought, but so much tastier too😉.
Over 20 years ago, my mom, aunt, cousin and I took our first trip to Italy to visit my other cousin and her family who were living there as Missionary’s. Truly a trip of a life time. One of my fondest memories was getting up early with the sun, heading out for a run, stopping at a pastry shop and running home with the most delicious pastries I have ever had! I didn’t know any Italian, (and still don’t) but by the end of our trip, I was on a first name basis with the pastry chef and owner. And the best part, he started giving me an extra treat….I think they both figured out after my third or fourth visit that I ran there and he was sure I needed more food. But to be honest, all the Italians think you need more food. Ha….and I was quite lean so I think they we’re secretly trying to fatten me up😊.
I not only had some of the most delicious pastries that trip, but also some of the most incredible salads. They were simple but divine and no one uses bottled dressing in Italy…(that I experienced).
Every day for lunch and dinner there would be a HUGE bowl of greens in the middle of the table that were simply seasoned with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and than tossed with half of a lemon juiced and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Seriously, a taste of heaven.
It’s one of the first things my husband noticed when we were dating. He’d say, “your salads are so tasty. Do you ever use bottled dressing?” “Nope!” “Not since I traveled to Italy”. Now he is just happy that they not only taste great, but that I am saving money not buying bottled dressings😊.
The possibilities are also endless. After your greens are tossed with the simple dressing of lemon juice and Olive oil, you can top them with any number of toppings if you’re interested in making your salads more substantial. Such as some crispy nuts, cheese, veggies or even some left over grilled chicken or salmon.
Just last week one of my guests commented on my Salad making technique. He just returned from a trip and was told by an established chef that the best salads are those made simple. He said, “Impressive Karen, that’s exactly how I learned to make my salads last week from a really good chef….You amaze me!”
The other night I was craving something a bit different and I had some sharp, ripe Gorgonzola in my fridge that I needed to use up. I also had just enough Fage Greek Yogurt and some good quality mayo . The making of a healthy, chunky blue cheese dressing, but thick enough to be a dip. Perfection!
I absolutely love blue cheese dressing but what I don’t like is how rich it sometimes can taste with all that mayo and sour cream. In fact, I rarely have sour cream in my fridge but almost always have greek yogurt. So if you’re a blue-cheesing fan, you’re going to love this recipe. Thin out your mayo with greek yogurt for a lighter and healthier blue cheese dressing, and a tangier one too. I promise you’ll love this…..even if you don’t like yogurt.
You can serve this on a big platter with veggies and crackers or use on a those crunchy romaine leaves. I’ve done both!
CHUNKY BLUE CHEESE DRESSING OR DIP WITH GREEK YOGURT (adapted from Ina Garten – Barefoot Contessa)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 7 ounces Greek-style yogurt, such as Fage
- 1/2 cup good mayonnaise, I use this one made with Grapeseed Oil
- 4 ounces sharp Gorgonzola made from sheep cheese or other, preferable mountain, crumbled
- 5 dashes of Tabasco Sauce, or to taste
- 1 tsp of sea salt
- 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons of minced fresh chives
- Place the shallot, garlic, lemon juice, yogurt, mayonnaise, Gorgonzola, Tabasco , salt and pepper in a bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse the processor about 12 times, until the mixture is almost smooth but still a bit chunky.
- Add the chives and pulse two or three times, until combined.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to develop.
- Serve with vegetables and or crackers for dipping or with crunchy Romaine.