You know the moment. You are in a restaurant. You’ve placed your order. Your order comes with a salad and the waitperson asks you what kind of dressing you want. What do you answer?
For me, it’s honey mustard. For my mom, it’s blue cheese. As a child, I could never understand this. Why would you want something so stinky on your salad? As I got older, I grew to appreciate blue cheese and even came to like crumbles of it in my salad. But I could never get past the gloppy texture of the actual dressing.
Annie Sommerville has a perfect recipe for blue cheese dressing in her classic book Everyday Greens and like so many things, blue cheese dressing is a totally different animal when you make it yourself. The first time I made this recipe years ago I couldn’t believe the flavor or the texture. I also couldn’t believe how good it tasted over summer’s heirloom tomatoes and spicy arugula which is how Sommerville recommends you serve it. Last weekend I found myself with some wonderful tomatoes but just regular ordinary lettuce and an avocado that needed to be used. It was perfect that way too.
If you read other food blogs, you may have heard about the swag bag that some of us got at the BlogHer conference a few weeks ago. There was the bag that everyone got which contained cans of soup and a box of cereal (I’m not kidding) among other ho hum things, and then there was the after party bag that contained the good stuff. I left some of it in the hotel room (I have no need for a meat tenderizer) but I brought the rest home with me. I keep looking at the beautiful Japanese knife and the kitchen shears and paring knife – all still in their packages – and wondering what to do with them. Should I open them? Should I give them away?
Of course the answer is give them away. I have wonderful knives and I have shears and two paring knives. I was lucky enough to go to BlogHer (and now am in New York) and I truly feel like I should share the bounty. I’d like to send someone the knife, the shears and paring knife combo, and the $25 gift card to Chefscatalog.com where all this wonderful stuff came from. As long it is legal to ship knives internationally, I will send it anywhere. Just leave me a comment and tell me what kitchen tool you can’t live without. You have until Tuesday, October 13th at 7pm PDT to enter. I’ll pick a winner using a highly scientific method.
(UPDATE: The contest is now closed!)
One Year Ago: Mediterranean Five Lentil and Chard Soup with Walnut Gremolata
Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing
Adapted from Everyday Greens
Makes about 3/4 cup
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 ounce tangy blue cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp. Champagne vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
Puree the buttermilk, cream, the cheese, vinegar, oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the parsley.