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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Creamy Garlic Dressing


I am very picky about my salad dressings. It could have something to do with the fact that I didn't even start using dressing until I was around twenty years old.

That's right... for the first half of my life I ate naked salad.

As with so many things, my tastes have changed over time. But I still go easy on the dressing and - as I said - am pretty picky about what graces the leaves of my salads. I usually go for vinaigrettes, but sometimes I need a little change of pace. This dressing is the perfect pace changer. Garlicky, cheesy, creamy, tangy. It's the perfect mix of flavors.

As the name implies, some garlic is in order. You need about 1 TBS of minced garlic. That's usually around three cloves... unless they're ginormous ones like these beauts.

Once you've peeled and minced the garlic, pour a teaspoon of kosher salt over the garlic on your cutting board.

Using the side of your chef knife, smear the garlic and salt together to form a paste. I love this technique and use it all the time. It's a great way to break down garlic that you are going to use in a raw application where you don't want big chunks. The kosher salt plays two parts in this process besides seasoning: its coarse texture helps to break down the garlic and it helps the garlic to release its moisture to aid in "paste formation".

Ah, now we have a nice paste. Add this paste to a smallish bowl.

To the garlic, add 1/2 cup of mayo.

Then add 1 TBS sugar and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. I just use the stuff out of the green can for this application, but you can use the real deal if you want. Whisk together.

Don't forget the pepper! I like a lot of coarsely ground, fresh black pepper in here. I like the dark specks in my dressing as well as the flavor. I probably ground about half a teaspoon in here before my hand got tired and I said, "Good enough!"

Lastly, add 3 TBS white wine vinegar and 3 TBS of regular vegetable oil. Whisk together until it becomes a nice, creamy dressing.

Yum! But you really need to wait before you use it. I know... I'm asking a lot here.

I like to make it at least a couple of hours ahead of time so that the flavors have a chance to meld and develop. I decant my dressing into a handy bottle so that it's easy to pour and store. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, but mine usually disappears before then.

Creamy Garlic Dressing
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups of finished dressing

1 TBS loosely packed, minced garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 TBS sugar
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 TBS white wine vinegar
3 TBS vegetable oil

Smear the garlic and kosher salt together with your chef knife to form a paste. In a bowl, mix the garlic paste, mayo, sugar, pepper, and Parmesan together. Then whisk in the vinegar and oil. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using. Dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

3 comments:

  1. I know that you don't know me...I am Cheryl's friend...and a missionary in Genova, Italy. Anyways...I love your site!! Look at it everyday!! And I will be making this dressing very very soon!! Keep up the good work.....

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  2. I'm so glad you like it. I really enjoy taking the pictures, although my hard drive is filling up fast! It's also great because it keeps me from getting in a rut in the kitchen. Thanks again for the nice words - it's always great to hear.

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