As I am testing recipes for my first cookbook and first ever BOOK, eek! I am focusing my recipes on what my Dad and I used to eat together but with a nutritious twist.
One of his favorite orders from any restaurant was a Salad with Blue Cheese dressing. Whether it was topped with shrimp, crab or alongside a heavy meat dish, my Dad loved his blue cheese salads.
For me, blue cheese was just a stinky cheese I didn’t dare eat, but today I savor its creamy, tangy taste especially when made into a dressing.
While shopping at Whole Foods for this dish, I found myself choosing between a French blue cheese and a local blue cheese. My final decision was to choose the local Point Reyes cheese because I like to support local.
I also chose this cheese because it contains a vegetable form of rennet, (an enzyme used for making cheese), whereas other cheeses contain animal based rennet which comes from the lining of baby animals-I like to try to stay away from this source of rennet.
To recreate blue cheese dressing, I wanted to find a way to keep it simple yet still tasty, minus the heaviness it typically has at restaurants and in bottled versions.
Controlling the ingredients in things like sauces, dressings and dips go a long way in the health department.I decided to use whole milk yogurt from Grass-Fed Cows and leave out the buttermilk all together to cut out some of the unneeded fat, and added good ones like avocado.
Give it a try!
*use all organic ingredients if possible
For the salad:
1 bunch Kale, half ripped by hand, half processed
1/2 Red onion, sliced
1 Cucumber, chopped
2 handful cherry tomatoes sliced in half
handful Walnuts, chopped
optional: parsley, green onion for topping
For the dressing:
1/4 cup crumbled Blue cheese
1/2 cup whole milk yogurt from Grass Fed cows
freshly ground black pepper
Red wine vinegar, splash or two
For the croutons:
Grass-fed butter like Kerrygold (can be found at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods)
Garlic, 1-2 cloves
- Wash kale and put half into a food processor and the other half in a bowl to massage.
- Pulse kale in processor a few times.
- Resturn to massage kale in bowl.
*To massage: Use half a lemon, 1-2 dashes of olive oil and some salt, massage with your hands or tongs into kale. Let sit.
- Meanwhile, slice the rest of your veggies and set aside.
- Add processed kale to massaged kale & clean out processor.
- Pour yogurt in processor along with 1/4 blue cheese.
- Pulse 1-2 times, until combined but there are still small bites of blue cheese in the yogurt.
- Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar along with salt and pepper, taste & add as needed.
- Add another tablespoon of vinegar if needed. Put in fridge to cool.
- Butter baguette and add minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper and toast in toasted oven or in oven at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Assemble salad while bread is toasting; Mix kales and layer onion, cucumber & cherry tomatoes around the top of the bowl.
- Take dressing out and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Pour into dressing cup and serve along side salad.
- Slice garlic baguette and top salad.
Let me know what you think of this recipe!
What would you add?