I’m not ashamed to say I eat this with a spoon…
Our family loved blue cheese. We ate it on crackers, in things, on other things, all alone, crumbled in salads and also as a dressing. Blue Cheese!
My grandmother, Honey, loved it so much she had a big wheel of Stilton delivered every year during the Christmas holidays. It sat on her butcher block in the middle of the kitchen in a round wooden crock and you could dip in whenever you wanted. (It didn’t last long.)
I love blue cheese so much I love even intense blue cheeses. The first time I ever tried a cheese cart/course at a restaurant was at Gramercy Tavern in NYC, one of the best and most beautiful restaurants ever. I was on a date and we decided to go for the cheese course between the main course and dessert. The waitress, who was amazing, rolled the cart to the table and went through twenty-three different cheeses! Describing where they came from, what they were like, etc etc. I was in awe. Not only by what all she knew, which changed daily, but having waited tables ten years myself, I can’t imagine having to take that much time with a table, particularly on a busy Saturday night when in the weeds. Stress. Anyway… she described the cheeses from soft and lush to intense. The last cheese was a blue cheese that actually had mold on it. She said it was “only for people who love blue cheese and then maybe not.” I of course had to try. It may have had mold on it but was so incredible like young Oliver I asked for more.
I’m not saying you need to use moldy blue cheese for this dressing! (Hey, it’s just penicillin, right?) But if you like blue cheese of any kind, this is the dressing for you. I’ve played with it for years and perfected it to what I love. So I give you my dressing, as well as my favorite salad with the dressing.
THE BEST BLUE CHEESE DRESSING
This makes a big batch. You’ll go through it quickly! But you can easily cut the recipe in half.
In a food processor, pulse the blue cheese until crumbled.
Add the other ingredients. (You’ll never know the red pepper is there and you’ll be glad you added it.)
Pulse until well mixed. Get a spoon.
Any kind of blue cheese works but good cheese means a better dressing. I vary. For this current round in the pictures, I used Point Reyes and a nice gorgonzola.
This makes a very thick dressing. It works both as a salad dressing and also a wonderful dip. If you want it less thick, a little more buttermilk and red wine vinegar or lemon juice will thin it out a bit.
Because it is so thick, and will thicken a bit more in the fridge, you can also just add the buttermilk and vinegar when you toss the salad. But it really is terrific as is. It just takes a few more tosses to get it covering everything in the bowl.
MY FAVORITE BLUE CHEESE SALAD:
Chop romaine and/or iceberg to your desire.
In a large bowl, with the lettuce, mix handfuls of:
cherry tomatoes, halved
chopped green onion, green and white parts both (red onion also works great)
(Sliced avocado is also a good addition)
Toss all with a few big spoonfuls of the dressing, adding more as needed. Add more acid if you like.
Add fresh cracked black pepper and toss again.