Buttermilk Bleu Cheese Dressing

The best salad dressing I have ever had in a restaurant really took me by surprise.  Put aside the fact that my aunt and I had just spent 3 days driving from southern Camarillo to Portland, Oregon on Pacific Coast Hwy 1 – a drive everyone should make!  It was our first night in a new state.  Tired and road weary, we got back in the car, got on the interstate, and got off on some unknown exit, which happened to be one of the more upscale areas outside of Portland: Lake Oswego.  After driving only a few minutes on the highway, I noticed a french bakery, a boulangerie.  This is where we happened to stumble into:

http://provencepdx.com/Bistro

The food was so good, so simple, yet tasty…I made  it a point to drag the group there at least once a month for the 8 months we were there.

Of all the things they served, it was the salad with the house dressing that mesmerized me.  I had never had a bleu cheese dressing that wasn’t thick and gloppy; this one was light, refreshing and creamy.

To recreate this light and flavorful dressing, this is what you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon finely minced red onion or shallot
  • 3 ounces blue cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
The ingredients.

The ingredients.

Place the minced onion in a small bowl.  Add the cheese, and, using a dinner fork, break up the cheese, mashing some of it.

Combining the cheese, onion, and seasonings.

Combining the cheese, onion, and seasonings.

Add the seasonings, then the vinegar and buttermilk.

Using the fork, mix well.  Taste for salt.

Chill.  Serve over your favorite green salad.

Buttermilk Bleu Cheese dressing over salad.

Buttermilk Bleu Cheese dressing over salad.

Good for 3 to 5 days.

*Note: I used red wine vinegar, but it darkens the dressing somewhat.  White wine vinegar is probably more appropriate for this dressing, but it’s just not something I keep in stock.

It is delicious!  Just like I remember, light and flavorful, not gloppy and oily.

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