Monday, July 26, 2010

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Recipe from October 1997 Bon Appétit, Served at the Peacock Dining Room at the Hassayampa Inn, Prescott AZ
Husband-Tested in Tested in Alice's Kitchen
Makes about 1 ¼ cups

I'm a big fan of blue cheese and am thrilled that the Lost River Market & Deli has several different kinds of it available! This recipe gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me (and also the reviewers at Epicurious.com) This is not a thick, gloppy blue cheese dressing. This is a true vinaigrette, thin enough for drizzling, but rich with blue cheese flavor that will tickle your taste buds with a bit of tang. Now that fresh basil is in season, be sure to give this a try and serve it over your favorite salad, drizzle it over a platter of fresh tomatoes or try it drizzled over Summer's Best Salad (Pictured here. Recipe on this blog.) In the winter, when fresh isn't in season, you could substitute 1 heaping teaspoon of dried basil or if you're lucky enough to have some pesto in your freezer, try a bit of that in the dressing instead! Then drizzle this over your favorite crisp salad or even on steamed broccoli or asparagus.

7 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil**

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons minced garlic and sauté until golden, about 1 minute. Transfer garlic mixture to blender. Add blue cheese, white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, sugar, hot pepper sauce, salt, pepper and remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil; blend well. Transfer vinaigrette to bowl. Mix in chopped basil. (Vinaigrette can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

**Don't have basil? No worries! Stop by Lost River Market & Deli's freezer section and pick up a box of frozen crushed basil leaves. The brand name is Dorot. The basil is packed in 20 cubes, each cube = 1 teaspoon. It thaws very quickly, so no need to think ahead

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