“… pretty and manly all in one …”
Blue cheese demands a very acquired taste and for those of you who love it, it is certainly one of the most interestingly tangy tasting cheeses out there. And for some of you who think that it smells like stinky socks that have been sitting in your husband’s hockey bag for six months, well, I certainly understand that mentality as well. I think blue cheese is one of those foods that kinda grow on you and by the time you reach middle age, you are probably someone that will nibble on it without throwing up. But you know what? If you are not one of those lovely people, I totally understand too. Smell. Is. Everything.
I kind of fall somewhere between the middle age theory and and liking it when I was in my late twenties. Probably around the time that I met Big Bear who is a guy that was probably eating the moldy cheeses since he was a toddler. He actually taught me how to make this dressing years ago and it’s been awhile since we’ve had it. I thought this would be a perfect time to showcase my love’s taste for blue cheese.
This dish is an elegant dinner party starter that will surely have your guests impressed, and if you don’t care for the taste of blue cheese, you can certainly switch it up to a different dressing. But for now, let’s stick to the blue.
It all starts with about four ounces of blue cheese mashed up with some buttermilk. Then you add your mayo, sour cream and spices and you’re on your way to blue cheese dressing fairyland.
A sprinkling of pepper and a few blue cheese crumbs at the end make a pretty little picture. Store the dressing in an air tight container. It should last as long as the least freshest ingredient that you used to make this would. Mine will last as long as my buttermilk will – till about August 7th.
Fabulous with buffalo chicken wings – obviously! – amongst other things like carrot and celery sticks. I love this stuff.
And so onward and upward to our grilled Romaine! You guys. Can we just talk about how perfect a grilled Romaine salad is? I mean, it’s classy, it’s pretty and interesting to look at. What can you not like about a salad of this magnitude? And the fact that it’s the easiest salad that I know how to make (because quite honestly, I hate the labour that goes into making a green salad. But I am known to be an instant results person. Especially when it comes to making salad.)
The hardest part about this is making sure that you cut the hearts correctly. And really? Is that tough at all? Start from the root of the Romaine and cut your way up horizontally. Easy peasy. Drizzle olive oil and just a pinch of salt on both sides and you’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll with your bad boy grill.
Pretty and manly all in one! One to two minutes per side and you’re laughing. Have your pancetta and blue cheese dressing (or whatever other dressing you may prefer) ready to drizzle over these guys, and you have a starter that is so grown up that I can’t even begin to tell you how impressed your mom will be.
Don’t you love my spoon? Thank you to my friend and very talented artist Bev Bennet for making this for me. ♥
- For The Salad
- 2 Heads hearts of Romaine
- 1 teaspoon olive oil plus more for drizzling
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 cup diced Pancetta
- For The Blue Cheese Dressing
- 4 ounces blue cheese
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Blue Cheese Dressing
- In a small bowl, mash the blue cheese and buttermilk with your fork until the cheese is nicely broken down and incorporated with the buttermilk. You can make it as chunky or as fine as you'd like it - your choice.
- Now add the sour cream, mayo, white wine vinegar, sugar, garlic powder and onion powder and incorporate well. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- For The Salad
- Preheat your grill to high.
- In a medium sized skillet over medium heat, fry your Pancetta in a teaspoon of olive oil until crisp. Set aside on a plate with a paper towel.
- Wash and dry your romaine hearts. Remove any damaged outer leaves, then cut in half, length wise, being sure to keep the whole half intact by cutting through the middle of the root.
- Drizzle the four halves with olive oil and just a pinch of salt.
- Place the cut sides down on the hot grill and leave them for about 1-2 minutes or until nice grill marks appear.
- Flip the lettuce over and repeat on the other side.
- Remove from grill, drizzle with blue cheese dressing and serve immediately.