For this week’s post, I had high hopes for a delicious twist on an old fave with a broccoli pesto pasta recipe.
It was a twist alright.
Just not in the delicious sense.
I’m planning on tweaking the recipe though, because I still think it’s a fabulous idea, so stay tuned.
You know what else is a fabulous idea? Book clubs. Specifically, book clubs with food. Themed food.
I’ve been a member of a book club with some of my esteemed colleagues for coming up on two years. We meet every couple of months and equally as important as picking a fabulous book, is picking a theme for the potluck meal. Usually the book points us in the right direction. For instance, our last book – Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden, followed the journey of two Cree men during and following WWI and took place in both Europe and Northern Ontario. On the menu was wild game sausage, wild blueberry crumble, smoked fish and winter greens.
Our next meeting features the book – A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines. It is the story of an innocent black man convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1940s Louisiana. This potluck theme is ‘what would you have as your last meal’? Chicken pot pie, mac and cheese, tiramisu and ribs are the agenda. Leave it to the dietitian to bring a salad. I’ve promised to make it ‘last meal’ worthy though.
That’s where this recipe comes in. I’m sorry if I repeat this too much, but neither of us buys pre made salad dressing. Homemade is just too easy and delicious. Here, I wanted to put my own spin on a creamy dressing, something that would be perfect for my potluck contribution – a wedge salad. A crisp wedge of iceberg lettuce, slow roasted tomatoes, crumbled bacon, and homemade caramelized onion focaccia croutons; with a creamy buttermilk dressing. Last meal worthy enough for you?
While the salad ingredients don’t necessarily fit into our ‘healthy recipe makeover’ category, the creamy herb dressing most definitely does.
And no one will ever know.
Creamy Buttermilk Herb Dressing
||Makes about 1.5 cups|
Adapted from Ina Garten's Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup 1% or 2% milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (divided)
- 3 green onions (white and green parts chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill (chopped)
- 6-8 Large basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 low fat greek yogurt
- 1/4 mayonnaise
Feel free to buy buttermilk. I can only ever find it in 1L containers and never end up using. This method is made to order. White vinegar can also used in place of lemon juice.
||To make your own buttermilk, combine milk and 1/2 of the lemon juice and let stand for 5 minutes. |
||In a food processor, pulse remainder of lemon juice, green onions, garlic, dill, basil, mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper until finely minced. Add buttermilk, yogurt and mayonnaise and process until smooth. |
||Refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably overnight to allow the flavours meld. |