Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Garlic Gorgonzola Dressing

This recipe is my best attempt at “reverse engineering” a recipe used by a Virginia restaurateur who I knew only as Ben.  He used to run Ben & Mary’s Steak House in Warrenton, VA. He sold that place and bought Dean’s Steak House in Front Royal, VA.  Based on recent reviews of Dean’s I gather he’s either retired, passed away, or otherwise moved on from there as well since it sounds like it’s gone downhill.  He had an interesting innovation in that he did not add the cheese directly to the dressing.  Instead, he’d pour what was essentially a garlic dressing over the salad and added crumbled Gorgonzola on top of that: a nice presentation, as they say in the chef biz.

I once asked him for his recipe – I promised that I would never share it – but  he very politely refused. Fine, Ben: if you won’t share yours, I’m happy to share mine

¾ C mayonnaise
½ C sour cream
2 large or 3 small garlic cloves, pressed
1 T parsley
1 T apple cider vinegar
½ T lemon juice
¼ t sea salt
4 or 5 oz package Gorgonzola crumbles

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with a whisk except the cheese.  Gently fold in the cheese and store in the fridge for at least an hour before using. It tends to get thicker the longer it's kept, and it becomes the consistency of a dip after a day or so. If you prefer it pourable, it can be thinned with buttermilk.

I prefer Gorgonzola over regular bleu cheese (which I find rather harsh), but only because it’s available locally and is a bit less expensive. The absolute best bleu cheese for salad dressing is Roquefort. That requires a trip into KC and costs about $25-30/lb but it is absolutely exquisite. For some reason, unlike the Gorgonzola, when used in this recipe it tends to get thinner the longer its kept rather than thicker.


1 comment:

  1. Update: Apparently Ben had been out of the picture for a while, because in 2011 Dean's owner was John Lancaster, who sold it to Joe Wobbe of Joe's Steakhouse in Woodstock. Joe's has an excellent reputation, so hopefully (I haven't seen a recent review) Dean's will be back to being a great restaurant again.

    I wonder if Joe would be interested in this recipe...


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