I've been taking a new approach to the way I make salads — or rather, the way I dress them. Instead of garnishing my salads with soft chunks of tangy goat cheese or crumbled feta, I've been using them as a base for the easiest, free-form creamy dressing.
Depending on how you look at it, I'm still sort of using cheese as a garnish on my salad — it's just taking on an entirely new form. Rather than dotting my salad with whole chunks of goat cheese, feta, gorgonzola, or Brie, I've been turning the cheese into a super-creamy dressing.
I was inspired by an herbed goat cheese sauce I created to finish off a grain bowl. It was smooth, rich, creamy, and indulgently delicious. And almost instantly I knew it would be as much of a hit on my arugula salad as it is in my grain bowls.
Read More: 5 Easy Sauces to Make Grain Bowls Pop
Making Creamy Dressing with Your Favorite Soft Cheese
The secret to transforming your favorite soft cheese into a salad dressing is your blender. You can use a regular blender, a fancy high-speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, or a handheld immersion blender. All three get the job done, so the choice is yours.
As for how to make this cheesy dressing your reality, it doesn't even require a recipe; it takes just a handful of ingredients, most of which you get to choose to your liking. Here's your template for turning any soft cheese into about a half-cup of salad dressing.
- 4 ounces any soft cheese
- About 1 tablespoon olive oil
- About 2 tablespoons water or milk
- Optional ingredients, like fresh herbs or spices
Start by choosing about 4 ounces of your favorite soft cheese — tangy goat cheese, salty feta, pungent gorgonzola, or any other choice that you really love. Just make sure it has a soft texture that will easily blend.
Add it to a blender, along with a tablespoon of olive oil, about 2 tablespoons of water or milk, and salt and fresh-ground black pepper, then process until smooth. For a thicker dressing, start with less liquid and add more as needed until it reaches the consistency you prefer; for a thinner dressing, add a little more liquid. For extra flavor, stir in some of your favorite spices or about 1/4 cup of any fresh chopped herbs.
Use the Dressing on These Salads
(Image credits: Kelli Foster)