Creamy Italian Dressing
From Cook's Country
For our Creamy Italian Dressing we liked mayonnaise for body and sour cream for tang, lightness, and silkiness. When it came to the herbs, oregano and red pepper flakes made the cut, as did fresh minced shallots (since fresh onions tasted harsh in the dressing), fresh garlic, and fresh basil. To prevent the dried herbs from tasting old and stale, we turned to a technique we often use in the test kitchen: “blooming" the herbs and spices in warm liquid to draw out their flavors. We combined dried oregano, pepper flakes, and vinegar and warmed the mixture in the microwave to get the rounder, fuller flavors we wanted. Melting the Parmesan in the microwave with the vinegar and herbs kept the dressing from being gritty. We also tossed in the minced shallot and garlic to mellow them.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
This creamy vinaigrette pairs best with a crisp lettuce such as iceberg or romaine. "Blooming" refers to a technique where herbs and spices are immersed in warm liquid to draw out their flavors and prevent dried herbs from tasting old and stale.
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