Roasted Garlic Parmesan Dressing
You know that creamy house dressing most Italian restaurants serve? I don’t know about you, by I find them SO addictive? It’s like, I know the main meal is sure to be fabulous, but I can’t get enough of the salad because the dressing is so good? Anyone with me, or is this another of a few quirks I know us dietitians tend to have?
Anyway, I’ve come up with a Roasted Garlic Parmesan Dressing that is creamy and delicious and rivals any Italian restaurant “house dressing”. Don’t tell my husband though”¦he may think he’s off the hook for taking me out to dinner now!
The main flavor ingredient in the dressing is roasted garlic. Have you ever made it or had it? It’s something I use A LOT because it adds a ton of garlic flavor without the “punch-you-in-the-face” garlic flavor that fresh garlic can have. I don’t know about you, but I feel fresh garlic can be so pungent it takes over all the other flavors and I don’t taste anything else. Well, roasting the garlic gets rid of that issue too. It’s more subtle and plays nicer in the sandbox with other ingredients, allowing all the flavors to shine through for a really full flavor.
It’s not difficult to roast garlic. You simply cut the top off a head of garlic, drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and roast it in a custard cup covered with foil until the garlic is soft. Then, once it’s cool, you simply squeeze the garlic head from the bottom and the individual cloves come right out. There’s really nothing to it, it just takes a little time to roast (less than an hour!). See here for the individual recipe and how-to photos for Roasted Garlic.
Beyond the roasting of the garlic, this Roasted Garlic Parmesan Dressing is so quick to whip up. Using a blender allows the garlic to get pureed and well blended into the dressing while taking the work out of whisking in the olive oil. The blender method used in this recipe makes the dressing super creamy and it stays emulsified (as in, the dressing doesn’t separate) for much longer than if you whisk it together by hand.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for the Roasted Garlic Parmesan Dressing
First, roast the garlic. See here for photos of that process.
Next, combine the garlic, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a blender
Blend until smooth. This purees the garlic so it disperses well in the dressing. Then, simply drizzle in the oil with the blender running (through the hole in the top of the lid). Then mix in cheese and thyme.
All done and ready for a healthy salad!
I love using beautiful old serving pieces. This one came from my great-grandparents!
- 1 head garlic
- ½ teaspoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons coarse ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil or regular olive oil
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Set garlic head on its side on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut about a ½-inch portion off the top part of the head. You should see most of the individual cloves revealed; if not, cut a little more off. Remove the loose papery peels from outside the head but do not take off all of the peel. Set the garlic head, top side up, in a custard cup. Drizzle with ½ teaspoon oil. Cover with foil.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until garlic cloves are just soft when pierced with a sharp knife. Keep the garlic covered in the custard cup. Let stand on a wire rack until cool enough to handle (20 to 30 minutes).
- Hold garlic head on the bottom. Pinch bottom of head with your fingers to squeeze out the individual cloves. You may have to use a sharp knife to remove some of them.
- Transfer garlic cloves to a blender. Add vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper to the blender with garlic. Cover and blend until garlic is pureed and mixture is well combined. With the blender running on low to medium speed, slowly pour ½ cup olive oil through the hole in the lid, until dressing is well combined and thickened. Add cheese and thyme. Cover and pulse a few times just until combined.
- Store dressing in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Whisk before serving if the dressing has separated (it shouldn’t separate as long as you blend well while adding the oil very gradually!). Dressing may thicken slightly when held longer than a day or two. If that happens, let dressing stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving; then whisk lightly.
- 1 cup (16, 1-tablespoon servings)
- 72 cals, 1 g pro, 1 g carb, 7 g fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 1 g sat fat, 0 g fiber, 108 mg sodium