May 4, 2016
At Home with Friends

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Baby Gem Lettuce with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

There was a time when an upscale steak house offered a salad that consisted of a wedge of iceberg lettuce liberally drenched with a thick creamy blue cheese dressing. The dressing was so thick, a spoon could stand up and the iceberg lettuce was ice cold and crisp.

This is my updated version of that classic. I start with baby gem lettuce which is a cross between romaine and butter lettuce. It’s got the crispness of romaine and the delicacy of butter lettuce. I get it at my local grocery store. It’s sold under the Green Giant brand so it’s not hard to find.

Instead of traditional strong blue cheese, I use cambozola. It’s a creamy and rich triple cream blue cheese, more subtle than the old school kind of blue cheese dressing.

If you can’t find cambozola or already have a stronger blue cheese, it’s okay to use here.

EVENT: Dinner with the Guys
YIELDS: 1 1/2 Cup of Dressing / 1 1/2 Little Gem Lettuce Heads per Person

1 cup buttermilk
6 oz. blue cheese, at room temperature
1 shallot minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3-5 chopped Kalmata olives
Kosher salt


  1. In a food processor, combine the buttermilk, blue cheese, shallot, olive oil and vinegar.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and process until smooth. Add more buttermilk if dressing is too thick to pour.
  3. Cut each little gem lettuce in half. Place halves open face in a serving platter. Drizzle lettuce with dressing.
  4. Top with chopped olives and serve.

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