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Zesty, creamy Italian Dressing Recipe with herbs
Loaded with fresh and dried herbs, Parmesan cheese, shallots and garlic, this zesty dressing is wonderful drizzled on a fresh crispy salad.
I’m always trying out new recipes often with our monthly family dinner in mind. With 9 people around the table, it’s great to have this bright and zesty homemade Creamy Italian Dressing Recipe to serve family style. We make a giant bowl of fresh salad and lightly toss it with this tangy dressing just before serving.
This recipes makes a little more than 1 1/2 cups so there’s plenty to pass around the table for those that want another drizzle. If you have any leftover it will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container. That makes it nice for us to enjoy the leftover dressing as a dip for carrots, celery or my favorite raw sugar snap peas.
How do you bloom dried herbs?
Inspired by a recipe on Cook’s Country, I was fascinated with the process of “blooming” dried herbs. Blooming enhances their flavor and prevent them from tasting old and stale.
Parmesan, oregano, garlic and shallots are combined with vinegar then microwaved just long enough to warm the liquid and draw out the flavors of the herbs. This process also helps melt the Parmesan cheese giving the dressing a smoother, silky texture.
Our creamy Italian dressing recipe is the perfect consistency, a little thick but still easily poured.
The dressing works best on hearty lettuce such as romaine or iceberg. It’s also pretty fantastic served as a dip with your favorite crudités. There’s so much flavor in this dressing you really don’t need to drench the salad. With plenty of tangy bite from the vinegar and brightness from the herbs, this dressing will be the star of your salad bowl!
This recipe makes a great starter for family dinners like our Italian Meatball Recipe, or this Rich & Meaty Classic Lasagna. Have you ever tried making a Homemade Potato Gnocchi Recipe? It’s so much easier than you would think – check out our quick how-to video.
This salad is perfect served with any pasta dish, or alongside a nice piece of fish or chicken, too. You can’t beat a great salad and a terrific dressing!
Make it Italian night and serve our classic Tiramisu for dessert. Enjoy!
Feel free to experiment and substitute red or white wine vinegar for the champagne vinegar.
I love the champagne vinegar in this recipe because it doesn’t mask the other flavors. With shallots and garlic, basil and oregano, there is plenty of flavor going on and I don’t want to miss a thing!
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Creamy Italian Dressing
- ⅓ cup champagne vinegar
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 small minced shallot, about 2 heaping tablespoons
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil leaves
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Combine the vinegar, Parmesan, shallot, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds or until the cheese is melted and the mixture is fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- In a tall sided 2-3 cup measuring cup or bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, basil and vinegar mixture. Using an immersion or stick blender, process until smooth. With the blender on, slowly add the olive oil and blend until incorporated, about 1 minutes. Season with salt and pepper (more or less to taste) and serve immediately or refrigerate until needed. The dressing will thicken when refrigerated. If overly thick, allow the dressing to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container. Dressing will keep up to 4 days.
- This is a hearty dressing and is best served on crisp lettuce such as iceberg or romaine.
- Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country
Kitchen Essentials – we love to serve a big family salad in a well loved wooden bowl. Click on the photos below for more information:
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Serve your salads with these easy Homemade Croutons, they have tons of flavor and are easily adapted to your favorite herbs. I adore fresh salads and sometimes crave the creaminess of an avocado. I found this recipe for Avocado Caprese Salad and bet it will hit the spot!
And finally, I can’t wait for summer produce so I can make this Tomato Mozzarella Salad so yummy! So much flavor and color, it’s a must make!