Pepper-Parmesan Salad Dressing


puncpose

And a Punc update, since I feel she’s been neglected here lately.  Punc just turn eight months old last week and we are now halfway through our “Intermediate-Level” training class.  It’s been a little more difficult than her puppy class.   We did not enroll her straight away, since our holiday rush at work and our vacation would mean our absence at 3 of the 6 classes.  Then, finding a class to fit into our schedule meant waiting until February, when the only other option was full.  In the 10 weeks off from class, Punc hit “teenage phase”, generally characterized by being too smart and too stubborn for her own good.  She knew the game of all of these tricks, and would only perform when she felt like it.  The Intermediate course finally began and, while her classmates were larger dogs, as I was hoping (she’s still a bit wary of big monsters dogs), the new skills were definitely more challenging.  Heeling, Wait vs. Stay, Going to Bed are all skills that need consistent, daily practice.  Unfortunately, while we still sort out the living situation (looking at townhouses next week! Hurray!) M and I do not see her every day.  My mother has enough time to wear down her energy and review the old skills, but not the concentrated time to work on new tricks.  We were falling frustratingly behind.  We finally had a breakthrough in class yesterday (though it may have been that one dog was absent and the other couple that usually comes had only one human that day).  Punc was focused and cooperative, even attentive when we were heeling storewide, despite the many customers, animals, and M and my mother lurking around the corners of every aisle.  It was nice to have that reaffirmation after a couple of difficult classes.  Maybe we are finally moving away from the “teenage phase”…won’t that mean all of her chewing stops too? 😉

puncmonkey2

Not a chance.

But onwards and upwards.  Last week, I shared my Skillet Shrimp Scampi with you, mentioning that I’d mixed up a quick Pepper-Parmesan recipe to go on our kale salad.  I was quite pleased with this mixed and more delighted in the days following, when all of the flavors really began to meld.  It kept for about 4 days before we had used it all up.  My guess, if refrigerated and tightly sealed, this dressing should last at least a week, if not longer.  Though, if you are like me, and the barest hint of spring in the air has you gobbling greens like no tomorrow, you may find that one batch won’t last that long!

I kept this dressing fairly thick because I wanted it to stand up to the heartiness of the kale.  You can easily make it thinner by adding more milk.  Our parmesan was finely grated, but still enough to keep the dressing a little chunky.  A spell in a blender could smooth things out, if you wish.  I tend to stay away from too much mayonnaise in my dressings, but only because we almost always have sour cream and greek yogurt on hand and I love the flavor combo of all three.  If you are missing one or two, you could easily sub in the other, but the flavor will change slightly.  Looking at this recipe, I bet that I will make another batch tonight to top the salad alongside our pork chops!

scampi plate

Pepper-Parmesan Dressing

Serves 8-12 | Prep time: 10 min | Wait time: 30+ min

  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1/4 c. greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 c. milk (depending on thickness)
  • 1 Tbsp crushed crispy onions* or ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne or chipotle pepper (ground)
  • 2 tsp worchestershire sauce
  • 1 dash hot sauce
  • salt

*We use fried crispy shallots found at Asian markets that are gluten-free.  Always check you ingredients to make sure they do not contain gluten.

Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, yogurt, lemon juice, and milk into a small bowl.  Mix well.   Now is the time to add more milk for a thinner dressing.  Stir in remaining ingredients, combining thoroughly.  Set in the refrigerator, covered for at least 30 minutes.  The longer the dressing sits, the better the flavors will meld.

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