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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Creamy Parmesan Dressing

Creamy Parmesan Dressing
There's a Boston-style pizza place in our area that serves to-die-for Margharita pizza--tomato, basil and mozzarella. It's incredible how good such a simple pizza can be, but it's hands down our favorite local pizza.

But the other menu item that keeps us going back is the house salad dressing. It has a unique and incredible flavor. I've tried many times to replicate it at home and haven't even come close. I used to work in an office where we ordered food in from this place, and I tried more than  once to get the delivery guy to divulge the secrets to the dressing. He told me they sell it by the quart.

Then a few weeks ago, I was looking for a new dressing to try. I started searching on creamy italian dressings, and found one on that looked promising. I made up a batch and guess what? It was almost exactly like the stuff at the pizza place. The color wasn't quite right--I've figured out since then that the restaurant probably uses red onions, since the dressing has a pink color. And the Allrecipes version didn't include parmesan, which is essential to the taste. But with a little adaptation, we now have our favorite dressing whenever we want.

A couple of items of warning on the comments from Allrecipes reviewers: sweet onions work better than other onions, and don't overdo the onions or it will taste bitter. And the dressing isn't particularly thick, so watch the liquid-to-mayonnaise proportions, or you'll have consistency problems. I haven't tried it yet with red onions, but it's on my to-do list.

Creamy Parmesan Dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 small onion (the original recipe called for 1/2 small onion, but I've cut that back and find it powerful enough)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a blender or food processor, combine mayonnaise, onion, vinegar and sugar. Add the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cheese. Blend until smooth.

This recipe makes enough for an average-size family; if we're feeding a crowd, I double this.

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