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Fresh Greens with Buttermilk Salad Dressing in Parmesan Lace Bowls

Oh man, we have greens coming out of our ears! I’m not complaining though. I love fresh greens and usually don’t get to eat as much of them as I’d like. In a grocery store it’s typically cheapest to just buy some heads of romaine and a bag of spinach. Once in a while when they’re on sale we’ll get a bag of mixed greens, but even that only has about 3 different kinds. With our CSA we are getting tons of variety, and it’s awesome! Here’s just some of them (that I actually know name of): 2 kinds of spinach, frisee, butter, red leaf, oh man there’s so much more I can’t remember. I’m getting to be really creative with making my own salad dressings and playing with other salad ingredients. One of the best ideas I had was making my own buttermilk dressing and serving it in a parmesan cheese bowl. Have you ever made a bowl out of parmesan cheese? It’s shockingly easy. I’ll explain it in the recipe below but one nice thing is the only ingredient you need is the cheese.

For the homemade buttermilk dressing, I never buy buttermilk, I just use some milk/cream and vinegar to make my own. Then I just started playing with herbs and flavors until I liked it. Although the two go together great, this is definitely an either/or recipe, you can make just the parmesan bowls and use your favorite dressing, or make just the buttermilk dressing. You can add whatever you’d like to the greens. In the top photo I had some fresh tomato and torn up prosciutto. For the bowls you want the good quality parmesan, the kind in the green can won’t work for them. This is also a great way to make kids interested in salad, imagine their delight as you tell them they can have a bowl made out of cheese!

salad parmesan bowl better

Mixed Greens with Homemade Buttermilk Salad Dressing in a Parmesan Cheese Bowl
makes 1/4 cup dressing, 2 bowls


Mixed greens

2 TBS milk (I use 2%)
2 TBS heavy cream
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 cup shredded parmesan


Mix milk, cream and white vinegar. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Once thickened, stir again and then add remaining dressing ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate while you make bowls.

Heat a non stick skillet on med-high. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese in a circle on the pan. Make sure the cheese is touching but still leaving holes for the lacy pattern. When cheese turns golden, lift one edge with a spatula, then grab with tongs and carefully peel off of pan. Turn onto an upside down glass (side that was touching the pan facing up) and carefully-it’s hot!- shape into a bowl. When completely cool, fill with greens and top with dressing.

Approximate cost: we buy our parmesan in bulk so it’s only 6 cents per bowl, dressing less than a dime for 1/4 cup.
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: It’s not vegan because there’s dairy, but no meat. No gluten either, but some lower quality cheeses are coated in something to prevent sticking so check your label.

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17 thoughts on “Fresh Greens with Buttermilk Salad Dressing in Parmesan Lace Bowls”

  1. Lovely presentation. I tried make cheese bowls once only to have it as a epic fail. LOL. I'm liking that buttermilk salad dressing. Helps bring out the summer.

  2. Yay, I love making parmesan crisps/bowls. Did you try the cones like the Sur La Table lady did in her book? I tried it the other day. Hm. That was difficult and took a lot of practice and experimenting. Plus you can't get a lot of lettuce in those little cones!!! That bowl is much more useful for the overflowing greens situation. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Thanks everyone. Don't be afraid to try again Jenn, I had to throw the first one away because it got all mushed trying to get out of the pan, but the tongs worked great!

    Good idea Chow and Chatter, I'll do that.

    Anne, I haven't tried them yet but I'm going to look at them now!

  4. OH, this is a delicious salad! Wonderful use of all your greens…and I adore parmesan cooked up like this! Thanks for sending it to BSI this week ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Yeah, we have greens coming out of our ears too. I just sent a bag with lettuces with my husband to give to friends. They grow so fast. The greens, not the friends…
    I love that paremsan cup! I should try it sometimes (I'm too lazy…)

  6. I LOVE the parmesan bowls and now I must make one for my lunch to go with all those CSA greens I also have. Thanks for posting it!

  7. I love those cute and yummy bowls! Do you think it would work if I pressed the browned cheese into muffins tins? Would they break apart easily? I’m sure I’ll make a gigantic mess but I’d love to try it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I think muffin tins could work too. They’re not too crumbly, almost rubbery I guess, except the most delicate outermost bits. The hard thing is that they’re hot, so with a glass they drape around it more easily and will hold that shape while cooling. Maybe if you had something a little smaller than the muffin tin to press it in with so you don’t burn yourself!


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