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