Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Recipe aka Grandma’s Salad Dressing

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette RecipeThis Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Salad Dressing recipe is my favorite!  Not only does it taste great (for some it is an acquired taste), but there are also family ties.  I only know this salad dressing as “Grandma’s Dressing.”  When you taste it, if you like it, you crave it.  If you taste it and don’t like it, you never want it again.  I’ll explain more about that in a minute.  The story goes that after my grandma tasted this dressing at a neighbor’s house, decades ago, she asked for the recipe.  But they wouldn’t give it to her!  So my grandmother made sure to hang around when they were making the dressing.  She came home and wrote down everything she could remember and then modified it to taste once back in her own home.  Yup.  One of the many reasons I love my grandma.  Good food is meant to be shared, people!  So I want to share this zingy Blue Cheese Vinaigrette recipe with you.  Another reason I love this post is because I had my mom help me shoot it!  So fun to include her in this post.

Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette Salad Dressing IngredientsThe reason that some people tend not to like this dressing is there are an awful lot of bold flavors going on here.  Sure all vinaigrettes use vinegar, but when added to fresh garlic, blue cheese and a few spices it creates a tart flavor explosion.

make garlic and salt paste in mortarFirst you mash the salt and garlic into a paste.  My family has always used a mortar and pestal for making this salad dressing.  If you don’t have one, you can create the garlic paste by using the side of a knife and a cutting board.  But it is soooo much cooler using a mortar and pestal.  Look how old timey it looks!

son getting in on the actionYou may or may not need to stop and kiss your child at this part of the recipe.  Since we were hanging out at Grandma Marilyn’s house, both kids were continually under foot.  If you don’t have kids or they aren’t in the room, just proceed to the next step.

add spices for the salad dressingNext add your spices.  The recipe uses dry mustard and paprika.  Are those common spices to have around your kitchen?  If you think you want to make this recipe be sure to double check if you have these things.  So often, I am midway through a recipe and realize I don’t have what I need.  You would think I would learn from that mistake…

oil and vinegar for salad dressing recipeYou will add two tablespoons each of oil and apple cider vinegar to the other ingredients right in the mortar.  I think this will help distribute all the flavors evenly when mixed up later.  Yeah.  That sounds good.

mix dressing in the mortarSmoosh it up…

put ingredients in a mason jarthen add it to a mason jar.  Have you heard?  Mason jars or so hot right now.  I think they were made to make dressing in.  They are perfect for shaking them up and storing.  Efficiency is hot.

add blue cheeseIf you aren’t a blue cheese fan, you aren’t going to like this recipe.  There is lots of it.  But you don’t want huge chunks.  We usually buy a wedge of cheese and chop it.  You could also use crumbles and just make sure there aren’t any large pieces.

add oil and vinegar to the blue cheese mixtureAdd the rest of the oil and vinegar to the mason jar and shake the crap out of it.  Leave the jar out on the counter for 2 hours at room temperature to allow the cheese to break down in the vinegar a little and for all the flavors to start to marry.

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Dressing on Romaine LettuceWe have always served this Blue Cheese Vinaigrette over romaine but feel free to choose what lettuce you like best.

toss the salad dressing with lettuce and plateIt is best when tossed in a big bowl before serving.  This is pungent stuff, you guys.  You don’t a pool of this at the bottom of your bowl.  You will have leftovers which will keep fine in the fridge for several days.  But I warn you, it becomes even more zingy with each day that passes.  But it is SO good!  Just be aware.  This dressing, by day 3, might be too much for some to handle.

Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Salad Dressing REcipeThank you, Mommy, for helping me to take photos of the recipe process and laughing through it with me.  And thank you, Grandma, for being sneaky and stealing this recipe from your neighbor.  I have had daydreams of opening my own restaurant and this is the house dressing.  But that ain’t happening so you’ll have to make it for yourself.  Enjoy!

Grandma’s Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Salad Dressing Recipe


4 medium cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper (my mom hates pepper so that is why it is not pictured…fun fact)

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp paprika

3/4 cup + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup + 2 tsp vegetable oil

1 wedge blue cheese (or approximately 3 TBSP blue cheese crumbles)

Mash garlic in mortar, add salt and continue mashing, to make a paste, and no pieces are visible.  Add spices and 2 tsp each of oil and vinegar and mix well.  Put mixture in Mason jar.  Cut up blue cheese wedge (or blue cheese crumbles) and add to the Mason jar.  Add remaining oil and vinegar.  Shake well.  Allow salad dressing to remain at room temperature for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on your food safety qualms, before putting it in the fridge.  (Note:  I am a total worry wart about food sitting out.  That being said, I totally leave this out for the full two hours.  If you look at what is in it, it is vinegar, garlic and blue cheese, the cheese has already been aged and is best served at room temperature.  That is what I do, do what seems right for you.)


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