I even liked the stronger cheeses that made rare appearances in the home fridge.
But blue cheese ... I was rather skittish.
For one thing, I don't think my mom ever bought it, so it only showed up on restaurant menus as a salad dressing. Since I loved Thousand Island dressing, I always ordered that. So I didn't get much chance to try blue cheese - even as a dressing.
I was also a little bit afraid of it. You see, I'm allergic to penicillin, and the "blue" in blue cheese is actually a penicillin mold. So for quite a long time, I was afraid to eat it. I wasn't sure if I'd have a bad reaction, and I didn't want to take a chance.
Then I did some research and found out that people with allergies to the drug can safely eat the cheese.
I started with a cautious little nibble and then a little more and a little more. These days, if no one was watching me, I could probably polish off a giant wedge of the stuff.
Most of the blue cheese that comes into this house gets eaten on a cracker, but I also like blue cheese dressing. Which also happens to be great as a dip for fresh vegetables.
The little secret in this dressing is that some of the blue cheese is blended into the dressing, while some is added in chunks and crumbs. Every little bit of the dressing has the blue cheese in the background and then you get a little chunk of blue cheese and it's a "pow" of blue cheese flavor.
This is a super-simple dressing, so the cheese really stands out - it's absolutely not ranch with blue. It's very simply blue cheese dressing with no herbs or other strong flavors competing.
You can used any blue cheese you love. I used Point Reyes Buttermilk Blue, because it's one of my favorites.
Chunky Blue Cheese and Buttermilk Salad Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk (milk is fine, too)
Pinch of salt
4 ounces blue cheese, divided
Blend the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, salt, and HALF of the blue cheese in a blender until it's smooth.
Meanwhile, crumble the remaining half of the cheese into small bits.
Stir the blue cheese bits into the smooth mixture and transfer to a storage container. Refrigerate until needed.