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BLUE CHEESE MAKES TASTY LOW-FAT DRESSING

SHARE BLUE CHEESE MAKES TASTY LOW-FAT DRESSING

One of my favorite salad dressings is made from blue cheese. Blue cheese actually refers to any of several cheeses that have been treated with molds that form blue or green veins throughout and which impart the characteristic strong flavor and aroma.

Perhaps the best-known blue cheese is Roquefort. Made from sheep's milk and aged for three months or more in the limestone caverns of Mount Combalou near the village of Roquefort in southwestern France, this "true blue" cheese has been enjoyed since Roman times. In fact, this cheese is so special that if the cheese is not aged in the caverns of Mount Combalou it cannot, by law, be called "Roquefort."In my recipe for Blue Cheese Dressing, any of the blue cheeses will work, including Roquefort, Stilton or Gorgonzola. To help reduce the fat content without sacrificing the creamy texture and wonderful flavor of this popular dressing, I have combined the blue cheese with low-fat cottage cheese and a nonfat mayonnaise. Refrigerating the dressing for an hour before serving allows the flavor of the blue cheese to "marry" with the rest of the ingredients. This dressing can also be used as a gorgeous and flavorful dip for chips and vegetables.

Nearly everyone loves pasta, and you can make so many low-fat, low-calorie, low-cholesterol dishes with it! My booklet, "Pasta - Everyone's Favorite Food," will show you some of my light favorites. Order it for $3 and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed, No. 10 envelope from Pasta, PO Box 5541, Riverton, NJ 08077-5541.

Jeanne Jones is a consultant on menu planning, recipes and new-product development for major hotels and spas. She is also the author of 24 cookbooks, most recently "Cook It Light: Desserts" (Macmillan).

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Recipe

BLUE CHEESE DRESSING

1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon steak sauce

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 garlic clove, pressed or minced

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 ounces Roquefort, or other blue cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)

1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise

Combine vinegar, steak sauce, Worcestershire, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved.

Add the pepper, garlic and onion and mix well. Stir in the Roquefort, cottage cheese and buttermilk. Add the mayonnaise and stir until completely blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.

Makes 2 cups; 16 two-tablespoon servings.

- Each serving contains approximately: 32 calories; 4 mg cholesterol; 1 gm fat; 324 mg sodium.