The Awesome White Base

by: Wee Mama

Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 12:05:17 PM EST

This is not about the Tea Party. The awesome white base was passed along by my father-in-law and perfected by us. It's a method for salad dressings and sauces that is easy, delicious and healthy. How can you not love something like that? If you're curious (or hungry) join me over the fold -  
Wee Mama :: The Awesome White Base
The base itself is a simple mixure: equal parts mayonnaise, plain yogurt, and buttermilk whisked together. What it becomes depends on what you add to it.

Want a light coleslaw? Add lots of dill weed, and add to shredded cabbage. A mix of regular and purple looks especially pretty. Sunflower seeds add crunch.

Want a feta dressing for salad? Add an equal part of feta cheese and lots of black pepper and blend together. For a feta dip, add a bit more cheese until you get the texture you want.

How about a blue cheese dressing? See the feta dressing (you may not need a full part, depending on how much you like blue cheese - we go the whole way). And for a dip? See the feta dip.

Tarragon sauce for salmon? Lots of fresh tarragon into the white base and blend with a stick blender. If you don't have a stick blender you might want to mash the tarragon in a mortar with a pestle before adding it to the base. Oddly enough, this also makes a lovely salad dressing but tastes quite different on the salad than on the salmon. It's also delicious on potato pancake but takes on a third flavor. One time we had all three in one meal - and the tarragon sauce was three different sauces!

To add to its charms, the sauces and dressings made this way are surprisingly stable in the frig. I started by making just enough for the meal. One time I decided to make feta dressing for both nights of a weekend - no problem. Bit by bit we began extending how long we kept some and so far it is good for more than a week.

Bon apetit!

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Lunch today will be a tomatoes and feta salad with this dressing. (2.00 / 14)
I may toss some capers onto it, too.

How's your weekend food shaping up?

Sounds tasty. (2.00 / 13)
I make a potato salad dressing with mayo and yogurt, with a splash of rice vinegar and whatever herbs are on hand.

My weekend begins rather abstemiously today, but tomorrow I splurge on brunch with Glen The Plumber and family, who are coming out of their way to enjoy a meal with me at a neighborhood restaurant. :-)

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Ooo - that sounds tasty! (2.00 / 13)
I learned from my mother to add celery seed and hard boiled eggs to a potato salad. It's such a flexible dish.

Brunch sounds like fun - enjoy!

[ Parent ]
I have a Brazilian friend who always adds (2.00 / 11)
peas and carrots to hers. I love potato salad and will eat it all anyway it is prepared.  

[ Parent ]
that looks so good (2.00 / 11)
and I have everything for the base. We do a lot of grilling so this would be good to have on hand.  

There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.--Thornton Wilder

You'll love it! If you try it with a new flavor let me know how it works. (2.00 / 10)
I have been surprised by how happy the various flavors are on foods that were not their original complement. It's as though it can't help being tasty on anything. I think the base helps the flavors of the food it is put on to come out, because of the mayonnaise in the base.

[ Parent ]
we have this (2.00 / 12)
enormous rosemary so I end up using a lot of that, it's especially good with chicken. I want to try a blue cheese dip with baked pita chips the next time we get together with our friends here. We are experiementing with appetizers in preparation for a big baby shower later this spring. So far we've come up with a couple of things we like but lots of prep so now I'm concentrating on stuff that would be quicker.

There's nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.--Thornton Wilder

[ Parent ]
I bet this base with rosemary would be lovely on chicken - it's on (2.00 / 12)
my list of things to try. You will love the blue cheese dip and it's easy peasy to make.

[ Parent ]
i was doing well up to now ignoring my empty belly. (2.00 / 12)
now cole slaw sounds like just the ticket.
i like raisins or dried cherries in mine sometimes.

this base for dressings or dips is a winner Wee Mama.
i bet the buttermilk makes all the difference. seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn't.

Cole slaw with this dressing is a health food - don't ignore your belly! (2.00 / 11)
I like it on cole slaw because it has no sugar and is not really sour - just slightly tart. It lets the dill flavor come to the fore.

[ Parent ]
I don't think I've ever had buttermilk in my life. Will look (2.00 / 11)
to see if they have it at the store. Love to try new things.

[ Parent ]
It's a delight. A wonderful intgredient but also (2.00 / 11)
lovely to drink straight off. And because it is fermented, it is lactose free and lower in glycemic index.

It's lovely that so many things that are good for us are also delicious!

[ Parent ]
It's low calorie and really refreshing to drink chilled when it's hot outside. (2.00 / 8)

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht

[ Parent ]
For a subtle twist try adding a few celery seeds or dill seeds to it. (2.00 / 8)

[ Parent ]
Oooooooo, that sounds absolutely scrumptious. Thanks! (2.00 / 8)

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht

[ Parent ]
Yum...thanks Wee Mama! (2.00 / 10)
I've been using a mayo/sour cream base, but adding buttermilk and plain yogurt sounds better. I like to add fresh lime juice to the mix for coleslaw.

I'm going to print this and put it in my husbands recipe file because he's the current daily cook and is always wishing for a good easy sauce.

Love is the lasting legacy of our lives

Funny you mention that! The version we got from my FIL (2.00 / 11)
had sour cream, and the yogurt/buttermilk variant was our change to it. I actually like it better this way.

[ Parent ]
I make a tomato pie (2.00 / 11)
that uses mayo and sharp cheddar cheese. I am envisioning a change to use of this sauce instead of just mayo to liven it up.

Thanks for sharing!

Peace, Hope, Faith, Love

Sounds good! Do you bake the crust first? Let us know how (2.00 / 10)
the new version works.

[ Parent ]
It is a recipe from (2.00 / 10)
Loretta Lynn--You're Cooking It Country

2 large tomatoes, sliced
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
1 T. chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper
1 cup mayo
2 cups shredded cheddar--I use sharp cheddar

Preheat oven to 350. Put tomatoes in pie shell and sprinkle basil over top. Add salt/pepper to taste. Mix mayo and cheese then spread over tomatoes. Bake 30 min. or until is cheese is melted and golden brown.

I wait until tomatoes are good and fresh in summer before making this. If there is a church covered-dish, I make two pies. They always go quickly.

I'm excited for the first of the season tomatoes to come, so I can try your base!

Peace, Hope, Faith, Love

[ Parent ]
Yummy! (2.00 / 9)
I have been making a quick salad dressing with half mayonnaise, half mild green salsa that I get in Texas - you could probably add any sort of salsa ti this White Base and have something tasty to add to a salad, meat, or fish, or as a spread on a sandwich. Mash up an avocado and add to the White Base with some pico de gallo, maybe. Now you have me thinking!!  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.

-- Oscar Wilde

Terrific, versatile recipe - thanks! (2.00 / 9)
I can't wait to try this, but I'll have to get some buttermilk. My standard salad dressing is plain joghurt, juice of 1/2 lemon, a tablespoon of virgin olive oil and two mashed garlic cloves and herb salt to taste. Let sit for at least 1/2 hour. You might want to use less garlic, but I love it and use it for almost everything. It's good on/with any vegetables, and I have some variants, using soy sauce instead of salt or adding a dash of horseradish to pep it up even more.  

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht

That sounds delicious, too! How much yogurt for (2.00 / 8)
those proportions?

[ Parent ]
Not sure about the sizes in the US, but I use a standard German (2.00 / 8)
wide-mouthed jar that contains 500g, which is 1.1 US lbs, so I guess your 16-oz size? I also always use organic joghurt, which has a far superior taste compared to regular commercial joghurt.

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht

My neighborhood greengrocer... (2.00 / 6)
...carries an organic yogurt that's made just north of here (in western Marin County). It's smoother than commercial yogurt, and both more flavorful and creamier (it's a whole-milk yogurt). More liquid-y, too, because it's not full of gelatin or stabilizers. I love it. :-)

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

[ Parent ]
Makes sense, since your description fits pretty much what I get. (1.80 / 5)
I really don't like the consistency or texture of the commercial US yogurts, even the normal German yogurts don't have all that junk in them and taste better. Since I've eaten chiefly organic for years, I'm very spoiled and can detect artificial ingredients right away.  

Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren.
                       - Bertolt Brecht

[ Parent ]

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