Reader's eager to give restaurant salad a whirl


Diane Van Bleikom of Johnstown, Pa., requested a recipe for a Spinning Bowl Salad. "It was a featured item at the Twentieth Century Restaurant in Youngstown, Ohio, which closed about 10 years ago," she wrote. "I'm hoping someone has the recipe, which was fabulous."

From Audrey Feldkamp of Marengo, Ill., came the recipe and a touch of its history. Feldkamp wrote, "Actually, this recipe was a longtime trademark of the Blackhawk restaurant in Chicago, and they still make it today at their restaurant in Wheeling, Ill. It has a long speech that goes with it about the number of ingredients ... [and] importing the greens all the way from Milwaukee, while the waiter makes it up at your table. The best part of this salad dressing was hearing the speech that went with it. We went so often that our children could repeat it along with the waiters."

Spinning Bowl Salad

Makes 1 1/2 cups of dressing; 1 scant cup of blue-cheese mixture

1 (3-ounce) soft cream cheese

3 ounces crumbled blue cheese

5-6 tablespoons water

1 egg

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 clove garlic

1 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon hot mustard

8 cups torn salad greens

1 chopped hard-boiled egg

seasoned salt, to taste

black pepper, to taste

Beat cream cheese and blue cheese in a small bowl until smooth. Beat in water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is pourable. Set aside.

Combine egg, lemon juice and 1/4 cup oil in a blender and mix on medium speed 15 seconds. Increase speed to high and add remaining oil in a slow, steady stream, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the container. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, chives, Worcestershire, salt, paprika, garlic, white pepper and mustard and blend until smooth.

Combine salad greens in a large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with chopped egg and seasoned salt and pepper and toss gently. Add , tablespoon cheese mixture and toss again. Only toss three times (no more). Remaining dressing and cheese mixture can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "This works best with bibb, butter or romaine lettuce, something with a crunch to it. Even iceberg lettuce would be pleasant coated with the thick, tangy dressing swirled with dabs of the blue-cheese mixture. The egg adds textural interest as well as flavor. It's a very simple salad, but still sophisticated enough to marry well with most contemporary main dishes. The stringent instructions about tossing result in bites that have only the regular dressing and others that contain a bit of the blue-cheese mixture."

Recipe requests

* Leone Levine of Du Bois, Pa., is seeking a recipe for Never-Fail Matzo Balls that has "simple ingredients" and is "fast to prepare."

* Betty J. Fleming of Bel Air is looking for a recipe for the dark, sweet bread served at Outback Steakhouse restaurants.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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