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LOW-FAT COOKING/DONNA DEANE

Dressing Down

January 28, 1998|DONNA DEANE | Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen

When we make one of our favorite big salads, with lots of fresh sliced vegetables and lettuces, our intentions are good. But when it comes to adding the dressing, we often blow those good intentions--and our fat budget. It's the oil that makes the fat add up.

But this roasted bell pepper and basil salad dressing has no oil. It may be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for several days, ready for those big salads. And when you put on more than the recommended amount of dressing, you won't have to feel a bit of guilt.

NO-OIL RED BELL PEPPER AND BASIL SALAD DRESSING

1 large red bell pepper

1 (16-ounce) carton nonfat cottage cheese

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup minced basil

1 tablespoon snipped chives

Roast pepper on rack over flame of gas burner, hold with tongs over flame or broil on rack in oven, turning until all sides are charred. Place pepper in brown paper bag or in bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap and let steam 15 minutes. Peel, remove stem and seeds and chop.

Process cottage cheese in blender until smooth. Add bell pepper and garlic and process until smooth. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and process just until blended. Stir in basil and chives. Cover and chill.

2 1/4 cups. Each 1-tablespoon serving:

10 calories; 84 mg sodium; 1 mg cholesterol; 0 fat; 1 gram carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.02 gram fiber.

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