I've taken to making salad dressings from scratch. Our favorites so far are honey mustard (me), blue cheese (Chris) and poppy seed (both).
I hadn't, until recently, been able to find a ranch dressing recipe. I tasted a friend's dressing last summer and liked it, but she used a pre-mixed spice mix from Penzey's. Not what I was looking for, but I kept that open as an option since I was already aware of Hidden Valley's mix and liked it. (Penzey's is a great source for spices, by the way.)
Then in the June 9 feature section of News & Record, the newspaper I work for, I found a ranch recipe! And it is so easy! I can't believe I couldn't find a recipe before now.
Basically, you take whatever fresh herbs you have on hand and throw it in a bowl with buttermilk (or substitutes), mayo (or salad dressing/Miracle Whip), lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.
Since we're participating in a community supported agriculture (CSA) program this year, we already have a bunch of herbs on hand. I added dill, loveage, parsley and oregano.
Here's the recipe:
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. finely chopper mixed fresh herbs
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 garlic clove
Mix all the ingredients together and serve! That easy.
* Some buttermilk substitutes are yogurt or 1 tbsp. lemon juice with enough milk to make one cup. Let the milk mixture sit for a few minutes before using.
I used vanilla yogurt, which turned out to be too overpowering. The vanilla competes with the herbs so next time I'll use plain yogurt or the milk/lemon juice trick.
I also never use mayonnaise since I don't like it that much. I grew up on Miracle Whip (salad dressing) and prefer it. Plus, it's lower in fat. :)
Here are some products from Amazon:
Note: I am an Amazon Associate and select products that are related to blog posts or that I personally recommend. For this post, I do recommend Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix if you don't want to make your own dressing from scratch. My grandma has used it for years and it's delicious.
Though I haven't tried the Williams-Sonoma cook book above, I do have the Williams-Sonoma Mexican cook book and it's easy to use and has good recipes. So, it might be worth checking out the one above too.
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