Back when I started on this food blogging journey, I was still making making a lot of casseroles for dinner and relying heavily on packaged foods for most of my meals. Over the last six years, I’ve enjoyed stretching my kitchen muscle into areas that were both unfamiliar and uncomfortable. I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible, and I’ve done a lot of reading about where my food comes from, what goes into packaged goods, and have made a considerable effort to reduce the amount of packaged food I buy. Yes, I still order pizza sometimes. Yes, I love Chinese takeout. Yes, I’m sitting down with a bowl of potato chips and store-bought dip as I write this. However, I’ve made significant progress over the last couple of years. I’ve tackled homemade versions of hot cocoa mix (my favorite winter drink!), Klondike bars, American cheese, and even Nutella. Given that ranch is my favorite salad dressing and that I would dip almost anything in it if I could (seriously – chicken fingers, fries, carrots, you name it!), it was high time that I made it at home.
My local grocery store has an awesome salad bar and I’ve been getting a salad for lunch at least a couple of days a week for the last month or so. Putting the dressing on is always a quandary for me. All of the dressings are full-fat, plus, of course, they’re bottled. I could come home and put on my own vinaigrette, but I love ranch, especially when I make a “big salad with lots of stuff” (two Seinfeld references in one week!). The time was right for getting right down to it and pulling out the blender. As it turns out, making homemade ranch dressing could not be any easier and I can’t imagine any reason why I’d ever buy it at the store again.
Basically, throw everything (much of which you probably already have on hand) into the blender, puree for 10 seconds or so and, voila! Delicious, perfect ranch dressing. You can mix and match herbs if you’d like, as well as play around with the amount of buttermilk in the recipe. Stay at the lower end for a thicker dressing (which I prefer), or add a little more for a thinner dressing.
A fabulous homemade recipe for buttermilk ranch dressing.
¾ cup mayonnaise
¾ cup sour cream
¼ to ½ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 small garlic clove (or half of 1 large clove)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Add all ingredients with ¼ cup of the buttermilk to a blender. Puree for about 10 seconds to combine. Check the consistency and add additional buttermilk a couple tablespoons at a time if you desire a thinner dressing.
2. Store in a glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.