Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ranch Dressing

This idea was born of my ongoing problem of having planted too much lettuce, plus the new problem of buying a quart of buttermilk for the Irish soda bread and only using half of it.

When I was trying to figure out how to use the buttermilk, I realized that I had no idea what goes in ranch dressing.  Buttermilk, and um… green herbs of some kind.

The recipe I settled on seemed harmless enough, and rather forgiving.  I used all the chives on my lone plant and only had half as much as the recipe directed.  I subbed in some cilantro and yellow onion to make up the rest.  You could use fresh parsley if you have it.

All of the online recipes were rather snobby about using "good quality" or "real" mayonnaise.  I used my vegan mayo and couldn't tell the difference.  The buttermilk was the lower-fat option because I don't like super-thick, chunky milk.  I also used fat free Greek yogurt for sour cream, as is my usual substitution.  As a result, I'm assuming my version is much lower in fat, calories, and cholesterol than the original recipe.  Oh, and I used half as much salt.  I didn't set out to make "Lite Ranch", but that seems to be what happened.

A brief word of warning about the yield.  Unlike store-bought dressing, this batch is going to spoil in about a week.  Between the fresh dairy, fresh herbs, and lower salt content, you shouldn't make a giant batch to keep around.  This is about the largest amount you're likely to go through unless there's a party.

1/2 C Nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
*1/2 C buttermilk (or more to thin)
*1/4 C mayo
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
*1-1/2 tsp dried dill
*1/4 C fresh chives, finely chopped
*2 tsp lemon juice
drops of tabasco or a shake of cayenne if you like spicy

1.  Place all ingredients in a bowl.  Whisk until smooth.  If thicker than you like, add buttermilk to desired consistency.

2.  Chill until ready to use.  Keeps about 1 week refrigerated.

Makes about 1-1/2 cups

Difficulty rating  π

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