Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Salad Dressing

Being an American expat, I miss Ranch Salad Dressing. Whenever family or friends visit, we ask them to bring Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing Mix Packages. When our stockpile runs low, we use bottle ranch dressings but prefer the lightness of freshly-mixed ranch. We wanted a good recipe for homemade ranch salad dressing and my taste buds were craving the best ranch ever, which I had at Angeline’s in Berkeley, California. Their dressing is creamy, light, perfect consistency, and has a touch of lime.

How to get that in our little Irish kitchen? What I came up with after some trial, error and A LOT of taste testing was a simple recipe which isn’t quite Hidden Valley but rings true with a freshness you just can’t find in a bottled on-the-shelf dressing.

Fresh herbs make all the difference too so don’t skimp on that. I also included an alternative to buttermilk because at one point I myself ran out and had to play around with a substitution that was recommended in one of my Grandma’s old cookbooks. Those are immensely helping to inspire and educate me in what should be the foundation or science of a recipe, giving me the freedom to let my imagination have a little fun knowing it will be safe to eat.

Homemade Ranch Dressing

1 cup Mayonnaise
3/4 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Buttermilk (or 1 cup Regular Milk mixed with 1 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, do a slurry first by mixing the cream of tartar with just a small amount of the milk then mix that blend with the rest of the milk)
1 tablespoon Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon Fresh Chives, finely chopped
2 tablespoon Fresh Dill (dried is ok in a pinch)
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon Lime Zest
Pinch of Garlic Salt

1. Mix all the ingredients together with a fork or whisk.

2. Put in a covered container or cruet and refrigerate for at least three hours (preferably overnight or all day).

3. Serve chilled over fresh crispy salad or alongside chicken bites, pizza slices, sliced raw veggies or just a big chunk of iceberg lettuce. Garnish with additional lime zest or herbs for a beautiful plate.

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