When I was growing up, I don’t remember having bottled ranch dressing readily available. Maybe this phenomenon had not made it to the backwoods southern U.S. grocers until later. Maybe Mom didn’t pick it up because it was too expensive, not sure. Instead, we bought packets of seasoning mix and added buttermilk to them. We actually used it more as a dip than a salad dressing.
However, having that flavor profile, I was unable to really like bottled ranch dressing when it did become a readily available item on the market. The flavors were a bit murky, not fresh and vibrant like I remembered. Yesterday, after cleaning out the refrigerator, I was aware that I needed to make a salad dressing for the week. I pulled out an old reliable recipe for ranch dressing that uses a mixture of fresh and dried herbs.
Obviously, if you live somewhere that has fresh herbs all year long, then use fresh herbs. At any rate, if you want to try your hand at making your own dressing, this is an easy introduction and a proven crowd pleaser.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
Makes about 2 cups
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp scallion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp dry dill (or 1/2 tsp fresh dill, chopped)
1/8 tsp dry oregano (or 1/2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped)
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch dry basil (or 1/8 tsp fresh basil, chopped)
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and sour cream. Whisk in buttermilk, dry mustard, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth. Incorporate scallions, garlic, parsley, dill, oregano, black pepper and basil until evenly distributed. If you prefer a thinner mixture, add more buttermilk to achieve desired consistency. Pour into a seal-able container and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Will keep in refrigerator for about 5 days.