Having spent 10 years working in the restaurant industry at two different restaurants each of which made its own homemade dressings, I’ve always been in awe of and drawn to homemade dressings. I can spot a store-bought dressing a mile away and can’t stand when I’m served store-bought dressing when I’m eating out. Especially Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. Yuck. Can’t stand it. So I guess you could say working in the restaurant industry has spoiled me. Well, at least when it comes to tasty homemade dressings.
There’s this BBQ food cart that opened recently near my house. If you’re not familiar with Portland, Portland is mecca for food carts/trucks. I was excited to try the BBQ cart near my house because a) it’s a close walk and b), quite frankly, who doesn’t like BBQ?
One of the sides served at the BBQ cart is a salad with your choice of ranch, blue cheese and other type of dressing. I’m not one to choose salad as a side when I go out to eat. (I’ll have a small salad as a starter but never choose salad as my actual side. Why would I choose a salad when I could have fries or, better yet, poutine instead?) However, the other sides offered were so undesirable to me I decided to chance it and order a salad. Because how bad could a salad be, right?
It turns out a salad can be pretty terrible. The one at the food cart was about the worst salad I’ve ever experienced mainly because the blasé salad ingredients were punctuated by blasé Hidden Valley Ranch dressing. So gross!!
I’ve been meaning to make my own homemade ranch dressing and dipping sauce for quite some time now but it’s always seemed like a somewhat daunting task. The worst ranch dressing in the world served at the BBQ cart around the corner from my house inspired me to buck up and try my hand at something that I could only imagine has to be even slightly better than Hidden Valley Ranch. Which would make it a million times tastier than what’s served at the food cart.
- 1 c. mayonnaise
- ½ c. sour cream
- buttermilk, as needed (I usually omit completely for a dip)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T. fresh chives, chopped (or to taste)
- ¼ c. fresh Italian flat leaf parsley (or to taste)
- salt, to taste
- pepper to taste
***Mix all ingredients in a bowl until evenly blended.
I make my own homemade mayonnaise. I’m not sure if this makes me smart/thrifty or stupid/stubborn. The fact of the matter is I just can’t justify buying mayonnaise at the grocery store – for a few reasons. One: it’s expensive! The ingredients to make homemade mayonnaise are so simple and inexpensive I can’t make myself reach onto the shelf, grab a jar of mayo and put it in my cart or basket. Two: if you want to even attempt to get a decent deal when buying store-bought mayonnaise you need to buy a colossal jar. I don’t eat mayonnaise that often that it would be worth it for me to have a jar on hand. So usually I just make my own mayonnaise when I have a recipe that calls for it as an ingredient. The reason this is probably stupid is because it’s easier to reach for a jar of mayo stashed in your cupboard or fridge versus breaking out your blender or processor and making your own. I must be stubborn that way.
After finally mustering up the nerve to make this dressing, I’m not sure what I thought was so daunting about the recipe to begin with. It’s straightforward and very simple (especially if you buy your mayo).
I didn’t add any additional chives or parsley. Instead I adjusted the salt and pepper to my taste – which means a lot of both. In my opinion this recipe is restaurant-worthy. I liked the flavor so much I nearly had to stop myself from drinking it. OK. Not really. But you get the idea. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I will make this recipe over and over and over and over…