Le Food Snob

I tend not to try various recipes for ranch dressing because the one I make is so amazing I need not look any further. But when I was contemplating what kind of dressing to serve with an arugula salad for a dinner party, I settled on a new recipe for buttermilk ranch for two reasons. 1) I had all of the ingredients on hand besides the chives, which cost $1.19 at the store two blocks from my house. 2) Everyone loves ranch. It’s a crowd pleaser. I figured I couldn’t go wrong.

Turns out my choice for ranch was the right one to make because my pickiest eater at my dinner party loves ranch so much she would marry it. I think I know the feeling.

I was intrigued by this recipe because of all the flavors that did/did not go into it. The original recipe, taken from Bon Appétit, did not include parsley. Aside from chives, parsley seems like ranch staple to me. (Yeah, yeah lots of ranch recipes also include dill but I’m not a fan so I’m not freaked out by ranch recipes that leave it out.) So I added some dried parsley in mine. The dried oregano and the onion powder added into the mix was a bit odd to me but I like oregano and onion so I was down for the flavors. Lastly, I was nervous about adding ground mustard to the dressing even though it was honestly the tiniest amount of ground mustard. I have food PTSD when it comes to ranch dressing that tastes like mustard thanks to the era when I worked at the Cheesecake Factory and they changed their ranch recipe from standard ranch to honey mustard ranch. (Really? WTF.) I was afraid my ranch dressing would slightly resemble the honey mustard ranch (minus the honey part) I loathed when I was in my 20s.

Aside from my general reservations about the ensemble ingredients in the recipe I also have a phobia of adding too many herbs to ranch dressing. It happened once. I wasn’t totally following the directions and kept kind of throwing herbs into the mix and it ended up too herb-y. The flavor was fine but the texture was just too herb-y. I always have in the back of my mind when making ranch that you can ruin ranch with too many herbs.

Well while I was making this dressing, I thought the end result was not herb-y enough. It was like you could see flecks of herb in a sea of white. I don’t want a ranch sauce that isn’t herb-y enough. There’s an acceptable range of herbs in ranch dipping sauce and neither too few or too many will do. So I had to do some tweaking of the original recipe and I’m happy to say the end result was not too herby but herby enough.

When I did a taste test of this dressing the day after I made it, I panicked because the overwhelming flavor seemed to be mustard. Now I doubt this is the case because really the recipe uses a tiny amount of mustard.  My dinner guests made no remarks about the dressing tasting too mustard-y. Instead they praised it.

ingredients.

  • ¾ c. whole-milk plain Greek yogurt or sour cream (I used sour cream)
  • ⅔ c. buttermilk
  • ¼ c. mayonnaise
  • 1 ½ T. finely chopped chives
  • ½ fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated (Forgot this–damnit!)
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. dried parsley
  • Kosher salt, to taste

directions.

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl; season with salt as necessary.
  2. Scrape into a serving container such as a mason jar and seal. Chill before serving to let the flavors meld. (I like to make this the day before serving.)

Recipe rating: 

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