Growing up, I thought ranch was made of rainbows and sunshine.
That’s right, the foodie who posts pictures of elegant frittatas and pickles her own vegetables is a sucker for a good ranch dressing. I’m not referring to the gloppy, store-bought, preservative-packed stuff–we’re talking about simple homemade ranch. If you’re within earshot of my best friend and I during a lunch outing you’ll undoubtedly hear:
“Fanny, there’s ketchup on your elbow.”
“Yep. Definitely homemade ranch.”
I applaud, and am inspired by, all restaurants, cafes, bistros, etc. who take the time to make their dressings from scratch.
**Shout out to my favorite sandwich shop in Raleigh: Boondinis**
I’m a veteran tzatziki-maker (traditional Greek condiment made with yogurt, dill, garlic, and lemon) so I knew that ranch couldn’t be too far off. As it turns out, the secret behind homemade ranch is–not butterflies and unicorns–but buttermilk, lots of fresh dill, a hint of garlic, and a splash of vinegar to brighten everything up. To make it my own, I gave it a kick with some gorgonzola and honey.
For all of you out there who nearly pee your pants when you accidentally dunk your buffalo wing into blue cheese, let me put your minds at ease. Gorgonzola is more like a distant cousin to the somewhat offensive blue cheese. It is creamier, sweeter, and much more mild.
Imagine goat cheese with a rebellious attitude.
In this recipe I’ve lightened everything up by using low-fat buttermilk and non-fat Greek yogurt–instead of mayonnaise This makes for a low fat, low calorie dressing that is still creamy (thank you Greek yogurt), tangy (thank you buttermilk), and has hints of sweetness (thank you gorgonzola and honey).
Another important element of this dressing is lemon juice and apple cider vinegar to taste. Buttermilk has a sharp flavor and you need something to brighten it up and balance it out.
Buttermilk Dill Dressing with Gorgonzola and Honey
Ingredients: 1 cup low fat buttermilk / 1 small container plain non fat Greek yogurt / 1/4 cup fresh chopped dill / 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic / apple cider vinegar to taste (approximately 2 tablespoons) / honey to taste (approximately 1 tablespoon) / salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste / 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola / the juice of 1/2 one small lemon
Directions: Whisk all ingredients and adjust seasonings to taste; Store in refrigerator for at least twelve hours before serving; *You can use it right away, but the flavors get better as they sit.*
1. On top of an open faced veggie sandwich (toasted multigrain sourdough with hummus, spinach, avocado, tomatoes, radishes, fresh basil, spring onions, salt and pepper).
2. With homemade baked sea salt chips (regular bagged potato chips are just as yummy with this).
3. On a big, juicy, drip-down-your-arm burger. Blog soon to come on this “junior bacon badass”: Italian pork and ground chuck patty char grilled and topped with maple brown sugar bacon, sweet and sour pickled yellow tomatoes and cucumbers, pea shoots, and dill dressing.
Other suggestions on where to use your scratch-made “ranch”:
- Cut up fresh veggies (carrots, cucumber, celery, radishes) and serve dressing as dipping sauce.
- Substitute for mayo on a homemade BLT.
- Drizzle over roasted beets and peppery greens for a simple salad.