Growing up, I wasn’t a fan of ranch dressing. I almost never ate it. I found it a bit too sour for my unsophisticated childhood palate (I disliked sour cream, also). But I also found it to have a very unappetizing, gloppy texture. It wasn’t until adulthood that I realized the gloppiness has nothing to do with ranch dressing itself and everything to do with store-bought ranch being a processed food with added high fructose corn syrup. Once I discovered that you can easily make ranch dressing at home, I started making it frequently and became quite the fan. I’ve made recipes for ranch from other cookbooks, but wanted to come up with my own that could be used in a pinch whenever it was needed. After a few false starts, I think I have succeeded. I use this a lot now. I love it the old-fashioned way, as a salad dressing, or as a dipper for carrot sticks or chicken fingers. It’s especially tasty on grilled romaine lettuce. I’m also completely in love with the combination of chicken-bacon-ranch, and there are endless possibilities for configuring this mash-up into delicious meals. Chicken-bacon-ranch sandwiches, chicken-bacon-ranch pizza, pasta, dip, casseroles, burgers! And on and on and on! Now that my ranch dressing is ready for prime-time, I will be making many chicken-bacon-ranch dishes and sharing the yumminess on this blog. For now, here is the base recipe. Hopefully you love it as much as I do!
1 cup buttermilk
¾ cup sour cream
2 tbs mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 large garlic clove, grated
¼ cup grated parmesan
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbs lemon pepper
3 dashes of hot sauce (I use TX Pete’s)
A small handful each of parsley, dill, and chives, minced
Combine all ingredients except the herbs in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Fold in the herbs. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed, except for the hot sauce. For best results, let it sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour to let the flavors marry. I think you’ll find the hot sauce really equilibrates during this time and you won’t need to add any more; but if you want yours to have a little more kick, by all means add more. I have previously made the mistake of adding extra hot sauce immediately because I initially couldn’t taste it, then being very sorry a few days later when the ranch set my tongue on fire.
Store covered in the refrigerator. Officially, it should be used up within a week. Unofficially, I’ve left it in there for up to 6 weeks and no one died.
This will yield about 2 cups.