So, the story goes that this dressing was originally called Buttermilk Dressing. It was popular with cowboys on cattle drives because buttermilk was a common ingredient in Cookie’s chuck wagon. (in case you’re too young to remember the TV show Rawhide, Cookie is what they called the cook). The name morphed into Buttermilk Ranch or Ranch dressing because the cowboys lived and worked on ranches. I can’t testify to the validity of the name origin, but it sounds reasonable. Well, I guess it sounds partially reasonable. I never gave much thought to dairy items going along on a cattle drive. Come to think of it, I never gave much thought to cowboys sitting around a campfire after a long day of moving cows to chow down on a nice salad.
Ok, the more I think about it the more this story seems to fall apart.
Regardless of how the dressing got it’s name, Americans love it. If you’ve never tried a homemade version, you owe it to yourself. It’s simply a matter of whisking together buttermilk, mayonnaise and fresh herbs along with some seasoning and tad bit of acidity in the form of lemon juice, lime juice or vinegar. That’s all there is to it. Some recipes call for parsley but I don’t think it’s a critical component. The flavor is mild and non-descript so it adds color but not much in the way of flavor. If you have parsley on hand, throw a little bit in. But, if you’re fresh out of parsley, don’t let that keep you from making this great salad dressing. Nevah, evah let parsley stand between you and a great salad.
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Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
The dressing needs a tiny bit more acidity in addition to buttermilk and mayonnaise. Use whatever you happen to have: vinegar, lemon juice or lime juice. Store dressing in refrigerator for up to one week.
yield: 1 1/2 cups
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon lemon juice (may substitute lime juice or white vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Whisk all ingredients together Cover and chill thoroughly before use. Will keep refrigerator for up to one week.
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- The dressing needs a tiny bit more acidity in addition to buttermilk and mayonnaise. Use whatever you happen to have: vinegar lemon juice or lime juice. Store dressing in refrigerator for up to one week.
- yield: 1 1/2 cups
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3/4 cup Duke's mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice may substitute lime juice or white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Whisk all ingredients together Cover and chill thoroughly before use. Will keep refrigerator for up to one week.