Sure, it’s easy to reach for that familiar green and white bottle at the market, but aren’t you really craving something fresh? Making your own ranch dressing is too easy, and has a tangier, zestier and livelier taste than anything you can buy with a coupon.
Early in my cooking career, making salad dressing was a chore. I preferred to buy whatever powder or potion was on special, thinking that my time and resources were better spent elsewhere.
I was so wrong.
My grandmothers couldn't be bothered with making salad dressing either. White vinegar and "salad oil" we're usually combined with a foil packet of miraculous, mysterious spices, in a convenient premeasured cruet, and with a few shakes, voila, salad dressing. Come to think of it, eating the iceberg lettuce and hard, under ripe tomatoes of our standard table salad was a real chore as well. The salads of the 1970's just weren't that good.
Thanks to better refrigeration and prompt produce delivery, we can now enjoy a fabulous salad almost year round. Making fresh salad dressing, I learned, is almost as easy as buying lettuce.
I assume that ranch style salad dressing derives its name front the country goodness of buttermilk, a leftover byproduct of butter churning. Usually incorporated into biscuits, pancakes and baked goods, buttermilk was readily available in most farm and ranch kitchens.
This is a great recipe for cilantro fans. Adding the cilantro at the last minute is key as chopped cilantro loses its flavor quickly. Try combining this dressing with feta cheese, ripe tomatoes, and tossing it over fresh spinach or arugula. Keep some in the fridge for late night meals or TV time snacks.
Of course, this dressing is awesome on salad, but slather a bit on your BLT, or mix it with your egg salad for a new twist on your old favorites. We loved as a vegetable dip, and even dipped our pizza in it (ahem, after we ate our vegetables, of course!)