Ranch Dressing Et Al.

22 Nov


Ingredients: Mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, dill, white wine vinegar, lemon, garlic salt, granulated garlic, paprika, ground pepper, and honey.

I know this is really simple. That’s what I thought too! But a friend told me I should post it because lots of people use ranch and would love to make it at home. So here it is!

I have a household of dippers. So this dressing/dip is a staple in our refrigerator. It takes minutes to put together, tastes great, and is so much cheaper than buying ranch in the store. (I can’t stand buying salad dressing at the store!) Most dressing are easily duplicated at home, and even taste better! Following the ranch dressing recipe, I’ve also listed the basic ingredients for many other common salad dressings. All of which you can totally make yourself. Have fun!

In a mixing bowl, combine equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream. Thin it with buttermilk to the consistency you prefer. Then stir in lots of dill, either dried or fresh. More if you use dried, less if you use fresh. Next comes garlic salt, granulated garlic, and paprika. Start adding these in and taste as you stir until you have reached the ratio of salty and savory that you like. Then stir in white wine vinegar. Start with a touch, then taste. You can always add more if you like. Finally, add a little squeeze of lemon, a touch of honey, agave nectar or sugar, and fresh ground peppercorns. Don’t be afraid to go back and add a bit more of one or more ingredients until you reach the taste you like.

Experiment: Try basil instead of dill for a creamy pesto ranch. Try pickle juice instead of vinegar. Try smoky paprika, red pepper flakes, or some juice from pickled jalapenos to give it a spicy kick. If you like fresh garlic flavor, try using a couple cloves of fresh pressed garlic instead of granulated garlic. For a low-calorie/low-fat version, use light mayonnaise and fat-free sour cream. For a treat, stir in shredded Parmesan cheese for Parmesan ranch.

Here are the basic ingredients for other common salad dressings that I make…

Thousand Island

Ingredients: Mayonnaise, ketchup, buttermilk, chopped dill pickle, minced onion, white wine vinegar, and sea salt.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ingredients: Two parts olive oil to one part balsamic vinegar, fresh pressed garlic, honey, salt (or anchovy paste if you have it), and fresh ground pepper.

Italian

Ingredients: Two parts olive oil to one part white or red wine vinegar, minced garlic, minced onion, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried basil, sea salt, pepper, sugar, honey, or other sweetener.

Asian Vinaigrette

Ingredients: Four parts seasoned rice vinegar to one part pure sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter, minced green onion, cilantro, sugar, honey, or other sweetener.

Honey Mustard

Ingredients: Three parts mayonnaise to one part Dijon mustard, touch of spicy brown mustard, honey, sea salt, pepper, paprika, and onion powder.  (Sometimes I put dill in it too.)

Spicy Ranch

Ingredients: Two parts mayonnaise to one part Savory Cilantro Sauce, buttermilk, sea salt, a splash of white wine vinegar.  OR, for Chipotle Ranch: One part sour cream to one part mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, buttermilk, one chopped red chili in adobo sauce, minced garlic, sea salt, sugar, honey, or other sweetener.

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4 Responses to “Ranch Dressing Et Al.”

  1. Briana November 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm #

    Yum, we just ate this on our salads, I had all the ingredients on hand and I added a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix with about a cup of sour plain kefir and some milk to extend it to a huge mason jar. Also didn’t have the white wine vinegar but the kefir (extra cultured) added good flavor. Thanks! I dislike shelf-bottled dressing but haven’t played with it beyond vinagrettes. Good recipe.

  2. Denee Longan November 28, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    Thanks, Mindy! I’ve been wanting to make my own, and it’s nice to have some family-tested guidance.

  3. Anna Burnham January 12, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Mindy! Thank you! I’m tired of sneaking around in the grocery store trying to decode the crazy ingredients on dressing labels. This list of the major ingredients in dressings is really helpful 🙂

  4. Sarah Johnson January 14, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    Oh, thanks for posting this! I always forget how you said you did it. I agree, they’re much better homemade.

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