I’ve made ranch dressing a few times before but hadn’t found the perfect recipe. One was too chunky; minced vegetables like red peppers don’t cling to dippers. Another time, I couldn’t put my finger on the problem, but it just wasn’t right. But now I’ve got it.
Combining Greek yogurt and mayonnaise creates a rich creamy base with the balance of the yogurt’s tart flavors and mayo’s sweeter notes. On their own, that would be a little thick for salad dressing, so buttermilk loosens the consistency. Lemon juice brightens and mustard deepens.
You don’t need a wide variety of herbs, but the ones you choose are key. The absolute essential one is chives, which gives the mixture onion flavor without raw onion’s sharp bite. Parsley fills in the bitter edge, and those are the only two that are necessary for a simple, but still great, ranch dressing. I had some dill around and added just a sprinkle, but even that was too much, because the dill tends to dominate.
It seems like something as ubiquitous as ranch dressing should be more complicated. There’s nothing much here beyond a creamy base, a few flavor tweaks, and a handful of herbs. But it’s another recipe I’ve been wanting to perfect that has been checked off the list.
One year ago: Braised White Bean with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Potatoes
Two years ago: Roasted Garlic Balsamic White Bean Dip
Three years ago: Caramel Crunch Bars
Four years ago: Challah
Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes about 1½ cups
To toast the garlic, heat a small unoiled not-nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the unpeeled garlic. When the peel blackens, turn the clove over and toast a second side. This takes the bite out of the raw garlic, which can be overpowering in dressings.
If you want your dressing to be smoother, put it through the blender (or take an immersion blender to it).
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, toasted
¼ cup minced fresh chives
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
⅛ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Whisk everything together. If you can make it a couple hours in advance, the flavors will have a chance to meld a little.