Salad Time ~ Go Green!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spring greens are GORGEOUS right now and although I love salads year round, they never taste quite as good as they do when the greens are sweet and tender in spring. At my house, we like dressing our salads with a variety of different homemade dressings but none are as popular as good ole ranch-style dressing -- creamy and cool and with the addition of fresh, spring herbs, just the perfect compliment to the tender, fresh greens. I've used the same ranch-style formula for years with few's tried and true. When my June copy of EVERYDAY FOOD came in I spied a great formula for making different dressings with a Creamy Salad Dressing Base. I've been playing with those formulas all week and thought I'd share both my tried and true recipe and that formula for making the 6 different dressing using the creamy base.

Ranch-style Dressing
(Printable Version)

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4cup buttermilk (I always use real buttermilk, I freeze it in 1/2-1 cup measurements)
1-1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar (or 1 Splenda packet)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1-1/2 teaspoons dried parsely (or 2 Tbsp fresh chopped)
1/4 teaspoon dried dill (or 1 tsp fresh)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash sweet paprika

Wisk all ingredients together and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 1cup.

Creamy Salad Dressing Base
(Printable Version)

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
desired mix-ins (see below)
coarse salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, and mayonnaise until smooth. Whisk in desired mix-in. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Green Goodess ~ 1/2 avocado, mashed until smooth, 1/4 cup finely chopped chives. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley.

Roasted Garlic ~ 1 small head roasted garlic, skins removed and cloves mashed until smooth (about 2 tablespoons).

Blue Cheese ~ 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled.

Ranch ~ 1-1/2 reaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, 1 small garlic clove, minced, pinch of cayenne pepper.

Thousand Island ~ 1/3 cup ketchup, 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish.

Peppercorn-Parmesan ~ 2 ounces finely grated Parmesan (2/3 cup), 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper.


  1. Olive Cooper said...:

    Hi Gail, thanks for these. I have promised myself that I am going to make my own dressings and I did make my own oil and vinegar and herb dressing this weekend for pasta and it was just fine. So I can do it and I know home-made is far better. hugs♥O

  1. Gail, This is the most perfect post for me right now! My salad greens are taking over my garden! I always make homemade, but with this great formula I can have so many of my favorites just by tweaking one recipe a little.
    Oh, yummy!
    You are the queen of the kitchen... and now the garden!
    Great post my friend!

  1. The dressing sounds great Gail! I've been making the Pioneer Woman's but find the garlic a little harsh. I'll give these a try:@)

  1. Shug said...:

    I too love salads...almost any kind. I just have problems with the dressings...the bought dressings are just not for me....I prefer to make my own...

  1. Prairiemaid said...:

    These sound great! Thanks for posting them.


  1. Barbara said...:

    That looks so good, and those dressing recipes are great, thanks my friend, Hugs Barbara

  1. Debbie said...:

    Yum! I'm in a salad state of mind these days and happen to be looking for great dressing recipes.

    I hope things are going well/better for you these days. I have prayed.

  1. Cathy said...:

    What a great idea! If I have the base in the fridge I can change it up during the week for a nice variety of salads. Green Goddess is one of my favorites.

  1. Carol said...:

    The greens are gorgeous! The homemade dressing look delicious too.

  1. Sue said...:

    I just have to make the avocado dressing! How could you go wrong with any of them in this base? Yummers....
    :-) Sue

  1. All your dressing variations sound delicious! I didn't know you could freeze buttermilk! But I'm going to do that now!

  1. i would love to grow salad! one day, when i have a real veggie garden, i hope to. your looks deelish-and speaking of dressing, i just saw a great make your own blue cheese dressing...i think it was the blog 33 shades of green. i just had salad for lunch today! always a good choice!

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