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.