My friend, Monica Shaw, and I share a love of Ranch Dressing, so I couldn’t wait to try her sister’s recipe. It’s an absolutely delicious dressing and dip, and I highly recommend it. I made a few adjustments and changes for my version.
I made just one or two small tweaks to Monica’s ingredients list. I reduced the amount of salt to a pinch and included a rounded 1/4 teaspoon celery salt. This additional ingredient is in a product called Uncle Dan’s Original Ranch Dressing that’s still only available in the state of Washington. It comes as a dry mix to which you add mayo, buttermilk and sour cream. To reduce calories, use low-fat yogurt and fat-free buttermilk. You can also use cottage cheese and blitz it with a handblender until smooth for a low-calorie alternative. For dipping chips, crisps or veg, omit the buttermilk for a thicker mixture.
I also added a scant spoonful of half-fat crème fraiche to thicken the mixture a bit because the pickle juice altered the dressing’s consistency to runny milk. The Tesco brand sour cream was thick enough (photo above) but the pickle juice, which is a stroke of genius, liquefied the dressing so much that I feared it might not adhere to the salad greens. Within an hour in the fridge, the dressing had firmed up nicely.
This is a fresh, herby, creamy dressing that’s extremely versatile. I’ve added Ranch Dressing to jacket potatoes/baked potatoes instead of sour cream, drizzled over an omelette, a dip for chips, crisps, veg sticks, with grilled fish instead of tartar sauce, and also dripping off my finger and slipped between my lips when no one is watching.
I increased the quantities of herbs in Monica’s recipe so that I can use the least possible amount of dressing on a salad, toss, and still be able to taste it. I also tried this recipe using mostly fresh herbs but the dressing turned a gloriously green colour. Yikes! I’ll work on the fresh herbs angle when my herb garden is bulging out of its pots.
Ranch Dressing and Dip
1/4 cup full-fat mayonnaise (see note*)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk
2 tablespoons pickling juice from jar of garlic dill pickles
2 tablespoon half-fat crème fraiche
Add and stir well into creamy mixture:
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried granulated onion
1/4 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon minced chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4-1/2 teaspoon celery salt (to taste; be cautious)
pinch of salt and pepper
Mix, and then refrigerate for several hours. The dressing will firm up and the flavours mature when cooled. (*Note: if using reduce-fat or low-calorie mayo, add a splash of boiling water to the mayo and stir well so the stabilising gums release.)
Monica sister’s recipe, full ingredient list and method are at Monica’s blog “Smarter Fitter” – Ranch Dressing