I know that in some circles "ranch" dressing or dip is considered passe' but, to me, it ranks up there will all my favorite comfort foods like mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, chicken pot pie, and all the rest of the delicious, non-pretensious things that are so lovely and comforting to eat. I do admit, though, that ranch dressing out a bottle from a grocer's shelf doesn't thrill me but making it home-made with fresh herbs is definitely the ticket!
It's also much better for you. Think about it. Sure, it's a little more work to put the ingredients together but when you make it from scratch, including the mayo, you're talking about eating eggs, cold-pressed oil, buttermilk, dill, parsley, garlic, etc., all whole foods not tons of chemicals and preservatives. That, and the fresh creamy herby taste make it worth every one of those 15 minute spent preparing it.
Home-made Buttermilk Herb (Ranch) Dressing
Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse
1/4 cup pasteurized eggs (Mom used 2 egg yolks, which is fine, but eggs are iffy these days and not always from our farmer friends like when I was a kid so I use Egg Beaters or something comparable now)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp mustard, yellow, coarse brown, spicy brown, etc.
pinch each of salt and pepper, and sugar (or tsp of honey)
1 cup neutral -flavored oil such as expeller-pressed canola or safflower. You can also use olive oil or any nut oils, just be prepared that those flavors will dominate the mayo.
1 clove roasted garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp fresh garlic but roasted is better)
1 tbsp chives or green onion, minced finely
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Place first four mayo ingredients (except for the oil) in the blender and blend quickly until mixed thoroughly.
2) With the center removed from the lid, and the blender going non-stop, pour the oil through the hole in the lid in a small, steady stream until all of it is in the blender. Within seconds the mixture will thicken to the consisentency of and opacity of mayo. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Refrigerate.
(Makes 1 1/2 cups)
3) Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary (keep in mind the flavors will all blend together as it chills)
4) Add rest of ingredients EXCEPT buttermilk to blender and buzz several times until mixed well. Add buttermilk a bit at a time, pulsing until you get the dip or salad dressing consistency you want. Chill for several hours.
Makes 2 1/2 cups (I usually split it into two pint jars, one thinner for use as dressing, one slightly thicker to be used as vegetable dip.)