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Essential Recipe: Quick Ranch Dressing - Recipes from The Kitchn

Essential Recipe: Quick Ranch Dressing - Recipes from The Kitchn
From The Kitchn - November 9, 2017

Forget the bottled stuff. Homemade ranch dressing is one of the most refreshing ways to dress a salad. A touch of cool, creamy buttermilk ranch, speckled with fresh herbs, drizzled over fresh greens? Heavenly. And making ranch dressing is literally a 2-minute affair. But first, we need to talk about mayonnaise.

Under ordinary circumstances, I am not mayo's biggest cheerleader. I have made half a dozen potato salads, and none of them with mayo; I usually prefer lighter yogurt or vinegar-based dressings.

Even so, there are still places for rich mayonnaise in the kitchen, and classic ranch dressing is one of them.

Mayonnaise plays a significant part in creating that distinctive ranch flavor, and it also lends body to the dressing. Lighter options like yogurt are delicious, but yogurt wo not give the same smooth texture and full body. Homemade ranch dressing is one of the only reasons I keep a jar of mayonnaise in the refrigerator.

Together, mayonnaise and buttermilk form the base of ranch dressing. After that, there are many options to kick up the essential formula: Vinegar, for a bit of extra tang. I like to use rice vinegar, which is more delicate, although white wine or cider vinegar would be more traditional. Garlic powder (like mayonnaise, I only keep this around for ranch dressing). Fresh herbs, if you are so inclined.

I kept the proportions in this recipe small, since I think this is one dressing that's best when it is made fresh. I do make it a little ahead and stick it back in the fridge, since this helps it thicken up before dressing the salad (which I do an instant before bringing it to the table). But it will last a few days in the fridge, so feel free to double it and stash away a jar.

Quick Ranch Dressing: Watch the Video

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