Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

May 30, 2013
15 Ratings
Photo by Tara O'Brady
Author Notes

Ranch is a buttermilk-and-mayonnaise based dressing named after the ranch in Hidden Valley, California where it was first served almost 60 years ago. My homemade dressing isn’t trying to emulate the stuff that comes in a bottle, because if that’s what you’re craving, then I honestly believe only the original will do. Instead, what I was aiming for was a tangy rendition, packed with herbs, with enough body to coat greens and vegetables, but not overpower. In this recipe there’s some yogurt to lighten the mix, and basil brings extra fragrance and sweetness, while the paprika lends a smoky note. It’s my variation on a classic, and a favourite in its own right. —Tara O'Brady

  • Prep time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Makes about 2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons teaspoons lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
  • 1 drop honey, as needed
In This Recipe
  1. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the shallot, herbs, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice, mayonnaise, and yogurt or sour cream. Screw on the the lid and shake the jar to combine. Stir in most of the buttermilk. Check for consistency, and add more if needed. Taste, then season with salt, pepper and paprika. If the dressing is too sharp, drizzle in some honey to mellow the acidity. Taste again, and adjust if needed.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for an hour before using, to allow the flavors to blend and develop.

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Food writer and creator of the site Seven Spoons. Author of the bestselling cookbook of the same name (Ten Speed Press and Appetite by Random House). Food columnist for The Globe and Mail.