Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

May 30, 2013

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

Makes: about 2 cups
Prep time: 1 hrs 10 min


  • 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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