the thin chef

Buttermilk Dressing

We don’t buy salad dressing. Like, ever. Why? Because any dressing you make at home is going to taste 100% better than what you could buy. And, did I mention? It’s ridiculously easy to make your own. From a simple lemon vinaigrette (our go-to salad topper) to flavorful Asian versions, and even Caesar dressing, it’s cheaper, healthier, and tastier to make dressing at home.

I had some buttermilk in the fridge from making these pancakes (try them this weekend, they are wonderful), so I decided to make a less-guilty version of classic ranch dressing—a favorite in our house, but one we don’t indulge in often. It’s fantastic spooned over an avocado…add a few radish slices, and you have a legitimate salad. It’s also perfect drizzled over a simple salad topped with bacon—kind of a deconstructed wedge salad, that omnipresent steakhouse classic.

Buttermilk Dressing
makes about 1 cup

Less thick than classic ranch, this dressing is much healthier, using low-fat buttermilk and light mayonnaise. Usually, I find fresh garlic too strong in salad dressing, but garlic is kind of a hallmark of ranch. I think the granulated garlic achieved the right flavor without the harsh bite of fresh. If you don’t have granulated garlic, grate 1/2 small fresh clove into the dressing.

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 heaping teaspoon chopped fresh dill

Combine buttermilk and mayo in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add salt, pepper, granulated garlic, and dill. Whisk until salt and garlic are fully dissolved. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Dressing will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

*Though this is not related to food, I’m going to mention it anyway: My high-school friend Vicki is in a contest to win a fabulous wedding package from Crate + Barrel. If you have 3 minutes to spare, click here: and vote for her and her precious fiance. Wouldn’t you want to win a dream wedding? I thought so. Vote away!

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2010 at 11:57 am and is filed under basic techniques, do-ahead, quick and easy, side dish, vegetables, vegetarian. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


6 Responses to “Buttermilk Dressing”

  1. Ben / Says:

    I can’t wait for my first spring salad!

    But at the moment it’s still all snow and no sun here…

  2. Peyton Says:

    Three things:

    1) This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it!
    2) You’ve got me craving an avocado and radish salad — yum.
    3) What is that pretty plate in the first picture? I love it.

    :) xo

  3. thin chef Says:

    P, It’s actually this cake stand from Pottery Barn :)

  4. Lainie Says:

    This looks amazing. I bought LF buttermilk yesterday for a cake I was making and was wondering what to do with it (b/c I have a whole carton left over)…I am definitely going to try this! Yum!

  5. julia Says:

    I am making this tonight to go on a spinach salad with crumbled bacon and cornbread croutons. Stoked for a low-fat ranch with only a few ingredients! Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Sara@SproutedKitchen Says:

    this looks great! love your latest recipes, I am so full right now, but somehow still want what you have here. Not a foreign problem to me :)