Friday, July 10, 2009

Homemade Ranch Dressing

It really never occurred to me to make my own Ranch dressing until I saw PW do it on her site. It was last summer, and I was chained to the couch by kidney stone/stent pain and my midwife-recommended bed rest. There was no way I was trying it then.

By the time I was up to trying it, many of our herbs had gone to seed, and there was no way on this earth I was going to shell out grocery store bucks to buy fresh herbs to make this dressing that my children love, especially when they like the cheapo not-even-Hidden-Valley variety just fine.

But it's a year later, my garden has herbs to spare, and fresh Ranch sounds so much better than something that was once shelf-stable. I didn't look at her recipe when I made this today, so my ratios and method ended up a bit different, but the result was still fantastic. If you've got herbs growing in your garden, this is a delicious way to use them!

Homemade Ranch Dressing

1/2 c. mayonnaise (NOT salad dressing/Miracle Whip)
1/2 c. sour cream
3 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, minced, grated, or pressed (I used the minced stuff in a jar)
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs of your choosing (but I used, and highly recommend, basil, thyme, dill, cilantro, and chives. I ESPECIALLY recommend the dill.)

Whisk together the mayo and sour cream, add the lemon juice, then add milk gradually, until the dressing is your desired consistency. Keep in mind that when it's chilled, it will thicken up a bit, too. Then add the garlic, salt and pepper, and herbs. You can taste it now if you'd like, but the flavors will be much better when the dressing has been allowed to chill for an hour or so.

Makes about 1 1/4 cup of dressing, and will keep for about 3 days, if it lasts that long.

You can also omit the milk, up the sour cream, and call it "dip" instead.

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