Homemade For-Real Ranch Dressing

I used to think you could only get inside-the-refrigerator-door staples like ketchup and mustard from the store.  I thought Heinz invented ketchup.  It was a revelation when I realized -- and not too long ago, either, I'm embarrassed to say -- that these sauces and condiments could be made by me, at home, to much greater effect on both my wallet and my tastebuds.

Well, almost always to much greater effect. I was weaned on Heinz ketchup, and its consistency and addictive balance of sweet and tart are nearly impossible to replicate.  

Parsley and chives from the garden, plus buttermilk, buttermilk powder and mayonnaise.

Parsley and chives from the garden, plus buttermilk, buttermilk powder and mayonnaise.

Not so with ranch dressing.  This recipe, based on one by Mark Bittman of The New York Times, is ranch made better without the high fructose corn syrup that makes it and most other commercially-prepared salad dressings so sickly-sweet.  

I made this in preparation for an event Easter House is hosting this week: a pizza party with the members of the Western Ohio Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association.  It's going to be a "make your own" night, and I thought someone might want to make Buffalo Chicken Pizza, a regional favorite.  It's Buffalo Wild Wings meets Domino's: chicken, barbecue sauce and Monterey Jack cheese drizzled with ranch dressing.  

Mark Bittman made his dressing by putting the ingredients in a jar and shaking the contents vigorously.  I prefer whisking it in a bowl because the buttermilk powder tends to form clumps that a good shake just doesn't dissipate.


RANCH DRESSING

1 cup mayonnaise (if you really want to build this from the ground up, make homemade mayo)

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt, preferably Greetk

1/4 cup buttermilk powder (in baking section, where they have powdered milk)

1/4-1/2 cup, packed, fresh parsley and chives, chopped fine

Salt and pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS:

Put the mayo, buttermilk, yogurt, buttermilk powder, salt, pepper and herbs in a bowl and whisk until combined and buttermilk powder lumps have disappeared.  Use immediately or put in the fridge, where it will keep for a few days.  If you leave the herbs out, the dressing will last longer.  Just stir in minced chives and parsley before serving.