Recipe: The Best Buttermilk Dressing Ever

by Cate on December 30, 2010

The Best Buttermilk Ranch Dressing EverI couldn’t decide what to write about tonight.  It was either going to be this salad dressing or about one of my big goals for 2010.  Sarah chose the dressing for me, so if you wanted to hear about the goal, blame her.  And come back Monday, when I’ll tell you all about it, along with our new Eat. Live. Be. for a Better 2011 challenge (come join our facebook page!).  In the meantime… let’s talk dressing.

One of the cookbooks I received for Christmas was the new Barefoot Contessa, How Easy is That?  I totally get the concept of the title, but hate it just the same.  When I saw a recipe for an easy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, I folded down the page and made it right away.  Nick likes ranch dressing, and I thought it would be perfect over a simple salad.  Well, it turns out Nick likes regular ranch dressing.  Not so much this buttermilk kind.  Luckily I liked it enough for both of us.

Make this and you will never buy bottled dressing again.  With a recipe like this, why would you?  You completely control what is going in it, and it’s thick enough for a dipping sauce for your carrots and celery stalks, yet thin enough for dressing a simple salad.  Ina Garten suggests just Bibb lettuce, ripe tomatoes and a sliced red onion.  Hello Clean Eating, my name is Cate!

Project 365
December 29, 2010, Photos #324-329

With This RingThe kids and I were at The Christmas Tree shop yesterday and Nick spotted this big engagement rings. They’re about the size for a napkin ring, but what a fun way to propose to someone! $2.99 each. *Photo by Nick.

Parkway TrafficThe traffic heading down the shore yesterday was insane, largely due to the snow plowing that was going on. Don’t even get me started. Standstill traffic, however, is a good opportunity to break out the camera.

SunsetWe arrived just as the sun was setting over the water.

DuskTwenty-eight inches of snow and three days for the neighborhood to get plowed out.

Mom's Kitchen TreeSometimes when I download pictures from my camera, I find little surprises from the littles grabbing it when I’m not looking. This is Nick’s handiwork, a tree in my parents’ kitchen down the shore.

Budding PhotographerThe budding photographer.

Project 365
December 30, 2010, Photo #330-339

SunriseSunrise this morning, SOOC (straight out of camera). Love the colors.

Ballet FlatsOne of my goals for 2011, and I have many, is to not make sneakers my go-to choice when I’m wearing jeans. These ballet flats from Target are a good way to start. $9.98 clearance. Love.

Quality ControlLoved this shirt (another clearance for $10) nearly as much as Madeline.

Twinkle ToesMadeline got these sneakers from my parents for Christmas and adores them. Enough so that she even took the empty box into school to show her teacher.

So PerfectWe spotted these at Wal-Mart, and they would have been perfect for Madeline, but she went with the princess ones instead.

AirborneNever was a fan of playing in the snow. But maybe that’s just as a grown-up because it’s SO much more work for us. The kids? Can’t keep them away.

Copycat Airborne

Eating SnowCaught her eating snow on more than one occasion. Luckily it was clean and white.

Rosy CheeksYou know it’s time to come in when your cheeks resemble rosy apples.

Obligatory Sonic StopSonic is a must-stop for the ride home. Cheese fries and Slushies. Some of us were even awake enough on the ride home to drink the Slushies.

I’ll be back tomorrow night with a few pictures, just to finish up Project 365.  Heaven help me if there is nothing photo-worthy tomorrow.  That would be terrible to be so close and not finish.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Recipe courtesy of Barefoot Contessa’s How Easy is That

3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon good olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup good mayonnaise
1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt, such as Fage Total
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken

Place the scallions, basil, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Puree for 15-20 seconds to make a smooth mixture.  Add the mayonnaise, yogurt and buttermilk, and blend until smooth.  Transfer the dressing to a container, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to develop.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

claire December 30, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Okay…I NEED some dark brown shoes and found some at Target but NOT on sale. Just didn’t feel like paying $25 for shoes from Target. Second…that picture of Nicholas in the snow totally makes him look like he’s doing lunges! I finally figured out that he was airborne after seeing the pic of Madeline!


Casey December 31, 2010 at 12:57 am

Great picture, Nick!

Cute flats and a simple scarf can add so much to a pair of jeans and t-shirt. Great find!


Joanne December 31, 2010 at 7:22 am

I sure with all of the New Year’s festivities you’ll find SOMETHING to post :P

Can I tell you how irritating I find Ina’s title as well! Damn, I thought I was the only one. That dressing sounds fantastic. I’ve been eating a TON of salads lately…need to try it.

Happy New Year Cate!


Sarah Caron December 31, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I bet my kids would love that dressing. Ina’s blue cheese dressing is a big favorite around here too.


Debbie December 31, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I keep hearing about Ina’s new book and need to finally check it out for myself already! I love Target’s shoes….they have great flats for fantastic prices. Hope you all have a very happy new year!


leslie December 31, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Love all of your photos! What an adorable family.


Ramona January 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Sounds too cold for a slushie to me!!!


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