This is another one of my mother's popular recipes. She makes her own ranch dressing. Because it doesn't have a strange aftertaste that sometimes comes with buttermilk ranch, isn't as salty, and can be made dairy-free, it's quite popular. In fact, I know people who don't like ranch dressing at all who each this dressing. It also works great as a dip. The dip in the photograph was slightly thicker because I didn't add milk due to known food allergies of the guest of honor.
The only caution is that this recipe is significantly about taste. Taste it. Taste it often. Be very careful to follow the recipe. When I made this two months ago, I wasn't so careful because I thought I remembered the recipe well and have never ruined it. . .til now. It came out way too salty. Generally, there are ways to fix almost any mistake with this dip. If it is too salty, add a little more mayo and additional seasonings. Too much lemon? Salt helps that out. That's why I say: TASTE IT!
This dip has so many uses. You can use it to dress potato salad with some green onions and veggie bacon bits. I love to make cole slaw out of it. It even tops a Mexican salad well. The last thing Mom created from the base was her 1,000 Island dressing. The notes for that are at the bottom of the recipe.
Calculating the cost to make this dip is challenging because of the variety of seasonings and range of stores where you can acquire them. I'm pretty sure making this dressing is cheaper than purchasing a bottled dressing and much tastier and lower in sodium than buying the pre-packaged dressing mixes. On the other hand, if you have a great coupon and a sale, bottled dressings are a great buy for budget-minded individuals. What my mom does with those great finds is purchase a salad dressing she doesn't make, like blue cheese. Otherwise, she makes her own.
Recipe for Ranch Dressing a la Claire
- 1 C mayonnaise
- 1 t onion powder
- ½ t garlic powder
- ¼ t celery seed powder
- dash red pepper
- 1 t lemon juice
- ½ t sugar (optional)[I don't ever add this.]
- 1 t sweet basil, dried
- 2 t parsley, dried
- 1 t chives, dried or fresh
- ¼ t salt or to taste
- ¼ C milk or ½ C milk (optional or soy, if preferred)
Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, and dry ingredients. Add ¼ cup milk for dip or ½ cup milk for salad dressing.
For 1,000 Island Dressing: Add ¼ cup dill pickles, finely chopped and 1 tablespoon ketchup.