This week, aren't you just craving crunchy, cool salads? I am. And I don't mean the kind of salad I usually make, which is spinach or other baby greens topped with seeds or nuts, craisins, and parmesan. No, that's too elegant and fancy of a salad for what I've been wanting lately.
I want an everyday workhorse retro salad today. I think they're called Chef's Salads in restaurants. I like that title because it seems to mean that as my own chef, I can put whatever I want on my salad. So, I've decided I want crunchy lettuce like iceberg or romaine, and plain un-fancy vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Instead of cheese I'll use avocado, and for my protein I'll have hard boiled eggs. Yum.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, I'm a balsamic vinaigrette dressing type of girl. However, it would feel just wrong to put that kind of dressing on this salad - like wearing stilettos and diamonds with yoga pants and a tank top. This salad needs a complementary retro-style dressing such as bleu cheese or thousand island. Or, what I made tonight: the Midwest's most popular condiment - ranch dressing.
I don't know if this is actually a traditional ranch dressing (what, exactly, makes it "ranch" anyways?) but it tasted similar and was a lot better for me than the junk that's served at restaurants, which is probably filled with chemicals and additives.
Also, this gave me an excuse to use the first of my potted herbs, which are sprouting up beautifully after copious amounts of sunshine and rain in the past couple weeks. And finally, it's a great way to use up any buttermilk you have in your fridge leftover from a big batch of banana waffles.
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (if you don't have greek style yogurt, strain regular yogurt through a coffee filter for 30 minutes - or use plain yogurt and just have a runnier dressing)
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice
A big handful of mixed fresh herbs (I used chives, basil, parsley)
1 tsp dried dill
pinch of salt and pepper
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl or shake in a mason jar. Use as a dip for vegetables or as a salad dressing.
ONE YEAR AGO: Mini Frittatas
TWO YEARS AGO: Homemade Yogurt