I want to start this post with the best salad dressing quote, from quite possibly the best. show. ever. Arrested Developement.
Michael: What do you think of when you hear the word, “Sudden Valley”?
George Michael Bluth: Salad dressing, I think. But for some reason I don’t want to eat it.
Michael: Right. But, “Paradise Gardens”?
George Michael Bluth: Yeah… Okay, I can… I can see marinating a chicken in that.
If you haven’t seen this show then you need to get on that. Right after you make this dressing. Like, right now. I’m serious, it kind of bullies other ranch dressings into corners and beats them up, and then takes their lunch money, because they’re gross, and filled with chemicals. That’s a good reason to beat up a food item and steal their lunch money, right? They deserve it after charging an arm and a leg for a small bottle of dressing. All the dressings are extremely unhealthy and most of the ones that aren’t taste like crap. I actually don’t mind the Hidden Valley brand of light ranch made with sour cream. It actually tastes pretty good for a light dressing, it’s just that the other day I went to go grab one and it was $3.60 for a small bottle. I told my roommate, let me try and make some first. We’ll see what happens. Well, mission accomplished, with a couple snags.
I eat salads for dinner, quite a bit actually. They’re good, and when made correctly can be very filling. I use a bowl the size of my head, but it’s mostly veggies and a light dressing so I have no fear. Most people dismiss salads as an accompaniment to a meal or when it is an entree itself it’s usually smothered in a chicken breast and an incredible amount of dressing. There’s no need for that, you hear me? If there is a large amount of chicken then it is chicken salad, and there is no lettuce. Different subject, for another post.
So when I make my salads I cram ‘em full of veggies and add meat on occasion, and I always try to have homemade croutons or some sort of crunchy carb, like tortilla chips or the guilty pleasure of Doritos. In a salad. With steak. Ya I went there. Not my proudest moment. But a moment nonetheless.
Back to the dressing. Originally I had tried a recipe from a site that I love but in the end it just ended up tasting like no bueno mayonnaise. I was sad, but not for long. I told myself, I have the things to make another batch, my way, whipping up something fierce. I icksnayed (is that a word?) almost all the mayo and boosted up the sour cream. I took out some herbs and replace the fresh garlic with the powder, which is garlic, using an alias. I added a couple things and it was fantastic, tangy and rich with good ranch flavor. I’m almost convinced that the fresh herbs added to the dressing are added to make little green flecks, but I don’t know, I’m still investigating. Anyways – this salad dressing is awesome. It’s a ranch with an awesome flavor, and is crazy easy to make. It’s nice and tangy from the sour cream and buttermilk and it’s got a KICK IT! from the Tapatio. And it’s not half bad for you, so you can take shots of it, because it’s that good.
When it comes to the crunchy carb part of the salad, which is extremely important, you need to make some homemade croutons, for real. I use a 5 seed bread and it makes the most amazing croutons. I take a few slices of bread, cut them up into crouton sizes, toss them in a couple Tablespoons of olive oil, and bake them at 350 for 10 min. Done. Another word for BAM should be inserted here. Maybe KICK IT!?
For tonight’s salad I chose a head of Romaine, fresh corn, raw zucchini, black olives, mushrooms, and cannelini beans. In retrospect, red pepper and red onion would have been a very very nice addition.
The main base for the dressing is sour cream and buttermilk, but I found out earlier today from Jen over at the Renaissance Kitchen you can use non fat greek yogurt for sour cream in certain recipes or as the garnish and it tastes the same, so, knock yourselves out.
1/2 c sour cream, I used light
2-3 T mayo, I used olive oil mayo
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t kosher salt
1 T fresh chopped parsley
a decent amount of fresh black pepper
same with the Tapatio, depending on how zesty you like your dressing
3/4 c buttermilk - more or less depending on desired consistency
Another option? leave out the tapatio and throw in a blender with a seeded jalapeno or mince the jalapeno and add it in the next time you make taco salad.