Wednesday, May 21, 2014

It's salad month! Let's make some ranch dressing!

I didn't know that May is salad month, but I guess it makes sense. It's this time of year when salad greens start looking more appealing, and they're traveling shorter distances to our tables. Weather is getting warmer, and lighter foods are more appealing.

I always make my own salad dressing. Sometimes it's as simple as a drizzle of olive oil and a drizzle of vinegar - not even mixed. Other times, it's something more complicated. Often I don't measure at all, I just mix to taste.

I have to say that it's not often that I use a recipe to make a salad dressing. But I've got several of them bookmarked in Hugh Acheson's book, A New Turn in the South.

You might recall that I wrote several sponsored posts for Captain Morgan - one post for Thanksgiving that featured cranberries and raspberries, another for Christmas that featured hot butter rum and hot butter rum ice cream, and the last for the Super Bowl that featured chicken wing and a tropical drink.

I have to say that their program was a lot of fun, and when it was over, they sent along a little extra thank-you gift, which included Acheson's book. I was really pleased, since I love cookbooks so much.

The reason they sent Acheson's book instead of some other book was that he was the judge who chose the winners of the Captain's Table Challenges that went along with the sponsored posts. I didn't win anything, but that's okay - it was fun to participate, anyway.

So, I figured it was only right that I try one of his recipes. I decided to try his ranch dressing. It's supposed to go with fried green tomatoes and pickled shrimp, but I put it on a salad. Because it's salad month - and I like salad a whole lot.

I liked this dressing, but if I make it again, I'd cut way back on the garlic. Maybe my garlic powder is stronger than normal, but this was more like a garlic dressing than a ranch. I like garlic dressing, though, so that's fine.

After I tasted it, I added just a bit more salt. As far as the Tabasco, I don't know that it added anything, so if you don't happen to have any, don't fret too much about it. Or, if you want more of a kick, add a little more.

Ranch Dressing
Adapted from A New Turn in the South

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Combine it all. That's it. Isn't that simple?

The dressing is ready to use as soon as it's mixed, but I thought it was better the next day, after the flavors had some time to mingle.

I used my OXO salad shaker, which is handy for shaking, storing, and pouring.

Anti-disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post - I received the book as a thank-you with no requirement to post about it.