I really wanted to be a waitress… until I really didn’t want to be a waitress.
When I was a kid, my family would go to the same Italian restaurant every month. I was so smitten by the young waiter who always seemed more than eager to bring me a straw with my water, and offer a hearty thumbs-up when my dad ordered an extra side of meatballs. He made his button up shirt look flawless and comfortable…. and he just had one of those faces that you wanted to see every time you were hungry.
I was super stoked when I got my first waitressing job. …Just so excited.
I was just as happy as I could be until I realized that the restaurant I was working in served ranch dressing. The ranch wasn’t the problem. The problem is that people want to put ranch on absolutely everything: french fries, potatoes, toast, burritos. Everything! I was a vertiable ranch dispenser. It was so far from the ultra-smiley impression of serving tables that I had gotten as a youth… mostly because I wasn’t ultra-smiley… I was a bringer.
Thank heavens this was a good while ago. The restaurant? Well, it started with “The” and ended in “Factory”. It was a little dose of real life. It helped me realize that I’d rather be the girl making the ranch in the back… not the girl faking a smile in the front. This is how we learn.
Good ranch dressing starts with fresh herbs and smashed garlic.
I start with a base of sour cream and mayonaise. Add herbs, salt, pepper, and a good squeeze of lemon.
Add buttermilk until the dressing finds a good consistency.
Have some carrot sticks on hand. You’ll have a lot of tasting to do as you make the ranch.
There are lots of bonus extras to add: Tabasco, fresh dill, garlic powder, or barbecue sauce. Add a dash of this and a pinch of that until you’ve reached a happy ranch point. It’s important to let the dip rest in the fridge before serving. Four hours. It’ll give the flavors a chance to marry.
I’m satisfied, aren’t you?
Homemade Ranch Dressing
makes about 2 1/2 cups of dressing
1 cup sour cream (I used light sour cream)
1/2 cup mayonaise (I used light mayo)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped chives
1 clove garlic
salt and coarse ground black pepper
On a cutting board, smash a whole garlic clove. Sprinkle garlic with about 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt. With a fork, smash the salt into the garlic, creating a paste.
In a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, mayonaise, parsley, chives, and garlic. Add salt and pepper. Drizzle in buttermilk until you’ve reached a desired consistency. I added about 1/2 to 3/4 cup but you may add as much as you’d like.
Add any additional ingredients like tabasco sauce, garlic powder, and dill. A touch of barbecue sauce is dang good!
Taste and adjust ingredients to taste.
Place dressing in an airtight container and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving. The flavors need to rest and meld before serving. Serve cold, and add more buttermilk if you find that the dressing is too thick. Dressing lasts up to 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.
I love their ranch–I’m sorry if I was probably one of the patrons who kept asking for extra ranch to keep dipping everything in but…it’s my favorite Ranch Dressing. One thing that you mentioned is that you give it a squeeze of lemon–that’s not on the ingredient list? I hope you became the girl in the back making the dressing… ;)