Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Ranch Dressing

Buttermilk Italian Dressing
This hybrid salad dressing brings together the zesty, robust flavors of a "ristorante" style creamy Italian dressing with the mellow tang of old-fashioned buttermilk ranch dressing for a delightfully different, palate-pleasing and surprisingly versatile dressing.

I gave my homemade buttermilk ranch dressing some romantic Italian flair by omitting the dill and replacing it with several herbs that are prominent in Italian cuisine. The other major changes were the use of roasted garlic in place of the raw, and the addition of grated parmesan cheese coupled with a reduction in the amount of salt because of the naturally salty flavor of the cheese.

I seriously considered calling this dressing a Buttermilk Italian Dressing, but decided against it because I wanted to highlight the major flavor notes of the recipe, namely roasted garlic, parmesan cheese, and "ranch" (which most Americans associate with a particular tangy-creamy-herb flavor).

Although originally created for use on mixed lettuce salads, my Roasted Garlic Parmesan Ranch Dressing is also excellent with raw or steamed vegetable salads, as a light dip for crudites or chips or Buffalo wings, and even as a sauce for poached fish or fried shrimp. Have fun playing with it in the kitchen.

Note:  This dressing tastes best if you refrigerate overnight before serving. Use within 5 days.

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Ranch Dressing1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
3 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley (or 1 Tbs dried parsley)
6 to 8 roasted garlic cloves, finely minced
2 Tbs nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp (or to taste) Kosher salt
1/4 tsp (or to taste) ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a pint mason jar, close lid tightly and shake well to mix thoroughly. Keep refrigerated, and shake or stir well before serving.

Zestfully yours,

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