Who does not love ranch dressing? Ok, there are some out there who don’t, I’m sure; but it can’t be many. Ranch is one of the most popular salad dressings out there. It is also a popular dip for vegetables, and even for mozzarella sticks if you are my thirteen years old son. Where did this popular dressing actually come from? The story itself is rather interesting.
In the early 1950s, a man by the name of Steve Henson came up with what is believed to be ranch dressing while working in the Alaskan bush. Later, in 1954, Henson and his wife Gayle decided to open a dude ranch in Santa Barbara, California and named it Hidden Valley Ranch. The Hensons served customers their popular dressing as well as selling small packets of ranch seasoning, which they could easily mix with mayonnaise and buttermilk when desired. The Hensons were on to something and they quickly incorporated Hidden Valley Ranch Food Products, Inc., opened a manufacturing facility and before long were distributing their products to supermarkets. Before long, they were known nationwide. In 1972, the Hidden Valley Ranch brand was sold to Clorox for an $8 million.
Over the years, the new owners reformulated the Hidden Valley Ranch dressing recipe a few times, making it more convenient for consumers. One big change was including buttermilk flavoring in the seasoning, so that milk was the mix-in (instead of actual buttermilk, which was considered more of a specialty item). They also created a non-refrigerated formula, allowing the nation’s favorite pre-mixed dressing to be kept on shelves.
Many people shy away from making homemade salad dressings, but truthfully, they don’t take that much time and are substantially better for you than store-bought ones. My ranch dressing is rich, tangy and loaded with flavor. I lighten up my recipe with a touch of lemon juice and fresh dill that complements the tart buttermilk perfectly. Perfect for dressing up any salad or dipping fresh veggies for a quick snack. If you are looking for a way to get more veggies in, this just may be your answer.
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- 3/4 up buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 scallion, green part only, minced
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- dash of black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoons fresh drilling, finely chopped
- dash of dried Italian seasoning
- Step 1 In a small bowl add the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, scallion, garlic lemon juice, salt, pepper, dry mustard, dill and dash of Italian seasoning. Gently whisk to incorporate. Refrigerate until serving.