The first time that she served the dressing at one of her fabulous dinner parties, I was hooked. So, of course, I asked her for the recipe and she graciously loaned me the book, but like a dope, I returned it to her some time later without ever writing the recipe down. Then, as the fates and luck would have it, the next time I wanted to make it and called her for the recipe, she explained that much to her own dismay, she'd misplaced the book! If I had a dollar for every time that I misplaced something I just knew I'd need later... well, you know the rest of that one, right?
So, from that day forward, we've both been making the dressing using our own interpretations. The mayo and buttermilk were easy to remember, but the rest of the ingredients are a combination of my recollections from the book and of the memory of how it tasted to me. The original recipe has brown sugar in it, but you know me... I can never leave well enough alone, so I added some **maple syrup instead, to try and give the pizzas a different level of sweetess. It didn't turn out to be an "in your face" maple flavor and it didn't in any way overpower the tang from the buttermilk, or the savory notes from the herbs and spices. But, when all was said and done, I'd say that I nailed it! (and this time I made sure to write it down!)
I suppose you could say that it reads like a typical ranch style dressing and I'll give it that... to an extent. But, from the moment that I tasted the original, I can honestly say that it's better than any bottled or homemade ranch dressing that I've ever tried. So, it was kind of a no-brainer when deciding on a dressing to drizzle on the "Salad Style" Focaccia Pizzas that I made recently. Now, I can't imagine making that style of pizza without it. Of course, it's delicious on a tossed green salad, too. Especially one that includes fruit, like tart green apples or juicy ripe strawberries.
**If you're not a maple fan, you can certainly omit the maple syrup and it will still be delish - but make sure to add another couple of teaspoons of the brown sugar. If you do decide to be daring, I promise that it really doesn't make the dressing as "maple-y" as you might think and it actually marries with the shallot and the herbs beautifully.
Buttermilk Herb Dressing
(makes approx. 1 Quart ~ Can be halved)
- 2 Cups Mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
- 1-2 Tbls Pure Maple Syrup (no maple "flavored" stuff, please!)
- 2 Tbls Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Lg Shallot, grated (heaping tablespoon)
- 2 Tsp Dried Basil
- 2 Tsp Dried Chives
- 1 Tsp Dried Marjoram
- 1 Tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 Tsp Dried Thyme
- 1 Tsp Dried Parsley
- 1/2 Tsp Dried Tarragon
- 1-2 Tsp Light Brown Sugar
- 1 Tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
The preparation calls for two very simple steps:
1) Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl or large jar with a tight fitting lid. Whisk or shake vigorously, until well incorporated.
2) Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. It keeps for approx. 7 to 10 days, tightly covered in the fridge. (if it even lasts that long...)
Don't forget that you can print this (or any) recipe using the "Print Friendly" button at the foot of each post. It's a great little feature that allows you to remove any pictures (or any text that isn't relevant to the recipe) before printing. That can save on ink and paper & in today's economy, who doesn't want to save a little cash when you can?!
OK.... It's Party Time!