Karen’s Spring Green Herbal Ranch Dressing & Salad
A Light and Flavorful Blender Dressing with a Gorgeous Green Hue!
Uses Four Fresh Herbs; Thai Basil, Mint, Parsley & Dill
I think it is a good time to create a recipe that is simple, comes together in minutes and shows off beautiful Spring herbs and alliums (chives, onions & scallions.) If you can find Ramps – add them ~ also Spring Garlic would be yummy and Garlic Scapes (available in June in my zone.)
I’m loving the creaminess, color and flavor of the EASY Spring Green Ranch Dressing.
Less Calories than oil based dressings!
So many ways to use it!
- As a dressing for all you Salad Creations!
- I especially adore it on crisp greens, so not to wilt the more tender ones
- Think – Iceberg Lettuce Wedges (like I used) – Little Gem Leaves and Romaine (the smaller inner leaves)
- Add Spring Veggies you love or have on hand. Thinly sliced radishes, Asparagus Tips (I blanch quickly), Shaved Fresh Asparagus, Fava Beans, Mushrooms – thinly sliced, Persian Cucumbers – thinly sliced, Colorful Cherry Tomato Halves and Fresh Herbs… Chives are growing in my garden now – so this is a no-brainer garnish! Or top with one of the herbs from the dressing recipe
- I have added Sumac & Thyme Roasted Walnuts to the salad for crunch! (See recipe)
- An alternative to the roasted walnuts would be Homemade Croutons (Focaccia makes great croutons!)
- Add Dressing to warm steamed, cut potatoes – refrigerate… delish potato salad! Top with thinly sliced scallions and some fresh chopped herbs
- Add to poached or grilled chicken.I have added Sumac & Thyme Roasted Walnuts for crunch! (See recipe)
- A Spring Sauce for Grilled Salmon… healthy & beautiful color-plays
- Makes a marvelous Shrimp Salad! Cook and cool shrimp, toss with dressing, sweet onions and herbs
Fresh Herbs: Thai Basil, Mint, Parsley & Dill (Thai Basil is available year-round in many Asian markets.)
Everything Else: Scallions, Sweet Onion, Garlic, Jalapeño, Lemon Rind and Lemon Juice – Fresh Chives for garnish.
Dairy: Buttermilk, Mayonnaise and Sour Cream (can use Greek yogurt.)
With a bevy of fresh herbs and vegetables – this dressing produces a lovely light dressing with a true-punch of green color with antioxidants!
No oil I at all – a “lightened-up” dressing. Yay!
The Dressing is Really Simple to Make!
A trick: Blanch the Basil and mint; refresh in ice water – this will add an extra GREEN Color Boost to the Dressing!
Add the remaining ingredients into the carafe of a blender and process from low speed to high for a good minute until creamy and bright green… DONE
Why I make my Own Dressings:
Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing INGREDIENTS: (YUCK!)
Vegetable Oil (Soybean and/or Canola), Water, Sugar, Salt, Nonfat Buttermilk, Egg Yolk, Natural Flavors, Less Than 1% of: Spices, Garlic*, Onion*, Vinegar, Phosphoric Acid , Xanthan Gum, Modified Food Starch, Monosodium Glutamate, Artificial Favors, Disodium Phosphate, Sorbic Acid and Calcium Disodium EDTA Added to Preserve Freshness, Disodium lnosinate & Guanylate.
Yes, I ate this mess of a dressing as a kid growing up… not anymore… not for a looooong time!
The vegetable oils are GMO (90% are) and it is highly processed and refined, both of which contribute to major health problems in the body. Also refined at extreme high temperatures – unlike sunflower & safflower oils which can be “cold pressed.”
Natural Flavors – Love the flavor of this commercial dressing? It’s the natural flavors! They are chemicals made in a flavor laboratory for The Clorox Company (which owns HVR.) They give the product a certain “fake flavor” that many find appealing …or addicting! No company discloses what exactly is in their “natural flavor brew”, so it could contain hundreds of unwanted synthetic ingredients including GMO’s, gluten, GMO’s and the nine major allergens. I don’t ever consume this stuff.
The second ingredient is water… so this dressing is artificially flavored (not too different from”natural” flavoring) and thickened oil & water mostly.
Why has it become so popular? I think it is the texture (thick from starch), flavor – and it has a big dose of salt & sugar!
Toppings I have used:
Thinly sliced Watermelon Radishes (or any radishes), Mushrooms, and Persian Cucumbers – colorful Cherry Tomatoes and Asparagus Tips (I steam them one minute.) Garnish with the walnuts and a sprinkle of fresh chives.
ALSO SEE: Lettuce Wrapped Chicken Burger with Zesty Ranch – The Ultimate Grilled Burger Wrapped in Lettuces with Onion and Heirloom Tomatoes ~ Homemade Ranch Dressing.
AND Homemade Zesty Ranch Sauce and Dressing – A thicker version, with herbs mixed in not blended.
Taste the difference of homemade!
Enjoy this Delicious Dressing!
Let me know what you think! Please press on the recipe link to rate using stars and comment.
Karen's Spring Green Herbal Ranch Dressing & Salad
- 1/2 cup thai basil packed; cleaned
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves packed; cleaned
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley packed; cleaned
- 1/4 cup fresh dill packed; cleaned
- 1/2 teaspoon jalapeño diced
- 1/4 cup scallions cleaned, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup sweet onion such as Vadalia, peeled; coarsely chopped
- 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic peeled, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind pith removed, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2/3 cups mayonnaise I use Whole Foods 365 (no natural flavoring)
- 1/4 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground cracked pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Blanch Basil & Mint
- Add basil and mint leaves to a small pot of boiling water. Stir with a spoon 5 seconds. Remove to a colander and drain - pour cold water over - then add to a small bowl of ice water (to keep it fresh and bright green.)
Make the Spring Green Ranch Dressing:
- Drain the herbs from the ice bath and dry well in paper towels.Add the blanched herbs with ALL the remaining ingredients - parsley through lemon juice in the crate of your blender.
- Process from low speed to very high and let run for at least 1 minute. Will be bright green and emulsified. No olive oil in necessary to add!
- Taste for seasonings. Add more jalapeño if you like spicy.
How to use:
- Add to your favorite salad ~ I chose an iceberg lettuce wedge salad, or little gem leaves. Makes a great dressing for potato salad: steam potatoes until tender and cut - add the dressing while still warm then refrigerate.
Store the Dressing:
- Add the dressing to a clean carafe with a tight seal and refrigerate for up to two weeks, shake if necessary.
Cut Iceberg lettuce into large wedges, add to a large plate. Add streams of the Spring Green Ranch Dressing - then add Spring Vegetables: thinly sliced Watermelon Radishes (or any radishes), mushrooms, and Persian Cucumbers - colorful cherry tomatoes and asparagus tips (I steam them one minute.) Garnish with the walnuts and a sprinkle of fresh chives.
Quick Oven Toasted Sumac & Thyme Walnuts:
Add 1/4 cup walnut pieces to a parchment lined baking tray. Add 3/4 teaspoons of EVOO; rub in. Sprinkle on top: 2 pinches of sumac and dried thyme and a sprinkling of sea salt. Bake at 300 degrees until just golden, about 7 minutes. Cool and crumble over the salad. (A nice alternative to croutons!) This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer. Recommended (I have 3) : OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker
I have three of these! The best for storing dressings and vinaigrettes!