Pulling treats straight off the vine or out of the dirt is one of the greatest summer pleasures. The sweetness of these fresh delights need little else unless you want to make them into an actual meal. At which point there are endless possibilities, but somehow I have this image of strolling through my garden with a simple sauce in one hand to dip in & enjoy each new veggie. In this country we seem particularly obsessed with Ranch Dressing which leaves something to be desired both nutritionally and culinarily. Don’t get me wrong, I have had to do my fair share of dipping into those white & green flecked sauce filled containers surrounded by tasteless cold vegetables. However, when it comes to eating something enchanting from the garden, they deserve something better.
While it is convenient to squeeze dressing out of those plastic squirt bottles, whipping up this dressing does not take much effort. It is so simple in fact that I usually only prepare a small batch, just enough for the evenings meal but feel free to double, quadruple or multiple* this as desired.
My other favorite element of this dressing is you can make it yours by mixing and matching the fresh herbs you have available, whether they are straight out of your own garden, herb window box or sold to you in small bouquets from your local farmer, just use what you have available. Dried herbs can even be used in a pinch.
Start with greek or strained yogurt to have a thicker sauce, but any plain yogurt can work instead and is sometimes nice for a runnier dressing to drizzle on salads. You could also go the more classic Ranch Dressing route by thinning the dressing with buttermilk instead of the lemon juice and olive oil. Also, add more herbs, garlic, salt or pepper to your own personal taste. If you are feeling lazy about chopping the herbs and want to make a big batch just toss all of this in your blender and viola! Dressing for a week of harvesting, dipping and munching!
Yogurt Herb Ranch Dressing
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup plain yogurt, use greek or strained for a thicker dipping sauce
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, finely minced or 1 teaspoon dried herbs (such as parsley, oregano, chives, thyme, etc)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
Whisk together the lemon juice & garlic. Let it sit briefly, for the garlic to mellow a bit. Fold in the plain yogurt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking rapidly. Fold in the fresh herbs. Season with just a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Buttermilk Yogurt Ranch
1/2 cup plain yogurt or greek strained yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh herbs or 1 teaspoon dried herbs (such as parsley, oregano, chives, thyme, etc)
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together the yogurt, buttermilk, garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Taste. Add more herbs, salt or pepper as desired.
Use the blender for either of the above recipes, just toss in, blend and enjoy! Just know, the herbs will probably make the dressing more green rather than white with flecks of herbs.
*As a little tip, if you subscribe to Lilly’s Table you can put in your desired number of servings and it easily will double this recipe for you.