Sunday, August 9, 2009

Garden Herb Ranch Dressing

Submitted by Linda
I know that Chef Michelle would never post a photo of food that was not artfully arranged. But when I was serving up this meal tonight I had 4 hungry "menboys" eagerly awaiting my photo op. So, it is what it is. And what is it?????? California Pizza Kitchen's Barbeque Chicken Salad!

This is a wonderful hearty main dish salad, that even men will enjoy. The salad includes lettuces, jicama, basil, cilantro, tomato, cheese, scallions, crunched up chips, and grilled chicken.

But I think the secret is in the dressing. Say hello to "Garden Herb Ranch Dressing". Usually when a recipe calls for Ranch Dressing, I run down to Eddie's N.Y. Pizzeria here in Claremont (same owner as Spaghetti Eddie's in Glendora) and buy a quart. His dressing is amazing - I could eat it with a spoon. When our children played little league together, I kept hinting about that recipe....all he ever revealed was "lots of garlic".

But the advantage to making your own, is that you can use the "healthier" versions of sour cream, buttermilk, and mayonaise. I know that sometimes we'd rather have a teeny bit of the good stuff, but I'm also a fan of reducing that fat in recipes if it doesn't impact the flavor too much.

So here is the official CPK recipe - I've included changes I made.

California Pizza Kitchen's Garden Herb Ranch Dressing

Ingredients:
1/2 teasp. dry mustard
1/4 teasp. cold water
3/4 C. mayonaise (I used 'light')
1 C. buttermilk (I used 1 T. vinegar, and enought 1% milk to fill the measuring cup)
1/2 C. sour cream (I used 'light')
1/2 T. cider vinegar
1/2 T. thinly sliced scallion tops and whites (I used more!)
2 teasp. minced garlic (remember what Eddie says: I used about 4 cloves)
2 teasp. minced Italian parsley (I used more!)
1/2 teasp. worcestershire sauce
1 teasp. minced fresh dill (I used more!)
1/2 teasp. minced dried oregano
1/2 teasp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teasp. minced fresh basil

Procedure:

In a mixing bowl, use a fork to stir together the mustard and cold water, forming a paste. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and, using a hand held electric mixer at low speed or a whisk, blend together just until smooth, taking care not to incorporate too much air into the dressing. Cover and refrigerate.

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