A thousand times better than boring ranch, this Lemon Basil Buttermilk Dressing is the perfect way to add pizzazz to salads, baked potatoes, french fries, veggies, etc.
Hello summer! Although the calendar says it’s still officially spring, the forecast for a 100˚F this coming Sunday, tells me something different. Think of this delicious Lemon Basil Buttermilk Dressing as a little “hello summer” gift.
It may just become one of your best friends this season, as it’s been for me. We’ve loved drizzling it on all kinds of salads and it’s also great on grilled chicken, fish or shrimp, as a dip for veggies, a sandwich spread and ladled on baked potatoes. Oh, and the dressing makes wonderful dipping sauce for French Fries too. See what I mean? BFF, right?
The ingredient list includes fresh basil, fresh parsley, lemon zest and juice, pesto, buttermilk, a splash of Worcestershire sauce and mayo. I’ve recently discovered this olive oil based mayo that I really like (it’s a little lower in calories too than traditional mayonnaise). I also love the pesto from Costco. I keep a jar in the freezer. When I have a recipe that call for pesto, I pull it out, let it thaw slightly, scoop out what I need and then return the jar to freezer. It keeps well for months and I love the bright green color. You’ll find it in the refrigerator section at Costco.
I’ve served this dressing several times over the past month to guests and everyone asks “What kind of dressing is this?” and asks for the recipe. I like to serve it with a hearty lettuce like spinach or hearts of Romaine. I’ve added tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and fresh corn although there lots of other combinations that would also be great. We’ve planted a big garden this year and I can’t wait to try the dressing with my fennel, rainbow carrots, golden beets, salt and pepper cucumbers and tomatoes, still warm from the summer sun, yum!
If you check out the recipe, you might notice something strange. The directions are to combine the basil, parsley, shallot, lemon and pesto in the blender or food processor along with a bit of the buttermilk. Every thing is whirred together till smooth, then transferred to a jar. The remaining buttermilk and the mayo are then added and then you wish it all together.
Why not just throw everything in the blender or processor? Good question. You could do this – the flavor would be the same but the resulting dressing would be much thinner. The blender/food processor tends break down the mayo and buttermilk and the resulting dressing is more watery. I really like the little thicker consistency that results from the jar version. It clings much better to lettuce, veggies, etc. and makes a nice sauce for drizzling on chicken or shrimp.
So “hello summer” and goodbye boring salads! There’s a new
kid salad dressing on the block!
Café Tips on making this Lemon Basil Buttermilk Dressing
- You’ll find lots of ways to use this dressing, as a dip, for drizzling over grilled chicken or shrimp, with wings, on baked potatoes, drizzled over roasted veggies…
- This dressing will keep well in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
- I prefer to use whole milk buttermilk. It has a richer flavor and, for the amount used in this dressing, the calories difference is insignificant.
What I used to make and serve this Lemon Basil Buttermilk Dressing
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A few other dressings to take the “boring” out of salads!
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves tightly packed
- ¼ cup fresh parsley stems removed, tightly packed
- 2 tablespooons coarsely chopped shallot
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup good quality mayo I like Hellmans with Olive Oil
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine basil, parsley, chopped shallot, lemon juice, pesto and 1/4 cup of buttermilk in the bowl of a food processor or blender container. Process or blend until pureed and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer mixture to a jar with a tight fitting lid.
Add remaining 1/2 cup buttermilk, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Wisk till everything is well combined with a small whisk or fork. Open and taste, season with a bit more salt and pepper, if needed. Can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.