I fell in love with homemade buttermilk ranch when I was a kid growing up in Portage, Michigan. We had this little restaurant we would go to regularly called Murch’s, which sadly went out of business and is now the storefront for a Hallmark store. But back in better days we would regularly go to this little spot for lunch and, like most excellent little independent restaurants in a small town, wait in the long line of locals for our favorite meal.And my personal favorite was their ranch salad with homemade buttermilk ranch.This was, like, when I was 10 so I have no idea what actually went into the dressing. But I definitely recall that it was spicy, tangy, and filled with fresh herbs. (And I think I always requested my salad with extra cheddar cheese and croutons, so let’s not pretend I was super sophisticated or super healthy as a 10 year old).Since then, I’ve tried to recreate this taste-memory periodically. I’ve found it’s actually pretty straightforward and the critical ingredients are garlic and black pepper. Oh, and buttermilk.Thus Dave and I enjoyed this buttermilk ranch salad with rainbow carrots one weekend afternoon when I was craving the comfort food of my childhood in middle America.Rainbow carrots are a really fun ingredient to cook with, just for a pop of interesting color. But obviously it’s not super critical if you don’t have access to rainbow carrots. Regular carrots taste the same and are also delicious. I’d definitely recommend the technique of slicing long ribbons of carrot for your salad however- it adds great flavor of carrot to your salad with an unexpectedly tender and delicate texture that you wouldn’t expect from raw vegetables. I just thought it was kinda fun, but obviously not a requirement either.This recipe is just about the dressing.
So take a look below for instructions on how to achieve garlicky, herby, and creamy happiness.
Buttermilk Ranch Salad with Rainbow Carrots