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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chef's Salad with Home Made Ranch Dressing

Having a salad for dinner is in no way deprivation with this meaty, hearty chef's salad.   

I've long known that making your own salad dressing is best.  A vinaigrette made at home from oil, vinegar or citrus juice and fresh herbs beats bottled dressings with their sweeteners  binders and preservatives hands down.  Little did I know how easy it is to make a creamy ranch dressing with buttermilk, sour cream and fresh herbs.  

I made the dressing a day in advance to let the flavours blend together.  This makes a relatively thin dressing.  If you like it thicker, you could add some mayonnaise to the mix.  

Here's what you need for the ranch dressing:
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sour cream (low fat is ok)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 minced garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.   I have these neat herb scissors that make chopping chives and parsley a breeze.  

For the salad I mixed iceberg and red leaf lettuce with some radicchio, sliced radishes, carrots and celery.  This mix keeps pretty well if you want to make a bunch and store it in the fridge for a few days instead of buying a bagged salad.  

To the salad I added some leftover roasted chicken breast, sliced thin. 

I cooked up some bacon in advance (I like to cook it on parchment paper in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes until crisp).  Then I added sliced avocado and shredded cheddar.  

I drizzled the salad with the herbed ranch dressing.  It was delicious.  Once you add the bacon and cheese, this is not diet food, but you're getting lots of veggies and protein at least.  

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