BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
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My family adores anything with bacon.
Bacon makes everything better, right?
The salad is chock full of colors, textures, and a plethora of veggies.
As many textures, flavors, and veggies that I can pack into a salad, that happier I am.
My favorite are the big tomato slices. Almost daily for the past 10 years, I eat one tomato. You know what they say, a tomato a day keeps the doctor away. Something like that.
Having juicy tomatoes with the crunchy cucumber slices, crisp carrots, and the little bursts of flavor and color from the peas and corn scattered about, is my idea of a great salad.
But what really makes a salad is the dressing. No matter how good the greens and veggies are, the dressing is the make-it-or-break-it element. And this dressing is a definite make-it.
You can just use your favorite storebought dressing, but making your own takes about 1 minute. And after trying homemade ranch, you’ll never need those powdered ranch dressing mix packets again. Or shall I say packets of sodium and garlic powder unless you want to make these.
For the dressing, you can use lite/reduced fat versions of the mayo and sour cream (or try Greek yogurt). I did, and the dressing is still plenty creamy, thick, and luscious, with just the right amount of tang from buttermilk.
Combine the mayo and sour cream with a splash of buttermilk, lemon juice, olive oil, green onions or chives, parsley, salt and pepper, and blend until smooth.
Like all dressings, adjust the seasonings, salt, and flavor balance to your taste. If you think it needs a dash more lemon, buttermilk, oil, salt, or whatever it is, add it to taste.
The recipe makes just over 1 cup dressing and extra will keep easily for a week in the fridge. It’s great to have around to do double duty as a veggie dip, or I’m sure it would make a fabulous chicken marinade.
This healthy and filling salad got my family eating their veggies.
- 1/2 cup cooked, diced bacon or faux bacon pieces (about 8 strips bacon, cooked to manufacturer’s instructions)
- about 3 to 4 cups salad greens
- 1 small/medium ripe tomato, sliced into thin rounds
- half of 1 cucumber, about 10 thinly sliced rounds
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1/4 cup peas (I used frozen)
- 1/4 cup corn (I used frozen)
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 heaping cup mayonnaise (lite or reduced fat okay)
- 1/2 heaping cup sour cream ((lite or reduced fat okay; plain Greek yogurt may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup buttermilk + extra if necessary to thin
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoon minced fresh green onion, scallions, or chives ( I used 1 trimmed green onion in entirety)
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled, optional and to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- Salad – Cook bacon according to manufacturer’s instructions. Dice small; set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the greens, top with tomato, cucumber, carrots, peas, corn, and sprinkle bacon pieces over the top; set aside.
- Buttermilk Ranch Dressing – To the canister of a food processor or blender (mini food processors work great here), add all ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Taste dressing and if necessary, adjust flavor balance by adding more lemon, oil, herbs, salt and pepper, or whatever dressing needs, to taste. I like my dressing thicker and didn’t use more than 1/4 cup buttermilk, but add more, to taste, to thin it out. Brands of mayo, sour cream, and buttermilk all vary in their thickness.
- Transfer dressing to a glass jar with lid, or airtight container with a lid.
- Drizzle over salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately. Extra dressing will keep for 7 to 10 days airtight in the fridge; shake well before next use.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 462Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 846mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 4gSugar: 6gProtein: 12g
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