Makes about 2-1/2 cups
5 minutes prep, 5 minutes cooking, 10 minutes total
Texas cowboys and cowgirls dip their egg sandwiches in this stuff for breakfast, they dunk their fried onion rings in it at lunch, and they cover their broccoli with it at dinner. It's the ultimate dipping sauce for cold pizza, the perfect accompaniment to crudités, And—oh, yeah—it's also a salad dressing.
Once you learn how to make your own ranch dressing, you'll save yourself a fortune on the stuff. And it's really easy. You can even use yogurt instead of sour cream to make a low-fat version. Add some minced herbs from your garden if you like. Chives are another great addition.

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream (or substitute plain yogurt)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons minced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth.

2. Add the bell pepper, onion, cilantro, garlic, pepper, and salt and mix well. The dressing will keep for a week in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Excerpted from The Cowboy Cookbook by Robb Walsh (Broadway, 2007). Copyright 2007 by Robb Walsh.