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Give Your Ranch Dressing a Lift with Jalapeños and Goat Cheese

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Who doesn’t love ranch dressing?

On a trip to the Terrace Grill at Riven Rock Ranch in Comfort a few months back, one of my favorite tastes in an evening of fine food was chef Joseph Brantley’s Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch Dressing, which was used on a salad and as a dipping sauce alongside an order of fried avocado.

A salad dressed with Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch.

A salad dressed with Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch.

I’ve since made my own version of the dressing, which I vary slightly depending on how I plan on using it. For salads, I cut the amount of goat cheese in half. The dipping sauce is richer and thicker, perfect for dipping anything from carrots and celery stick to fried zucchini strips.

It’s also a chance to use ingredients fresh from the garden. I flavored my last version with a red serrano instead of the jalapeño as well as the chives and parsley.

Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch Dressing

1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled, depending on use
1 jalapeño, minced, or less, to taste
2 tablespoons chives, minced
3 tablespoons celery leaves or flat-leaf parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons vinegar

Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch Dressing

Jalapeño-Goat Cheese Ranch Dressing

In a jar with a secure lid, add buttermilk, mayonnaise, goat cheese, jalapeño, chives, celery leaves, salt, pepper, garlic and vinegar. Shake thoroughly and check flavor, adjusting to taste. If dressing is too thick, add a splash more buttermilk. If dressing is too thin, add more goat cheese.

Refrigerate leftovers. The dressing will keep up to 3 days.

Makes about 2 cups dressing.

From John Griffin


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