Ranch Salad

Here is the perfect salad for your weekend braai. When you picture a Ranch salad, the ingredients may vary a bit, because really, anything goes. You can probably bank on some corn, bacon and croutons being in the recipe, but what it really should come down to is the dressing. A few years ago, my sister brought back a delicious, bottled Ranch dressing from the USA which was devoured in no time at all. And so we quickly had to learn to make our own – a rich, creamy accompaniment made with buttermilk and flavoured with garlic, mustard, and fresh chives. Homemade ‘anything’ is always better and more delicious than a bottled version.  This is one of those dressings that you’ll probably want to pour over everything!

Here’s what goes in:

  • 1 bag of crisp lettuce (about 150g)
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 small punnet baby tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cobs sweetcorn, grilled
  • 1 small pack red spring onions, finely chopped and ends removed
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • A handful of cooked bacon bits
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves

For the Ranch dressing:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ a clove of garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to do it:

Begin by preparing the bacon, which needs to be finely chopped and fried until crispy. Drain off the oil and then set the bacon aside. Cook the corn, still on the cob, and then grill them over an open flame until slightly charred. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove the kernels from the cob.

In the meantime, make the dressing. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a salad dressing shaker (or a mason jar) and shake well. This also works well in a bullet-style blender. If you don’t use all the dressing for this serving, remember that it will keep well in the fridge for up to a week.

Assemble the salad, starting with lettuce as a base, followed by the remaining ingredients. Add the slices of avocado on top and garnish with coriander. Dress generously and serve!

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