This week is Summer Salad week here at RMK. Before you know it Memorial Day weekend will be here to kick off Summer. After a comment from a reader about salad recipes, I thought a whole week devoted to salads just in time for summer would be the perfect way to begin the season.
Today I am sharing a made from scratch ranch dressing recipe that I used to help recreate one of my favorite salads from one of my favorite lunch places – Cafe Zupas. I must say homemade ranch dressing is absolutely best if made with fresh herbs but for a real mom, that really doesn’t work. I don’t really like the stuff in the bottle. Now if you don’t want to make your own you can always go for a packet of dressing mix from the store. I actually like the packet from the store, but what if you don’t have a packet? That is why you need a recipe to do it yourself.
This recipe does use an ingredient that you may not keep in your spice cupboard, but you ought to. It is a type of seasoned salt that is extra tasty – bon appetit or beau monde seasoning. It is what makes the dressing. I also use it in my vegetable dip recipe that can be found in my cookbook.
I strongly encourage putting your bbq sauce in one of those condiment squirt bottles for this salad. It helps to even distribute the sauce over the salad. Plus, that is how they do it at Zupas. I used Cattlemen’s Mississippi Honey. You can also get tortilla strips to top the salad from the grocery store. I get mine from my local Smith’s (Kroger) in the produce section. I like to purchase them because it seems like when you make them at home you can’t get then REALLY crispy.
If you want to serve this salad up in true Zupas fashion, serve it with a baguette slice on the side along with a chocolate dipped strawberry!
I also recommend during the summer to grill up a bunch of chicken breast, allow them to cool, and dice them up. Then divide them up into freezer bags and keep them in the freezer. Then when you want an easy salad for dinner or even for lunch just get it out of the freezer and thaw.
- ½ cup light sour cream
- ½ cup light mayonnaise
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp dried onion
- 1 tsp Bon Appetit or Beau Monde seasoning
- 1 tsp dill weed
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1½ tsp dried chives
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ⅛ tsp dried mustard
- ¼ tsp vinegar
- pepper to taste
- 1 bag mixed greens
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
- ⅛ finely diced red onion
- ½ (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 diced tomato
- sliced olives
- 1 cooked chicken breast, diced ( I cooked mine on the grill with McCormick Grill Mates Mesquite seasoning)
- bbq sauce
- tortilla strips
- In a bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until well blended. Allow the dressing to sit in the fridge for 2 hours. This lets all the flavors mix together.
- To assemble the salad, divide lettuce between four plates. Top each plate with even amounts of corn, red onion, black beans, tomato, olives, and chicken.
- Drizzle salads with bbq sauce and ranch dressing.
- Top with tortilla strips and serve.