Robb Walsh's Buttermilk Dressing

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In Texas, the ubiquitous chicken fried steak is often plated with fries and a buttermilk ranch dressed salad on the same plate, making the ranch the dip of choice for the fries. Robb Walsh, author of Texas Eats, speculates that the popularity of ranch as a dip comes from Texas's cowboy culture, where those gruff dudes used the creamy-tangy dressing to compliment everything from fries to onion rings and even chicken fried steak. And now we know that we have Texas to thank for those little tubs of ranch meant for pizza crust dippage.

What Worked: This 1937 recipe for Buttermilk Dressing is the proto ranch. It's cool, creamy, and the ideal dipper and dunker for everything from salads to pizza crusts, wings and fries.

What Didn't: If you're used to a tangier ranch, consider upping the lemon and mustard.

Suggested Tweaks: A handful of snipped chives and parsley would not only add color but also a complementary herbiness.

Reprinted with permission from Texas Eats by Robb Walsh. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

Robb Walsh's Buttermilk Dressing

About This Recipe

Yield:makes about 1 1/2 cups
Active time:10 minutes
Total time:10 minutes


  • 1/2 cup homemade mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup thick buttermilk


  1. 1

    Stir all of the ingredients into the unbeaten buttermilk.


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