Summer Tomato Salad with Broccoli Ranch Dressing

   Ranch Dressing.

   The cliché of salad dressings. The dressing people get when they don’t know what to order in a restaurant. It’s done dreadfully with a powder mix or bottled in a non-descript warehouse in the middle of nowhere. It’s full of salt or simple sugars or cornstarch to thicken, but it’s actually very easy to make. And with a blend of steamed broccoli, it takes a familiar flavour to another level. The mild, natural bitterness of broccoli compliments the sharp flavours of vinegar and buttermilk as well as the herbaceous flavours of dill and parsley. All of these flavours also blend perfectly with the bursting freshness of summer tomatoes. A simple salad to extend summer well into September 🙂

Summer Tomato Salad with Broccoli Ranch Dressing

For the Broccoli Ranch Dressing:

1-1/2 cups broccoli florets

1 Tbsp fresh parsley

1 Tbsp fresh dill

1/4 cup minced onion

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp vinegar

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp salt

   Steam the broccoli florets in a steamer for 15 minutes or until very soft. Remove from the steamer and immediately plunge into ice water to cool it instantly and lock the colour in place. Place the steamed, cooled broccoli into a blender with the parsley, dill, onion, garlic, vinegar and buttermilk. Purée until smooth. Add the sour cream and salt. Purée again to combine until smooth. Refrigerate for at least an hour to thicken the mixture slightly (Note: it will never be as thick as commercial ranch dressing. Commercial dressings have cornstarch or other food laboratory thickeners like guar gum, carrageenan, etc).

For the salad:

4 cups coarsely chopped mixed tomatoes (in the summer there’s always many tomato varieties available. If there isn’t any, just use a good cherry tomato. They have the most flavour at any given time)

1/4 cup Reserved Broccoli Ranch Dressing (the rest of the dressing can be used for another time: dips, simple greens, etc)

2 tsp broccoli florets

   On two plates, scatter the tomatoes around in a single layer. Drizzle with the Broccoli Ranch Dressing and pinch off tiny bits of the broccoli florets and garnish the salad with it. Serves 2.

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2 comments

  1. carlyjensen · September 2, 2014

    Yummy!

    • tripleheartbeat · September 2, 2014

      Thanks! It’s super easy too! I’m happy you like it! 🙂

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