The Flowery Ingredient To Give Your Go-To Ranch Dressing New Life

Ranch dressing is a favored salad dressing and dip in the United States. In fact, a 2017-2018 poll conducted by The Association for Dressings and Sauces, via Food Network, said that when it comes to what Americans like to drizzle on our salad greens, ranch takes the top spot. And, while Italian and blue cheese salad dressings were also in the top five, there is clearly a special place in our hearts for ranch. We not only like it on our salads, but also as a dip for wings. And, what's better than making a homemade buttermilk ranch for your French fries in or for slathering on a sandwich?  

According to the New York Times, a classic ranch dressing is generally comprised of some buttermilk, sour cream, thyme, and dill, along with a little onion and garlic. The Pioneer Woman goes on to share that this dressing came about thanks to a man in Alaska named Steve Henson. Henson concocted this velvety dip as result of the difficulty in finding fresh ingredients. Hidden Valley Ranch reveals that once Henson shared the dressing with his friends, they couldn't get enough of it. And we still can't. Today, ranch dressing basically goes on anything and everything — even pizza. 

But, as fabulous as the original ranch dressing recipe is, there is a flowery ingredient that will transform it into a new and delish dressing.

It's fragrant and flavorful

According to Bon Appétit, if you want to really give your ranch dressing a facelift and breathe new life into this favorite dip, you should add lavender to it. What does it taste like? Chala June wrote, "The brightness of lavender is an amazing complement to fatty ingredients like buttermilk, and its subtle piney-ness pairs well with the other herbs traditionally found in ranch."

But you can't just use any lavender in your ranch dressing. If you are going to make a this salad favorite with a touch of lavender, you will need to use edible lavender. What is the importance of using culinary lavender vs. other lavenders? San Francisco Gate reports that while most types of lavender can be eaten, the "Munstead" or English lavender variety is the most common to use. The site goes on to explain this is because of its sweet smell that imparts itself on the foods you are creating and the citrus flavor it imparts.