It is the time of year when a salad is a prerequisite for picnics, gatherings, parties, beach days and even just dinner! I make a ton of salads this time of year because of the crisp and buttery greens we get from our farm. We wait all year for the Boston and red leaf lettuce in particular. So I have tried out many salad dressing recipes, and it is hard to make a bad one honestly. Even just good balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil does a great salad justice. But here are two dressings that I have made time and time again, and that have received raves from my guests. The chive vinaigrette is fresh and tangy and the buttermilk ranch is creamy, herbaceous and you won’t even pick out the cilantro but it adds a special necessary flavor. I don’t even normally like cilantro and I love it in this dressing! But if you are really opposed to it, and I won’t judge you, use fresh dill. To make it extra fun for the chef, invest in a set of wide-mouth mason jars or a salad dressing cruet, and a mini whisk.
I started making this dip a few years ago when I had a fridge drawer full of vegetables and I needed a recipe that used a lot of them! To my delightful surprise, my kids wanted to skip the pita chips and just get a spoon! Something about the sweet red bell peppers, roasted garlic and tomato paste and the overall creamy texture of this dip makes it appealing to adults and kids alike. This is a great dish to bring to a party and can easily be made ahead of time.