If you ask me what my favorite salad dressing is I’d answer in a heartbeat: ranch. A lot of other people seem to agree with me! But, sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a little bit from time to time. I’m also a big fan of freshly cracked black pepper so this cracked pepper salad dressing sounded right up my alley and it’s so much better than I imagined. It’s not difficult to make your own dressing at home and the nice thing is that you can make it to suit your palette!
This dressing is creamy, thick, rich, and just a tad piquant thanks to the pepper. There’s also some lemon juice and chives in as well, so the flavor is kept very bright.
To add some savory flavor there’s also some parmesan cheese in the dressing, too. Normally I advise to either grate your own or use the shredded style from the deli for more flavor. But, in this instance I used the “shake-y” cheese in the green plastic container. It has a smaller texture which makes it ideal for blending into a smooth mixture like this one.
The base for the dressing is mayonnaise. You can use whichever style is your favorite and I’m partial to the olive oil mayo. But, if you substitute Miracle Whip instead the end result will turn out much sweeter than with mayo, so take that into consideration.
The dressing needs to sit for an hour so that the herbs and spices can absorb some of the moisture in the mix and “come to life” so to speak. Test your dressing only after it’s sat for a while in the fridge. I ended up adding more garlic powder and black pepper to it because those are two flavors I can’t get enough of.
As a dressing this is wonderful on salads. But, it also makes a great dip for a veggie platter or even for wings or chicken tenders, too. It truly is a versatile dressing, especially for entertaining.
Cracked Pepper Salad Dressing
Makes 2 1/2 cups
1h 5m prep time
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion or chives
- Combine mayonnaise, water, milk, buttermilk, lemon juice, and spices together using a whisk until uniform in color. If a thinner salad dressing is preferred stir in 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you reach desired consistency.Taste and add more black pepper if desired.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before tasting or serving. Dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.