Fans of creamy salad dressings enjoy buttermilk dressing as a low-fat alternative to other, less-healthy cream-based dressing options. Buttermilk is versatile, able to take on a other flavors without giving up it's own subtle qualities. Among the many types of buttermilk dressing are those that feature avocado, sour cream, or mayonnaise to add heft to the dressing.
Although it is a little thicker in texture than regular sweet milk, buttermilk is still too loose to use alone as a base for a salad or vegetable dressing. Cooks can give it greater body by adding a dollop or two of mayonnaise, sour cream, or even cream cheese. Some cooks combine buttermilk and blue cheese in the blender to make a foundation both for cold dressings and a velvety pasta glaze.
Despite its name, buttermilk not only doesn’t contain butter, it has less fat than regular milk. Groceries generally carry both buttermilk made with 2% milkfat and a fat-free version. That means buttermilk dressing not only adds a creamy texture and flavor to a salad, but offers a low-fat alternative to other dressings.
The taste of buttermilk is often compared to yogurt, and it may be mild or strong, depending on how it was made. A whole gallon of milk is required just to create a single cup of fermented buttermilk. Buttermilk can be easily combined with other flavors. For example, a buttermilk ranch style dressing is easily crafted using a buttermilk-mayo base to which dill, a little chopped pickle, green olives, caper, and some dried mustard is added.
A blue cheese-buttermilk blended base can be supplemented with a handful of crumbled blue cheese and some chopped walnuts. This dressing is particularly yummy when it tops a salad that features seedless grapes and chopped apples. A sour cream-buttermilk foundation can be blended with an avocado, a little fresh garlic and some cilantro to create a green dressing. This dressing is not only delightful on greens, but goes well with rice and beans.
Sour cream and buttermilk dressing also offers any number of curry combinations. Whether the cook chooses curry powder, curry paste, or creates her own curry from cardamom, ginger, chilies, and other flavorings, this dressing is perfect for a tomato and cucumber salad, as well as for grain dishes.