Maybe I should call it Italian-American Dressing because in our house ranch dressing is about as American as you can get. And the kids love pairing ranch with pizza. Which got me thinking—why not blend the two by pairing Italian ingredients with ranch seasoning? I present you with Mascarpone Ranch Dressing. Now bring on the pizza. Sponsored by Ergo Spout
In my house, ranch dressing reigns supreme. I'm talking about the good stuff hidden in a valley that comes in a bottle. I have tried many times to serve up homemade ranch dressing and received turned-up noses or a polite, "it's ok." Yup, things can be that brutal when everyone who lives with you thinks they're a food critic. So, I've been on a mission to create a homemade ranch dressing mix and recipe that gets a major thumbs up. And it appears (according to my resident peanut gallery) that I just might have done it.
A Better Ranch Dressing
Of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I had to put an Italian spin on ranch dressing and for me it wasn't just about the spices, but about the base. Ranch dressing typically calls on buttermilk and mayo which give the dressing that creamy mouthfeel and characteristic tang. Instead of buttermilk, I brought in mascarpone, an Italian cheese made from sweet cream. Mascarpone gives the dressing the necessary creaminess and has the pop of tang while not being too heavy making it a great base for the spice blend. Plus I like saying it. Join me, won't you? MARS-CA-PŌ-NAY!
RANCH DRESSING BASICS
Speaking of the spices, Italian flavors mean garlic, right? In this case, I chose a granulated garlic powder. Before anyone protests, you certainly could use fresh minced garlic, especially if you plan to serve the dressing within a couple of days. Otherwise, powdered works great. Rounding out the homemade ranch dressing mix is a blend of oregano, dill, mustard powder, onion powder.
This ranch dressing comes together easily in the blender starting with the milk and spices. Adding the mascarpone (on low to prevent a big glug of splatter splashing up the sides of the blender—don't ask how I might know that). As you blend, you might have to add in a little more milk and/or a tablespoon or two of mayo to get the texture just right.
THE BEST RANCH DRESSING CONTAINER
What motivated me to re-visit a homemade ranch dressing recipe was this blog and also a partnership with my friends Kate and Bryce from Culinesco. Kate and Bryce developed the Ergo Spout, an ingenious product that attaches to any regular-mouth Mason jar making it so easy to pour anything right out of the jar—minus the big mess that usually runs down the side. It comes in four great colors: Vintage Blue, Classic White, Barn Red and Foliage Green adding great style to your table. There's also a wide-mouth version on the way!
ERGO SPOUT: YOUR MASON JAR'S NEW BFF
The beauty of the Ergo Spout is that you can mix, pour, and briefly store all from the same container. It's not a completely air-tight seal, but there is a removable and replaceable gasket to help prevent leaks. The Ergo Spout is a heavy-duty, really well-made product that is ergonomically designed and very comfortable in the hand. In addition to salad dressings, here are some uses for the Ergo Spout that make it beneficial in your kitchen and home:
- pour pancake batter onto your hot griddle with minimal mess and simplicity
- gently heat maple syrup in the microwave for a few seconds right in your Mason jar, cool for a few seconds and then top with the Ergo Spout. Your pancakes will thank you!
- get a few Ergo Spouts and create a salad bar for your next gathering! Head over to my Gatherings page for some more Italian salad dressings and serving ideas that'll make hosting a salad bar a blast!
- Fill a Mason jar with some water and use an Ergo Spout for some splash-free house plant watering. Plus you'll look so stylish while you're doing it.
OUT OF THE BOX IDEAS FOR YOUR ERGO SPOUT
Some additional uses for the Ergo Spout:
- Take a plastic Mason jar and attach an Ergo Spout to use in the bathtub with your little ones. Washing their hair will be so easy and they'll be so enthralled with the spout, it'll probably become a new favorite bath toy. That's why I suggest you need more than one!
- Make a big Mason jar full of coffee concentrate to have when the craving (or necessity) strikes and pour it over a blend of ice and water throughout the week.
- Ergo Spout partnered with a plastic Mason jar make a great sandcastle duo!
- For more ideas, head over to Culinesco to check out the Ergo Spout and other creative products like the Ergo Trap. Send those pesky fruit flies that pop up packing!
MASCARPONE RANCH DRESSING PARTNERS
Looking for some ideas to serve with your Mascarpone Ranch Dressing? Any of these will be a big hit!
Mascarpone Ranch Dressing
- Hand mixer (optional)
- ½ cup milk, + a little extra if needed
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- ½ tsp dill weed
- ¼ tsp garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, EACH
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese, I use Trader Joe's
- 1 T mayonnaise, optional
- Pour milk into a blender (or a medium bowl if using a hand-mixer).
- Add all spices.
- Blend on low to mix spices and milk together.
- Add mascarpone to blender and blend on low to incorporate.
- Add additional milk if needed. Taste and correct for seasoning. Add mayonnaise for a less herby flavor if needed.
- Stir, if needed, before serving. Store in sealed mason jar or container for up to 5-7 days.