1/3 cup cultured buttermilk, well-shaken before measuring
1/3 cup sour cream, reduced fat or regular, or plain yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise, reduced fat or regular
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. white wine or champagne vinegar
the green tops of 4 scallions, sliced thinly (reserve the scallion whites for another use)
1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Place buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese in a 2-cup Mason or Ball jar with lid (or similar covered vessel).  Cover the jar tightly and shake the ingredients until well blended.
2. Add the cheese, scallion greens, salt and pepper, and shake again to blend.
3. Keep tightly covered and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Dressing will last 5 to 7 days if kept chilled and stored properly.

Recipe courtesy of Jane Ward, author and blogger at Food & Fiction, 2011.

For something so simple to whip together, this buttermilk-parmesan salad dressing packs a tangy flavor punch that gives a refreshing taste to summertime side dishes.  For that, you can thank the buttermilk. 

Traditional buttermilk is the collected liquid left over from churning cream into butter. As cow’s milk sits to separate and give off its cream, lactic acids naturally form, yielding a pleasant sourness and thickness to the milky by-product of the churning process.  In the past, buttermilk was considered a refreshing drink, similar in flavor to tart plain yogurt.  Ask an older parent or grandparent and they will probably tell you they quaffed more than a glass or two of ice-cold buttermilk in their day.

These days, unless you live on a dairy farm and make your own butter, the buttermilk available for your kitchen is cultured buttermilk.  In this contemporary process, lactic acids are added to 1% or 2% milk, no butter churning necessary.  The results are quite similar, though, and cultured buttermilk is also nicely thick and sour.

Even so, not many of us down cold glasses of it any more.  In fact, buttermilk is more often used in baking, if at all.  In cakes and pancakes and biscuits, the acids in buttermilk will boost the activity of the leavening agent, usually baking soda, to enhance the baked goods’ rise and texture.

I think it would be a nice thing if we paid buttermilk a little more attention in the modern kitchen, especially in the summertime when, as our buttermilk-drinking ancestors recognized, we all seek something bracing and cool to interest our palates on a hot day.  Buttermilk’s tart acidity livens up early summer greens, but also give this dressing a try on potato salads or cole slaws for a lighter, zippier change from plain mayonnaise.This video was filmed in the Doyon's Kitchen & Appliance Showroom at the Doyon's location in Gloucester, MA. You can obtain more information at their web site;
Buttermilk-Parm Dressing
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