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Recipe for cucumber ribbon salad with ranch-style buttermilk herb dressing {vegetarian}

Cool and refreshing cucumber ribbon salad with ranch-style buttermilk herb dressing.

Necessity -- or is it forgetfulness? or humidity? -- being the mother of invention, this cucumber ribbon salad owes its spectacular ranch-style buttermilk herb dressing to a great pantry, and to my strong desire not to drive five miles to the grocery store for a quart of buttermilk on an unbearably hazy-hot-humid day. Powdered buttermilk, a baking pantry staple that will keep perfectly happy in the refrigerator for months, contributes the characteristic tangy ranch flavor, with a boost from Greek yogurt and a small amount of mayonnaise. I like the combination of dill, parsley and chives from my garden for a vibrant herby punch. The overall result? Delicate, much more so than traditional ranch dressing. I'm planning to use the leftover dressing on grilled salmon. The cucumber salad didn't last much longer than the time it took to photograph it. I ate it for breakfast. All of it.


Cucumber ribbon salad with ranch-style buttermilk herb dressing

From the pantry, you'll need: powdered buttermilk, mayonnaise, fresh herbs, lemon, Colman's mustard, Greek yogurt, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.

Makes 1-1/4 cups dressing. Salad serves 4.


For the salad:
1 large seedless (English) cucumber, or several small seedless cucumbers
1 tsp kosher salt

For the buttermilk herb dressing:
2-1/2 Tbsp powdered buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp Colman's (dry) mustard
2 heaping Tbsp fresh dill
2 heaping Tbsp flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbsp roughly chopped chives
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper


Cut the cucumber into 6-inch pieces, and slice the pieces lengthwise on a mandoline; if you can set the thickness, set it at 1/8-inch to make thin ribbons. Place the cucumber ribbons in a colander, and sprinkle with the kosher salt. Set the colander over a bowl, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse off the excess salt, and dry with a clean dish towel. Place the cucumber in a mixing bowl.

In a blender, combine all of the buttermilk herb dressing ingredients. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water (use less for a thicker dressing). Whiz until the herbs are chopped and the dressing is thoroughly incorporated. Pour as much as needed over the cucumber ribbons, and reserve the rest in the refrigerator for another use.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Moroccan cucumber salad with herbs and olives
Japanese cucumber ribbon salad
Raita (Indian yogurt and cucumber condiment)
Southern buttermilk biscuits
Cool-as-a-cucumber smoothie with Greek yogurt

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Sweet and spicy cucumber salad with fresh dill, from Pinch My Salt
Asian cucumber salad with cilantro and Vidalia onions, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cucumber herb buttermilk soup, from Sassy Radish
Watermelon and cucumber with buttermilk ranch dressing, from The Merlin Menu
Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce for fish, from Salad in a Jar

Need more ideas for how to create salads with pizzazz? Get Dress Up Your Salad, my e-book packed with easy mix-and-match recipes, full-color photos and a few fun videos. Exciting salad recipes from everyday ingredients can be just one click away, on any computer, tablet or smart phone, with the FREE Kindle Reading app. Click here to learn more.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Oh, Lydia, this looks really good! Love the different take on cutting the cucumber for salad. :-) I just put an English cucumber in my lunch bag, too. ;-) I'll skip the dill (or do a sub), but otherwise I'm in!


Shirley, so many possible variations: scallions (not my thing, but would be great), lemon thyme, basil, tarragon, or just lots of fresh parsley. Or mint!

I planted cucumbers in my garden for the first time this year, so I am going to need lots of cucumber recipes. At least it seems like I'll need lots. My plants appear to be growing like weeds. I'm putting powdered buttermilk on my shopping list. I don't know why I don't have any already.

Donna, I love powdered buttermilk, especially for baking and salad dressings. It will keep for months in the fridge, and there's no waste, as there often is when you buy a quart of buttermilk. And buttermilk powder is made from whole milk, not skim milk, so it has a richer flavor.

Powdered buttermilk? I've got to find that so I won't have to be without it when I want to make something like this!

Patsy, once you have it in the pantry, you'll find all sorts of uses for powdered buttermilk (including more recipes here in The Perfect Pantry).

We eat cukes by the ton in the summer. I love your version of a Cucumber salad!

Holy Smokes! Powdered buttermilk! What a revelation! I didn't even know it existed. I need some of this. I have the problem of buying a quart for a recipe that calls for barley a few tablespoons and looking for ways to use it up before it goes bad!! THANKS!

Jackie, I love cucumbers, too. I'm sure I eat them every day in the summer.

Carol, it does, and until the buttermilk makers realize that we don't always want an entire quart, it's great to have powdered buttermilk on hand. Look for it in the baking section of your supermarket.

This looks so good! I never buy buttermilk because I don't use it enough to get through the whole carton & I've always wondered about the powdered stuff. May have to try some :-)

CJ, for the life of me I don't understand why buttermilk isn't sold in smaller containers, like half-and-half or cream. Hardly anyone uses the entire quart. I love having the powdered buttermilk on hand for smaller baking jobs, and salad dressings like this one.

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