Buttermilk Dressing With Winter Crudites

This buttermilk dressing recipe with winter crudites is a simple way to turn healthy raw vegetables into a stunning focal point at your next holiday dinner or cocktail party.

Buttermilk Dressing Recipe With Winter Crudites

This buttermilk dressing recipe with winter crudites turns ordinary vegetables and dip into a veritable winter wonderland. The homemade dressing is easy to make and contains both buttermilk and sour cream—no mayo—for tang and richness. It’s delicious with any vegetable, white or otherwise, and is also fab when used as a dip for potato chips, natch. Originally published December 31, 2015.Renee Schettler Rossi

Buttermilk Dressing Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 cup buttermilk (preferably full-fat)
  • 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dill leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Assorted white or pale green crudites, such as celery stalks, hearts of romaine, white carrots, cucumber spears, jicama, blanched cauliflower florets, blanched white asparagus spears, and thinly sliced kohlrabi, for serving


  • 1. In a bowl, stir together the buttermilk, crème fraîche or sour cream, dill, lemon zest and juice, and cayenne. Season with salt and black pepper and then taste and adjust the other ingredients accordingly. Cover and refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 day.
  • 2. Arrange the crudites in glasses or on a platter or several small plates. Refrigerate for up to several hours.
  • 3. Just before serving, stir the buttermilk dressing until smooth and pour it into small dishes. Set out the crudites alongside the buttermilk dressing.

How To Blanch Vegetables

  • To blanch vegetables simply means to submerge them in boiling water long enough so that they become tender yet still retain a slight crunch, which typically takes just a minute or so, depending on the vegetable. The vegetables are then immediately transferred with tongs or a strainer to a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking and ensure the veggies remain vibrant in color. This technique is particularly useful for hard vegetables destined for a crudites platter, including cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus. Note that white asparagus is typically tougher than the green variety, so it’s a good idea to peel the stalks, beginning about 2 inches below the tips and peeling toward the stem ends, before blanching.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

After holiday parties loaded with all of the good cheesy, fatty, and sweet foods, this is so refreshing! The buttermilk sort of smooths out the richness of the sour cream and gives the dip nice tartness. Some dips go a little too light on the dill, so 1/2 cup is perfect. I didn't have any white asparagus, but I did blanch the cauliflower. I think the blanching takes out a little of the "rawness" but leaves the crunch. This dip didn't last long. In fact, I'm going to make another batch (or two) for New Year's Eve. A Testers Choice all the way!

This came together very quickly and the combination of buttermilk and lemon juice gave the dip a pleasant tang without being overly tart. It looked lovely alongside the pale veggies, though I think this would also be very nice drizzled over salmon. The suggested crudites were great with it, and the pale-on-pale combination was beautiful. I also added some thinly sliced kohlrabi, which went exceptionally well with the dip. It was very quick and easy to assemble. The addition of the buttermilk was wonderful; however, it does make the dip quite thin. I wouldn't use anything less than full-fat buttermilk here for fear of it being too thin. That being said, while the consistency is great as a dip for veggies or even as a sauce, I think it might be too thin for potato chips.

Zippy and delicious, this buttermilk dip comes together in minutes, though we found that it improves after a few hours of sitting, which lets the flavors meld nicely. The lemon and fresh dill with the tang and rich creaminess from the buttermilk and crème fraîche make this dip a winner. We served it with plenty of romaine and cauliflower and blue corn chips. We'll definitely make it again and imagine it'll be just as tasty if prepared with Greek yogurt instead of crème fraîche for a very good, everyday creamy salad dressing.

I loved the idea of winter crudites and creating a white appetizer. I used blanched cauliflower florets, zucchini strips, fennel strips, kohlrabi, white button mushrooms, white endive spears, and celery sticks. Loved the flavor of the buttermilk dressing. Dill is a favorite of mine, so 1/2 cup was not too much in my opinion. I made this according to the recipe, but the dressing was quite thin and a little drippy. I remedied the situation by adding some sour cream to thicken. Next time, I think I'd only start with half the amount of buttermilk and add more as needed to achieve the proper consistency. I will definitely make this again.


  1. I thought I had everything to make this – alas, no lemon. So I subbed lemon pepper. Also used dried dill. I’ll be taking it in my lunch tomorrow with baby carrots. Yummy!
    The Other Martha

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