Illustrations by Libby VanderPloeg

I’ve had buttermilk on my mind ever since my friend sent me this clip of the now semi-famous rambunctious ruminant–‘Buttermilk‘, a Nigerian dwarf goat playing with her friends. ‘Buttermilk’ plays by her own rules, sure, but what was foremost on my mind as I thought about her was where does she get that energy!? Oh, to have the where-with-all to bounce about with carefree abandon like a tiny, short-legged goat on a Maine dairy farm. What would it take? Hard drugs? I say hard to get!

Perhaps something as easy as a summer salad with homemade dressing can give me “the Buttermilk bounce.” So I mixed up this spicy buttermilk dressing, covered my salad with it, and went on a rampage. I ran out the door and down to Transmitter Park where I chased a flock of pigeons around for ten to fifteen minutes (with zero fatigue, mind you), then zipped up to the corner, stole a frozen Snickers from the deli just for the thrill of it (I don’t even LIKE snickers), then bought all my Christmas gifts for 2013 (I could no longer pass up those beckoning summer sales on Franklin St). Finally, I ran over to the basketball court, “buttermilked” my way into a game, slam-dunked the rock, ran home, and reorganized my cutlery.

Knockout Buttermilk Dressing. Go on. Try it. I dare you.

At a glance: Buttermilk is a good source of protein, calcium, potassium, and B12. It’s actually fermented milk, usually made by adding lactic acid to regular milk, so you’ll be getting some healthy probiotics with every serving, which can aid with digestion.


⅔ cup non-fat cultured buttermilk
½ avocado
½ cup fresh basil leaves
2-3 tbsp. fresh jalapeño, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. sea salt

With an immersion blender or in a food processor, combine all ingredients until mixture reaches a smooth consistency. Add more salt to taste or jalapeño for kick.

Makes 8-10 oz. Keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge.

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