Ranch on Pizza: Yea or Nay?
Plus: A Quick Video with Some Ranch-on-Pizza Inspo & a Delicious Recipe for Vegan Ranch Dressing
Welcome to another edition of Pizza Every Other Friday where we celebrate all things pizza adjacent: salads, sauces, condiments, and more. Today, I’d love to know how you feel about ranch on pizza: yea or nay?
Ranch dressing is not something I’d ever considered pairing with pizza before a few years ago. It was an Emmy Squared Detroit-style pizza, in fact, that showed me the light: during the pandemic, I ordered a trio from Goldbelly, one of which came with a squeeze bottle of ranch, which we drizzled all over a white pizza topped with pickled banana peppers and red onions. It was delicious.
To my Minnesotan husband, nothing was novel about that experience — he long remembers ranch dressing being served with cafeteria pizza and beyond. Growing up on the east coast, this was not my experience.
According to this Eater article, the pairing was popularized by Domino’s in the mid-90’s, when the chain began including sides of the dressing with its wings and “customers got ranch-curious.”
As you can gather, I am a ranch fan. While it is not a condiment I find to be essential on the pizza-night table, I think its tang complements many a pie.
How about you? Are you ranch curious? Or an evangelist? Or is just the thought a crime against humanity?
A Quick Video
I like ranch dressing with veggie-loaded pizzas — anything with cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, etc. The one in this video features leftover roasted cauliflower (olive oil, salt, 425ºF for 25-30 minutes), pickled peppers (Mama Lil’s), vodka sauce, and low-moisture, whole milk mozzarella (Calabro is my favorite). The dough is the Neapolitan-style pizza dough from Pizza Night.
Vegan Ranch Dressing
Yield = A scant 2 cups
With lots of people practicing Veganuary, I felt inspired to make a vegan ranch dressing. If you have never made anything like this — a nut-based creamy sauce — I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the flavor and texture. Nothing about this dressing is a sacrifice.
Salt: If you are using Morton Kosher salt or fine sea salt, use 3/4 teaspoon (or the same amount by weight.
I have only ever used a high speed blender, which makes an especially creamy dressing without having to soak the cashews. If you do not have a Vitamix or other powerful blender, consider soaking the cashews in water for at least 2 hours before making the dressing.
1 cup (135 g) raw cashews
3/4 cup (176 g) water ice water, plus more as needed
1½ (5 g) teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt, see notes above
1/4 cup (65 g) fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons (28 g) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 cup (20 g) chives
Flaky sea salt, optional, to taste
In a high-speed blender combine the cashews, ice water, salt, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and maple syrup. Blend at low speed for 10 seconds, then turn the blender to its highest setting and blend for another 50 seconds.
The mixture should be completely smooth. Taste. And adjust with a pinch of flaky sea salt if necessary. Add the chives, and blend on low for another 10 seconds.
The mixture will be slightly warm due to the intensity of the blending, and because of this, it’s difficult to evaluate the flavor. Because of this, I recommend transferring it to a storage vessel and transferring it to the fridge for at least 2 hours before using. In this time, the ranch flavors will intensify and the dressing will thicken — you may want to thin the dressing with another tablespoon of water to make it a more pourable consistency before using.
Any topic you’d like covered? Please let me know. See you next Friday 🍕🍕