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The popularity of small-batch buttermilk—traditionally the byproduct of butter making—is picking up steam, and thanks to buttermilk’s light tang, summer is a delicious time to indulge. Here are seven ways to use buttermilk, whether you buy it from your local farm or corner store.
1. Dressing. Whisk buttermilk with vinegar and mayonnaise or sour cream to create a luscious but zippy dressing that’s great over mild, crisp veggies, like radishes and Bibb lettuce. Or try it over a heartier salad of grilled peaches, bacon and onions.
2. Mashed potatoes. Make this classic dish lighter and more summery by adding buttermilk.
3. Marinade. Southern cooks have long known about buttermilk’s tenderizing powers—just look how often it’s used to marinate chicken before frying. But you can also use it to soak pork chops to make them extra-juicy.
6. Panna cotta. Use buttermilk to make a tangier version of a creamy Italian dessert.
7. Pie. Let buttermilk do double duty and use it in both the crust and the filling.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.