Thanks to TikTok content creators, cottage cheese is having a moment. The vital ingredient is viral, with 630 million views for hashtag #cottagecheese. Dairy industry insiders say that cottage cheese sales are up nearly 16 percent over the past year.
My memories of cottage cheese are straight from the 70s suburban Southern playbook. They involve my diet-conscious mom who kept the no added sugar, low-fat ingredient in the fridge at all times for light lunches like a prettily arranged lettuce leaf filled with a scoop of cottage cheese topped with canned peaches.
I switched to sweet and fruity yogurt in the 80s, but cottage cheese never fully left my world. Trying to get calories into my underweight firstborn daughter, I stirred full-fat large curd cottage cheese into her scrambled eggs. Baby girl still prefers her eggs cooked this way.
Like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese is easy to work with in recipes. One of my favorite ways to use cottage cheese in this recipe from acclaimed Southern chef Frank Stitt. In the wonderful cookbook, Frank Stitt’s Southern Table (Artisan, 2004), he includes his mother’s go-to, company’s coming over, appetizer and calls it Marie’s Herbed Cottage Dip.
This recipe is quick to assemble and serve with crudites like celery and carrot sticks. The original recipe calls for fresh herbs like chives and dill. You can add these herbs, or follow my convenient path of using a spoonful of Ranch seasoning.
This dip makes a nice afternoon snack ~ perhaps for kids after school? You can bring it to a small dinner party. And you can absolutely keep it all to yourself for a series of weekday light lunches. It keeps in the refrigerator for a few days.
Buttermilk Ranch Dip with Cottage Cheese Recipe
Herbed Cottage Cheese Dip Recipe
This recipe is a great way to use up your cool weather herbs like chives, dill and parsley. You can also substitute dried herbs (opt for teaspoons versus tablespoon measures for the potent dried versions). Dried Ranch dressing powder will work in a pinch, too.
adapted from Frank Stitt’s Southern Table (Artisan, 2004)
Yield: about 3 cups dip
2 cups cottage cheese (I use large curd, low fat if I can find it)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into tiny dice
2 small carrots, peeled and cut into tiny dice
2 celery stalks, cut into tiny dice
½ red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into tiny dice
To make the dip, place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve with the crudités.