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Iceberg Salad with Shredded Carrots and Heirloom Tomato with Authentic Ranch Dressing

By Heidi Allison

Rarely do dried herbs and aromatics outshine the flavor of their fresh counterparts, but, this salad dressing proves there is an exception to that rule— you can’t improve the flavor profile of the original Ranch dressing using fresh substitutions. For the best taste, you need a mix of dried and fresh ingredients to hit that tangy, creamy, cool and herbaceous flavor note that has made this dressing, by a long shot, America’s favorite.

Created in 1954 by a “Santa Barbara-rancher, Kenneth Henson, this hit product was originally sold as a dry buttermilk and herb seasoning mix (long on onion flavor), to which customers added wet ingredients. Henson's “Ah-Ha” moment for this dressing came while he was working in Alaska, and fresh herbs were tough to find, and so he experimented with dried herbs, to get the perfect herb flavor. Henson will be remembered as a culinary visionary who created the first semi-homemade salad dressing.

Named after his beloved Hidden Valley ranch, Henson’s “white- and- green-flecked- magical- seasoning mix” was initially sold in his store to a cult-like following of local foodies, who bought Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix by the Mason jar. Henson sold the brand and company to Clorox for 8 million in the 1973. This product is now sold in over 30 countries.…

Iceberg Wedge Salad with Authentic Ranch Dressing
Serves 4

Ranch Dressing
Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients for Iceberg Wedge Salad with Authentic Ranch Dressing


½ cup sour cream
5 Tbs. good-quality mayo
1/8 cup plus 1 heaping Tbs. organic buttermilk powder
2 tsp. dried dill
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbs. onion powder
2 Tbs. dried parsley
2 Tbs. minced fresh chives
1 Tbs. minced green onion, green tops only
½ tsp. kosher flake salt
1 tsp. lemon pepper
Juice of 1 large lemon
½ cup filtered water


Place all ingredients into a 2-cup pyrex measuring cup. and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to develop, and texture to thicken.

Iceberg Salad

1 head organic iceberg lettuce, washed, cored, quartered, chilled
4 carrots, peeled and shredded with large-hole of box grater
1 heirloom tomato, ¼ inch dice
½ cup minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
4 Tbs. feta cheese (optional)


Place iceberg lettuce on a plate—as a wedge, or, cut up—and top with carrots, tomato, and top with 2 tablespoons of minced parsley per serving.

Pour ¼ cup of dressing over each portion, top with feta cheese if desired, and finish with several grinds of black pepper.

Serve immediately.
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