3 cups


Ranch dressing and iceberg lettuce are as much a part of the Southwest as barbecue and have been around a long, long time. This is a mild dressing that gets its refreshing taste from buttermilk It goes quite well with some of the spicy foods and sauces that often come before or after a salad. Use it on salads, cole slaw (to be served with barbecued meats) or as a dipping sauce for grilled chicken wings.


1 tablespoon safflower oil

1/2 white onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 2/3 cups buttermilk

2/3 cup mayonnaise 


White pepper

Minced fresh parsley


            Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the thyme and celery salt and lower the heat to medium-low. Stir the cornstarch into the cream, then whisk into the onion and spice mixture and stir constantly to make a paste. Remove from heat and whisk in the buttermilk Cool, then strain and press to extract all the juices. Whisk in the mayonnaise and season to taste with salt, pepper and minced parsley.



·        You can make this with a créme fraiche base, omitting the heavy cream and the cornstarch, which is needed to keep the buttermilk dressing from becoming too watery. Créme fraiche makes a much richer dressing. Prepare 1 1/2 cups créme fraiche (page 112); add 1 1/2 cups buttermilk to it. Stir in the garlic and onion mixture, let stand for 1 hour, then strain and add the mayonnaise, salt, pepper and parsley.