I know someone who knew someone (you can see where this is going) who used to sit in bed reading books and eating wedges of iceberg lettuce slathered in salad dressing. I know what you’re thinking – which salad dressing? Was it perchance Russian? Or Thousand Island? Because you just know that someone who eats iceberg lettuce in bed isn’t going to go for balsamic and olive oil, are they?


The answer is – unfortunately – I don’t know. But I like to think it was Ranch dressing. Let’s face it, if you’re going to blow the caloric bank, you might as well go for Ranch. Ranch dressing flew on the scene in the 70’s – remember those Hidden Valley Ranch® packets you’d mix up with buttermilk and mayo? They still exist but now you’re more likely to buy it by the bottle.

According to Coleman Andrew’s The Taste of America (OK, I’m name dropping here), ranch dressing started at the Hidden Valley Ranch, in the hills near Santa Barbara. How much do I love there really was/is a Hidden Valley Ranch? I bet it was full of lots of teeny-tiny cowboys all mixing up vats of salad dressing. I mean, how cute would that be?

Anyway, they sold in ’72 to Clorox (yum) but you can still buy Hidden Valley Ranch dressing today and according to their website it’s good on everything. Everything? But if you’re feeling perky, why not make your own Ranch dressing? It’s incredibly easy so it’s good for you lazy so-and-so’s who can’t be bothered to actually cook.


And it’s good. Mighty good. And of course once you add in some green chile powder it goes from good to great. If I say so myself. So wheel out the iceberg lettuce (another nutritional dynamo – not), a good book and sit back in bed. It’s party time.

Green Chile Ranch Dressing

Makes a bit more than a cup but feel free to double it if you want more (and who doesn’t?).

¼ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup buttermilk
½ cup mayonnaise (regular or light)
Juice of ½ lemon
1 ½ Tbsp chopped parsley
½ a clove of garlic, finely minced or a sprinkle of garlic powder
1 ½ – 2 tsp green chile powder
Salt & pepper to taste


Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl and if possible, refrigerator for a day to let the flavors marry. But if you’re like me, you’ll eat the whole thing before it even has a chance to see the inside or a refrigerator.