Ina Garten’s Iceberg Salad Has the ‘Simplest Ingredients’ but the ‘Result Is Divine,’ According to the Barefoot Contessa

Want a simple Barefoot Contessa salad? Look no further than Ina Garten’s iceberg salad. It’s the celebrity chef’s take on a classic and the epitome of a Barefoot Contessa recipe. Garten stays true to the traditional elements of the dish while, at the same time, giving it more flavor. 

Ina Garten couldn’t wait to eat her Crunchy Iceberg Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese

Ina Garten smiles holding a microphone and sitting in a chair
Ina Garten | Brad Barket/Getty Images for The New Yorker

Garten has a lengthy process for testing recipes. But when she whipped up this iceberg salad one morning she couldn’t wait until lunchtime to dig in. 

“This salad has the simplest ingredients,” Garten began in her 2014 Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Make It Ahead. “But, trust me, the result is divine!”

Just how good is the salad? “I tested it one morning and we couldn’t wait to eat it for lunch,” Garten said.

Perhaps the best part, which Garten shared in her recipe notes, is that “all the ingredients can be prepped in advance and assembled before serving.”

How to make Ina Garten’s iceberg salad

Not only is Garten’s iceberg salad one she couldn’t resist but it’s also ready in just 30 minutes, according to Food Network

Garten whips up a creamy dressing in a food processor, one of the gadgets the Barefoot Contessa always has in her kitchen. Then she chops radishes, scallions, and celery to make a vegetable mixture. 

Once the dressing’s done and the vegetables are chopped all that’s left to do is assemble the salad. Garten puts a hefty portion of iceberg lettuce on a plate. Next is a spoonful of the vegetable mixture and a generous drizzle of the dressing. 

Finally, Garten sprinkles on any leftover blue cheese from the dressing and some salt and pepper. Note: Garten prefers a finishing salt for this particular step such as fleur de sel. 

As Garten often says, how easy is that? There’s no cooking involved unless melting Roquefort blue cheese in the microwave counts. 

Reviewers love the dressing for Garten’s iceberg salad

Ina Garten smiles wearing a black shirt
Ina Garten | Sonia Moskowitz/WireImage

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The real hero of Garten’s iceberg salad isn’t the crunchy lettuce or the vegetables but the dressing, according to reviewers. Those who have made the salad at home love it. 

Reviewers have described it as everything from “outstanding” and “easy to make” to “very creamy.” 

“​​I have to agree with all the other reviews here, this dressing was delicious and perfect for our wedge salads,” one person wrote. 

“This is the very best Roquefort dressing ever! It is even better the next day, and the next, for that matter,” another reviewer said noting that warming the cheese is crucial. 

“I have no idea why it would make a difference, other than the fact that it would blend with the other ingredients more uniformly,” they said. “But I promise you if you are a fan of blue cheese dressing you will never make another recipe.” 

Others shared how the dressing got “rave reviews” from their family. Have leftover dressing? Do what one reviewer did and use it as a dipping sauce for celery sticks and hot wings.