Basque Garlic Salad Dressing

Basque Garlic Salad Dressing

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Several years ago when I lived in Las Vegas, I had to make a few trips north for work, to a small mining town called Elko, Nevada. You have to fly into Salt Lake City and then drive several hours, or take a small plane from SLC. I was working as the buyer for the Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association at the time, and one of our locations was the California Trail Interpretive Center. It was a nice little museum, and I had to go up a few times a year with the executive director and the director of retail.

The highlight of these trips was dinner at the Star Hotel. Built in 1910 as a hotel and restaurant, it now serves as a Basque bar and restaurant. The people are nice, the food is good and plentiful, and everything is served family style except the entrees.

Each diner orders their entree, then the food starts coming to the table. First, they bring out cabbage soup, bread, and salad with garlic dressing. Then with the entrees, they bring out beans, spaghetti, french fries, and a vegetable (the three times I ate there, it was green beans, but it may vary). Seriously–tons of food. If you leave the Star hungry, it’s your own fault.

To be honest though, my favorite was always the salad. It was just iceberg lettuce in a creamy garlic dressing. Believe me–I know. It looks like nothing special, but oh boy. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked.

I made this for Stephan last week and he couldn’t believe how good it was.

Serve with bread and soup or pasta. Could you add vegetables and other salad fixings? Absolutely! But do yourself a favor and try it this way first.

If you’d like to check out the Star for yourself, their website is

If you’re in the area, definitely check them out–you won’t regret it!

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Basque Garlic Salad Dressing

  • Author: Retrogirl
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


It will look like there’s not enough dressing to coat an entire head of lettuce, but it will.



1 Tablespoon olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 medium head of iceberg lettuce


Whisk the first six ingredients together and let sit in the fridge overnight to let the flavors meld.

Cut the lettuce into small squares and toss with the dressing.

That’s it–Boom. Dead Simple.

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 Minutes
  • Category: Salad

Keywords: Basque Garlic Salad Dressing

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18 thoughts on “Basque Garlic Salad Dressing”

  • I was born and raised in Elko and the Star is the best 💕Thanks for sharing this great recipient

  • How is this stuff so GOOD?

    It is much more delicious after it’s been in the fridge for a few days. I look forward to salad now. Fantastic!

  • You forgot to list the 2 Grated Hard Boiled eggs they add to the dressing, It’s what makes it! I’ve been eating at the Star Hotel since about 1979 and my dads been eating there since the late 50’s.

  • No visit to Elko goes without dinner at the Star. Thank you sharing this wonderful recipe. Now I can make it at home in between visits. Do you have a recipe for the cabbage soup by chance?Another favorite.

  • Hands down, they have the best steak in Nevada! I worked for the state and every employee who ever goes there agrees!

  • Made this for lunch today and thoroughly enjoyed it! Mixed a little with some sweet chili sauce and served it as a sauce for Hoisin Air Fried Salmon! Spectacular Meal!! Will make again!

  • I love this dressing, but changed it up a little bit. I used garlic flavored oil and instead of a 1/2 C of mayonnaise, I used 1/4 C and 1/c of heavy whipping cream. I don’t like a heavy mayo taste and the cream gave it the perfect blend I was going for.

  • Best salad you can have and the star is the one thing I miss the most sense I’ve moved away from Elko

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