April 12 2020
A wedge salad is an iconic steakhouse starter, and for good reason! Laden with chunks of Roquefort cheese, bacon and egg, and covered in a creamy dressing, this crisp salad has been popular for decades (it actually originated in 1916!). But, like most things, it's getting an update here. Stacks of thick iceberg lettuce slices get topped with crispy pancetta, crumbled blue cheese and a radish/celery garnish. The dressing is creamy but not too thick or heavy...just right! This is an easy beginning to any meal and one that folks will rave over. And, if you're not a fan of pancetta or bacon, check out my notes at the end of the recipe for a wonderful alternative!
Active Time: 20 minutes
Dressing: 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 1 small garlic clove, minced 1/4 tsp Kosher salt 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the Stack: 4 ounces pancetta in 1/4-inch dice, or bacon in slices 1 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/3 cup) 1/3 cup radishes, cut in 1/4-inch dice 1-pound head iceberg lettuce, trimmed and cored, sliced into 1-inch thick rounds (you’ll get about 6) 1/2 cup (2 ounces) firm blue cheese, crumbled 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
In a medium bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Brown the pancetta or bacon in a frying pan until it is crisp, about 5-7 minutes. Drain it on paper towels, and let it cool. If you are using slices of bacon, once they have cooled, either chop or crumble them into small bits.
Toss the celery and radishes together in a small dish.
Place your largest slice of iceberg carefully on a platter. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of dressing, then sprinkle with a little of the radish-celery mixture, a little bacon, a little blue cheese, then chives. Place the next largest slice of iceberg on top (or angled onto it, if it is not sturdy enough to hold the weight), and repeat, adding dressing, radishes and celery, bacon, blue cheese, and chives; then repeat with remaining slices, stacking and staggering them decoratively. If any ingredients remain, sprinkle them over the top.
Serve, and enjoy!!
Chef’s Notes: Don’t eat bacon? Try this: Cut a shallot into thin slivers, submerge them in 1/2 inch of hot oil in a small saucepan, fry them until crisp, drain them well, and immediately salt them. They will be perfect in the place of the bacon or pancetta!
The dressing will make about double what you need, so just put it int the fridge for the next amazing salad! You can also stir in 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese for a more traditional wedge dressing.
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen