I think that this classic recipe may be an almost perfect dish. I know. It’s so simple. But that’s the beauty of it! I love the cold, crispy lettuce. I love the tangy, creamy dressing with the pungent, sharp crumbles of blue cheese. I love how the acidity of the sweet, little tomatoes cuts through the fat of the dressing. I also love the salty crunch of the bacon. Yep, my mouth is watering just typing this paragraph. I love my job.
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Sullivan’s Steakhouse Restaurant in Houston, TX was my favorite place to lunch on this wonderful salad. I don’t understand how such an easy and delicious salad could be referred to as “America’s Silliest Salad” or the “Lazy Salad”. The brilliance is its simplicity.
And truthfully. It could not be easier. I mean all you really do is whack a head of lettuce into 8 wedges. Glob on some creamy dressing and toss on a few cherry tomatoes on top. In the words of my culinary idol Ina Garten, “How easy is that?” But the art of doing this salad well is making your own dressing and artfully presenting the wedge perfectly adorned with the thoughtful accompaniments.
This classic wedge salad has so many variations. If you aren’t a blue cheese fan or just want to switch it up a bit, try one of these suggestions:
- Thousand island dressing, chopped egg, tomatoes, and diced dill pickle
- Ranch dressing, chopped chicken, bacon, and shredded cheddar
- Italian dressing, parmesan cheese, minced red onion, banana pepper rings, and chopped pepperoni
I like the mild and creamy blue cheese. Actually, my favorite brand is one in most grocery stores, called Treasured Cave. There is a blue cheese from many countries and each has its own distinct qualities.
- Danish blue cheeses are stronger in flavor and creamy
- Gorgonzola is a salty, crumbly blue cheese from Italy
- Roquefort is a French blue cheese that has a very tangy flavor and is mildly salty
- Stilton, a blue cheese from England, has a mild and balanced flavor with a thicker vein of the blue mold running through it
An easy recipe for the nostalgic classic wedge salad with a bright, creamy homemade dressing. Perfect for a first course or a lunch.
For the dressing:
- ⅓ cup whole fat buttermilk
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ pound blue cheese, finely crumbled
For the salad:
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, cored and cut into 8 wedges
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut lengthwise
- 8 slices bacon, cooked very crisp and crumbled
- ½ pound blue cheese, coarsely crumbled
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, parsley, garlic, and pepper until smooth and the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Stir in the blue cheese. Taste and adjust for salt.
- Cover and chill for at least one hour to allow flavors to marry.
- On a salad plate, stand one wedge of iceberg in center of plate. Dress each wedge with 2-3 tablespoons of dressing. Sprinkle each plate with tomatoes, bacon and coarsely crumbled blue cheese. Serve immediately.
Notes: This salad should be ice cold. Keep all salad components in the refrigerator and assemble immediately before serving. Chilling the salad plates in the freezer for 30 minutes before using is a nice touch.
Leave the stem on the head of the lettuce. This will help keep the wedges together. Keep in mind that it will be necessary for your guests to eat around the core.
- Serving Size: Serves 8 as a first course or 4 as a lunch entree
Feeling inspired? Give one of these recipes a try: