Crispy Bacon Wedge Salad
by Pamela Morgan, Flirting with Flavors
Do you love a classic steakhouse wedge salad with creamy blue cheese dressing? It may not be the most glamorous dish in the world, but it’s one of my favorites! A wedge salad is the kind of dish that’ll make all of your guests happy. And vegetarians can substitute nuts for bacon to give the salad that crispiness factor.
Four Key Ingredients to the Perfect Wedge Salad:
- Creamy Dressing: A creamy homemade blue cheese dressing is a key component to any wedge salad. Your salad needs that tangy, pungent dressing to contrast the crispness of the iceberg. You can use any kind of blue cheese, whether that’s Gorgonzola or Stilton, and any combination of dairy or non-dairy ingredients to achieve that luxurious creamy texture.
- Crunchy Iceberg Lettuce: A wedge salad needs to have crisp and clean quarters of lettuce and Iceberg is perfect lettuce for the job. Its crisp, scallop-shaped leaves are ideal for slicing and its mild flavor allows all of the other wonderful ingredients to shine through. Any salad with a heavy dressing needs a tough lettuce to stand up to the job. For this reason, iceberg is a popular choice in the catering world. You could dress an iceberg salad ahead of time and it would outlast most other greens!
- Crispy Bacon: Crumbled bacon in a wedge salad is like jelly in a peanut butter sandwich; essential. The trick to making easy-to-crumble bacon is to cook it to peak crispiness. Make sure to cook the bacon all the way through and let it cool for a couple of minutes so it’ll harden before crumbling.
- Juicy Tomatoes: A wedge salad wouldn’t be complete without juicy tomatoes placed on top. I choose to make my wedge salad in the summer when tomatoes are at their juicy prime. Whether you dice, slice, or quarter them, tomatoes add a bright burst of color and a beautifully sweet and tart flavor to the salad.
My husband, they call him the tomato man, has created the most beautiful garden in our backyard in Watermill. Every year, he plants all kinds of herbs and vegetables. This year he planted iceberg lettuce and it’s gorgeous. Over the years Iceberg lettuce has gotten a bad wrap so you can see why I was so excited for my husband’s iceberg lettuce this year. It looked like a blossoming flower and it was almost too beautiful to eat! I knew right away I needed to take that lettuce and turn it into a classic wedge salad.
A wedge salad is all about texture and flavor contrasts. The crunchy, crispy, and creamy elements work in harmony to create a perfect bite. By no means is a wedge salad a light dish. It’s indulgent yet healthy-ish in the best ways possible. Bacon is one of my weaknesses and I can’t think of a better way to get my crispy bacon fix!
I like to use a combination of mayo, yogurt, and blue cheese for my creamy dressing, but you could always try a Greek yogurt-only dressing and achieve equally creamy results.
Here is my recipe for a Crispy Bacon Wedge Salad with Creamy Blue Cheese Dressing:
Crispy Bacon Wedge Salad
For the Salad
- 1 Head iceberg lettuce
- 6 Slices bacon
- 1 cup Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Salt + freshly ground black pepper
Blue Cheese Dressing
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Plain Yogurt
- 2 tbsp Blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup Chives, chopped
- Lay out bacon in a cold cast iron skillet and cook over medium heat until crispy on both sides. Remove bacon from the skillet and place on a paper towel lined plate to cool.
- Cut off any remaining root from the bottom of the iceberg and remove the outermost leaves. Rinse and pat dry, then cut the head into four equal wedges and place on separate plates.
- In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, spoon dressing over wedges and top with crumbled bacon bits and cherry tomatoes.
- Garnish with any remaining blue cheese crumbles, herbs, and salt and pepper.
I’d love to hear about your version of a wedge salad in the comments section below! There are so many variations to this classic dish, but as long as you have these four components, you’re guaranteed a showstopper on your hands.
The Pamela Morgan lifestyle brand reflects Pamela’s decades of experience in the hospitality world through delicious and engaging multimedia content. She share her tips, ideas, travel adventures, and experience in the food and lifestyle realm through her bi-weekly blog Flirting with Flavors, YouTube channel, and social media channels. Visit her website.