66°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Divas on a Dime: Revisiting an American classic – the wedge salad

When was the last time you had a wedge salad? Doesn’t the very thought make you smile?

My memories of wedge salads take me back to when I was a kid and my family would go to our local steakhouse. What a rare treat! The first course was always the same. Chilled plates filled with chunky triangles of pale green goodness, swimming in dressing, loaded with toppings. Knife and fork at the ready, we’d dig in. Why was it so good?

This salad begins with cold, crisp iceberg lettuce as the crunchy base topped with cool, creamy dressing. Add to this the salty funky taste of bleu cheese, the smoky chew of crisp bacon and the cleansing explosion of acidity when you bite into a cherry tomato. Each bite is slightly different, and each bite is perfection. The wedge is a simple salad, perfect in its simplicity.

Some may argue this salad shouldn’t be messed with, but this week we’re going to revisit and revise this American classic. If you’re a purist, I understand completely, and you should avert your eyes right now.

Let’s talk iceberg. With the rise of all things kale, iceberg has gotten a bad rap as being nutritionally void. While it doesn’t contain the same amount of nutrients as darker leafy greens, it does provide important vitamins like calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and folate. Its high-water content makes it especially hydrating in summer and it’s very low in calories. Now, the stuff we put on it … not so much.

Traditionally, when you make a wedge salad you slice the head of lettuce into quarters and top it with the other ingredients. But have you ever tried to place a cherry tomato on a slope? Eating it requires a fork and a knife and you have to really hack that wedge to get manageable bites. I see opportunity for improvement.

Here’s where we reinvent this salad. Rather than triangular wedges, let’s cut the lettuce into big discs. It’s just as beautiful but the toppings don’t slide south and it’s much easier to eat. Since we’re serving such a simple salad, each element must be stellar.

BACON AND BLEU WEDGE SALAD

Yield: 4 servings

What You’ll Need:

For the dressing:

5 ounces bleu or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled, divided

½ cup sour cream

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

½ tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon hot sauce

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

For the salad:

¾ cup walnuts or almonds

4 slices bacon

1 head of iceberg lettuce, cut crosswise into four 1-inch-thick slices

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 avocado – cubed

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs – optional

Here’s How:

To make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together half the bleu cheese with the sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, and hot sauce until combined. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a dry skillet on medium heat, toast nuts until golden brown and fragrant. Let cool, coarsely chop. In the same skillet over medium-high heat cook bacon until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Let cool, crumble.

To assemble the salad: Slice the lettuce vertically into discs leaving some of the core attached to each piece.

Place one slice of iceberg on each plate and drizzle about ¼ cup dressing over each. Dividing equally between the plates, top with walnuts, bacon, celery, tomatoes, avocado, herbs and remaining blue cheese.

Serve this classic with flourish! Say it with me – “I wedge allegiance to the salad of the United States of America.”

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Community comes together for All People’s Luncheon

The 17th Annual All People’s Luncheon brought community members from all walks of life together for an event hosted in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, while simultaneously raising money to benefit local students through the event’s sponsoring organization, the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Foundation of Pahrump.

New welcome signs in the works for Pahrump

Pahrump currently welcomes visitors and thanks them for traveling to the valley with a series of signs placed along two highways and one major road entering and exiting the town, signs that have been in place for nearly 15 years now and are in need of replacement.

Pahrump residents protest ‘red flag’ laws

NevadansCAN hosted a rally on Sunday, Jan. 19 in protest of “red flag” laws contained in Nevada Assembly Bill 291, with several Pahrump area residents heading over the hill to Las Vegas to take part.

Nye County hosts 5th Annual Social Services Fair

Connecting the community with the services and resources available locally was the goal of the day on Thursday, Jan. 16 when Nye County Health and Human Services hosted its 5th Annual Social Services Fair.

Crab Fest returns to Pahrump Valley

Those who love to devour delectable fresh crab while supporting a valuable local nonprofit will want to move quickly, because Pioneer Territory Court Appointed Special Advocates will be hosting its 9th Annual Crab Fest fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 15.

2020 Census job fairs set for this week in Pahrump

The 2020 Census is just around the corner and the U.S. Census Bureau is gearing up for the enormous decennial undertaking.

Pahrump community invited out for All People’s Luncheon

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is right around the corner, and coinciding with the nationwide holiday in honor of the life and legacy of the civil rights leader, Pahrump’s Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Foundation will be holding its 17th Annual All People’s Luncheon.

Pahrump Fairgrounds water applications protested by Great Basin Water Co.

For more than a decade and a half, the town of Pahrump has been working toward development of a huge patch of land with the ultimate goal of turning 427 acres of property into a major recreation facility, the Pahrump Fairgrounds.

Pahrump parcel fee hike overturned by Nye commissioners

Many Pahrump area property owners have been angry these past few weeks about a future hike in the per parcel fee assessed on their property taxes. And owners haven’t been shy about expressing their frustrations either.