The classic wedge salad is a fan favorite for good reason. People go “oooh” and “ahh” every time we serve it. The crisp iceberg lettuce and the flavorful, creamy blue cheese dressing are a match made in heaven. Moreover, it has a gorgeous appearance. There must be something special about this salad if it has managed to wow us for a century. It’s perfect for pairing with grilled meats, seafood, or vegetables. What do we do to survive? We’ve included all the traditional components, but with our own twist, of course.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
How do you make a wedge salad?
A wedge salad made with iceberg lettuce was first published in 1916 in Marion Harris Neil’s book Salads, Sandwiches, and Chafing Dish Recipes. The recipe, titled “Lettuce Salad with Roquefort Dressing,” calls for a creamy blue cheese dressing to be poured over lettuce hearts along with sliced hard-boiled egg whites. This salad doesn’t look anything like it does today.
The blue cheese crumbles and bacon bits that are now standard on a wedge salad appeared in the dish around the 1950s. In the 1970s, it hit the mainstream, and it has been popular ever since, at steakhouses. We will discuss how most modern restaurants and chefs put their own unique spin on the classic wedge salad. In a traditional wedge salad, you’ll find these ingredients:
- Lettuce icebergs
- a sauce made of blue cheese
- Chives Bacon
Smoky breadcrumbs are a great substitute for bacon.
Instead of using bacon on our innovative take on the classic wedge salad, we opted for smokey bread crumbs. Breadcrumbs, seasoned to impart a hint of bacon’s signature smokiness, can stand in for the crispy bacon they replace. It’s a novel twist on the classic (and vegetarian) wedge salad. Breadcrumbs are toasted in a skillet with olive oil and seasonings for about 3 minutes, or until they are golden. The necessary seasonings are listed below.
- Smoked paprika, also known as pimentón, is a smoked variation of sweet paprika that imparts a subtle smoky flavor to whatever it is added to. You should look for it in this area! (The leftovers are perfect for the other smoked paprika recipes.)
- Powdered onions
- Powdered garlic
Blue cheese dressing with a new twist.
The blue cheese dressing in this wedge salad is a modern take on a classic. Some of the qualities that make this dressing so popular are as follows:
- Greek yogurt is used! Adding Greek yogurt to traditional mayonnaise is a great way to cut back on calories without sacrificing any of the delightful creaminess.
- Simple to whip together. The prep time for this one is minimal. The crumbled blue cheese will be mashed with a splash of vinegar before being combined with the sour cream, mayonnaise, and seasonings.
Not a fan of blue cheese? More Choices
Several folks in our close circle aren’t fans of blue cheese because of its intense flavor. Also, you? Wedge salads are versatile; try them with a variety of salad dressings. Crumble some feta cheese on top! Some suggestions for sauces and toppings:
- If you like ranch dressing, you have to try ours. Also, Greek yogurt is an ingredient. Smoky Ranch can be made by adding smoked paprika.
- Feta vinaigrette: To make the feta cheese dressing, simply follow the instructions for making the blue cheese dressing.
- Nobody can say they aren’t a fan of Thousand Island. It deviates from the traditional wedge salad but is still delicious.
Wedge salad requires careful slicing.
Finally, some notes on chopping an iceberg head for a wedge salad. Some hints and items to keep an eye out for are as follows.
- Find an iceberg with a small to medium sized head. The iceberg lettuce heads sold in stores can be rather large. The ideal wedge size is somewhere in the middle.
- First, take off the outer leaves. The exterior leaves are often dusty and scuffed. Take them off one by one, then.
- If your head is on the smaller side, cut it into quarters. If you can only find the iceberg’s head, you can divide it into six sections. It will be easier to eat if you cut it into smaller pieces.
Dishes that go with a wedge salad…It can be used in a variety of contexts.
The traditional wedge salad is one of the most adaptable salads in our repertoire. It’s extremely versatile. Some of our favorite pairings with food are listed below.Those aren’t steaks:
- Vegetarian entrees like Creamy Mushroom Risotto, Vegetarian Lasagna with Ricotta, or Eggplant Parmesan
- Salmon dishes like Salmon and Asparagus, Salmon Burgers, Pecan Crusted Salmon, or Pistachio Crusted Salmon
- Shrimp dishes like Honey Garlic Shrimp, Perfect Sauteed Shrimp, or Creamy Shrimp Pasta
The Salad is Vegetarian and gluten-free.
For the salad
- 1 recipe Blue Cheese Dressing
- 1 small head iceberg lettuce
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 4 sundried tomatoes, chopped)
- 2 chives, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
- Smoky breadcrumbs, for the garnish (1 handful crushed potato chips or crumbled bacon)
For the smoky breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup panko (or homemade breadcrumbs)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder
- 1/4 heaping teaspoon kosher salt.
- Dress the salad with blue cheese.
- If you’d like to make smoked breadcrumbs, you can: Olive oil should be heated over medium heat in a small skillet. Panko, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and kosher salt are combined in a small bowl. Put them in the pan and toast them for about 3 minutes, tossing regularly, until they are brown and crisp. Put in a separate bowl.
- The iceberg’s head should be stripped of its outer layers and then cut into four or six wedges, depending on its size. Chives and tomatoes need to be prepared.
- To be of service. Arrange a wedge on a serving dish. Sprinkle smoky breadcrumbs on top, along with blue cheese crumbles, chives, tomatoes, and dressing. Start serving right away.
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