Despite its humble 1950's and 60's beginnings and central focus on commonplace iceberg lettuce, the Wedge Salad is embraced by today's chefs as a stalwart starter. And, there is good reason why. It's delicious.
The salad pictured above is from Sugarcane Raw Bar & Grill in Brooklyn. Its crisp iceberg crunch was perfectly off-set by soft blue cheese, gorgeously caramelized bacon, a scattering of tomatoes and chive, and a hint of sherry vinegar. Paper thin slices of red onion and radishes adorned the plate for good measure. We're talking old-fashioned comfort food, presented with contemporary panache and full-on flavor.
The last Wedge Salad I presented in my home was a New Orleans riff on the classic, featuring a Champagne Vinegar-Shallot Vinaigrette and Shrimp Remoulade. It was undeniably yummy, but now I have a hankering to make the real deal for my next soiree.
Blue cheese and bacon? How could I go wrong? Well, gloppy, overly sweet Blue Cheese Dressing could spell disaster. Same goes if you use a blue cheese that is too aggressive.
Happily, if I do go in the traditional Wedge Salad direction, I have a family recipe for Blue Cheese Dressing at-the-ready. Give it a try. My aunt knew what she was doing when she came up with this one...
Aunt Jo's Blue Cheese Dressing
8oz Danish blue cheese
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon country-style Dijon mustard
Soften blue cheese for a half-hour. Add vinegar and mash with a fork to combine. Sprinkle over the onion and garlic powders and the pepper, mashing the seasonings in lightly.
In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, mayo, and mustard. Add cheese mixture into the bowl and combine. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving to let flavors meld.