The Wedge deconstructed
The Wedge. That iconic salad involving a triangle of iceberg lettuce, blue cheese dressing, tomatoes, croutons and bacon bits.
No one lays claim to inventing the Wedge but it’s been around since the 1960s, and like that little black dress, it’s never gone out of style. But I realized the other day when King Daddy asked for one, that the Wedge really makes no sense as far as salad construction goes.
First, there is this towering solid mass of lettuce in the middle of the plate. Frightening, almost. And when you top it with the blue cheese dressing you are left with dressing heavy lettuce on the top and entirely naked lettuce below.
Then you add the croutons, tomatoes and bacon bits, which slide off the Wedge and meekly pool around the base of the salad.
And there’s the matter of the lettuce choice in the first place. I am fine with iceberg lettuce in certain applications — shredded in tacos and as vessels for Thai larb salad. But it’s not really up to fighting for a spot in the taste spectrum with blue cheese dressing. So I used romaine lettuce, chopped it and then added the toppings and dressing evenly over the entire landscape.
Make your own
So there are two keys to any salad, in my opinion. Homemade salad dressing and homemade croutons. Most bottled salad dressings are heavy with sugar. And it takes mere minutes to make your own. And croutons. Don’t get me started on store-bought croutons. Dense flavorless blocks of overly-crunchy bread. Horrifying.
Here’s how to make your own croutons: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut any kind of bread you like into 1/2-inch cubes. Mix them lightly with either melted butter or olive oil. Put them on a foil-lined sheet pan and sprinkle them with salt and oregano. Bake for 10 minutes. Done.
And blue cheese salad dressing — my recipe is below. It takes two minutes to make. Do it. Just do it.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, blue cheese crumbles, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
- Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.