The Wedge

I have a confession to make.

For as long as I can remember, I have turned my nose up to the wedge salad. It was my father's favorite salad and my mother and I both knew that it was devoid of any vitamins or nutrients. Strangely enough, David also happens to be a wedge lover and I have always given him a hard time about his affection for this pathetic excuse of a salad.

As I have gotten older and wiser, however, I have changed my mind about this plebeian starter. Maybe it's not so bad after all?

After a recent visit to The Palm with family for a belated celebration of David's birthday, my cousins ordered the wedge to share. Whatever, I shrugged, not giving it a second thought since we were having so much fun catching up. But when this particular wedge arrived at the table, I immediately noticed this was not the wedge my father used to eat in the 70's and 80's.

In fact, this wedge was entirely different. More like a thick steak of iceberg lettuce, it was topped with crumbled bacon, cherry tomato halves, toasted walnuts, blue cheese crumbles and chives and topped with a generous handful of crisp fried tobacco onions, this is a grown-up wedge.
This is an actual picture of "the wedge" from The Palm's website
It was big enough for the table to share, and so we did. I had a few bites and remember turning to David and said, "We're coming back for the wedge." He smiled happily and knew I had finally come to love the wedge, just like he did.

No longer was it merely just a vehicle for salad dressing, the wedge was now something I could relate to. In fact, I thought about this wedge a lot.

Recently, when David wasn't feeling well, I went to Whole Foods to get him a quick lunch of soup and something else innocuous but tasty. I ran into a friend who had a wedge on his salad plate and I knew David needed one. Or perhaps I did and so I brought home a wedge.

David's eyes danced at the sight and he knew I was now a team player. Everyone in favor of the wedge, say "yes."

I've been saying yes a lot lately and I hope you, too, will join our team.

Buen provecho!
Wedge Salad
The Cowgirl Gourmet is grateful to Chris Kimball of Cook's Country for this recipe which has been slightly adapted

Print recipe

If you love blue cheese salad dressing and you also love the wedge, you're going to want to put this recipe to memory. It's that good and that simple. The trick? Marinating the shallot in the red wine vinegar, the combination of creamy mayo and sour cream and then the crumbled blue cheese. O. M. G. Really. This is the best and most balanced blue cheese dressing I have ever had. Slathered on a wedge, with pieces of crisp bacon and halves of cherry tomatoes and then crispy fried onions. It doesn't get much better than this.

Serves 6 (or fewer)

4 slices bacon, nitrate-free and low-sodium

1 large shallot, diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1/4 cup sour cream, organic
3 tablespoons milk
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup blue cheese crumbles, plus a little more for garnish

1 head iceberg, organic, cored and cut into 6 wedges
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
Lars crispy onions, for garnish (I found these at Whole Foods)

Cook bacon in a 10-inch skillet until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside until plating the salad.

In a bowl, combine shallot with red wine vinegar and let sit for 20 minutes.
To this, add mayonnaise, sour cream, milk, garlic, salt and pepper and the crumbled blue cheese. Stir thoroughly until well combined and liquid is evenly distributed.
Arrange lettuce wedges on a platter or on individual plates and top with dressing and tomatoes. Crumble bacon over top and sprinkle with a handful of blue cheese crumbles. Top with a handful of crispy onions.

Serve with a fork and steak knife and enjoy the silence. (No one will talk because this salad is mind-blowingly fabulous.)

Store any remaining salad dressing in the refrigerator for future wedges. Because there will be...
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