The wedge is making a comeback.
I keep seeing it pop up in various iterations at some of our favorite restaurants. It’s such an understated salad that is often frowned upon due to the iceberg component. If it doesn’t have kale, it apparently isn’t healthy enough?
Well, as much as I love a good dark leafy green salad, I refuse to snub my nose at most anything that grows out of the ground TYVM. Of course, if you’re too good for iceberg, you could always swap it out for whatever your favorite lettuce is!
For the ULTIMATE Wedge Salad, you’ve gotta have the best versions of all the usual players. Crispy bacon (even better –> thick cut pancetta if you have it), caramelized cherry tomatoes, soft-boiled eggs (no overly dry yolks around here), an herby homemade ranch dressing, and a generous drizzle of reduced balsamic.
I go for feta since lesser aged cheese like blue cheese, while more traditional for a wedge, doesn’t do too well with my lactose intolerance. But if you can’t do dairy at all, omit the cheese and this ranch dressing recipe will give you all the dairy feels without any dairy at all!
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Ultimate Wedge Salad
Yields: 4 servings
1 small to medium head of iceberg lettuce
(you could swap this out for any lettuce you like, it just won’t have the traditional “wedge” shape)
8 slices bacon
1/2 pint small cherry tomatoes
1/4 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
Optional for topping: grass-fed feta cheese, balsamic reduction, chopped chives
Remove the outer leaves from the head of iceberg. Slice in half through the core. Slice each half in half again through the core to create quarters. Arrange onto 4 serving plates or one large platter if serving family style. Set aside to come to room temperature.
Place the eggs in a medium sauce pan. Fill with water to cover the eggs about 2/3 of the way up. Sprinkle in 1/4 tsp. baking soda into the water (especially important for very fresh eggs) to make them easier to peel later. Place over medium heat and bring the water to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 6-7 minutes for soft yolks or 9-10 minutes for medium to firm yolks.
Run the eggs under cool water until no longer warm to the touch. Crack the shells gently and allow them to sit in the cool water for 5-10 minutes. Peel under cool running water.
Crisp the bacon in a large skillet. Remove it to a paper towel to catch excess grease. Once cooled, crumble into small pieces.
Add the cherry tomatoes to the hot pan of bacon grease. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and toss gently every 2-3 minutes. Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes have softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the eggs, crumbled bacon, softened tomatoes, and sliced red onion to the plates. Top with homemade ranch, a drizzle of balsamic, feta, and chives, as desired.
Easy Homemade Ranch
Yields: about 8 oz
1 fresh, pastured egg
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
2 tbsp. fresh chopped chives
1 tbsp. fresh chopped dill
1 small clove garlic
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. refined avocado oil
Add the egg, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, parsley, chives, dill, garlic, onion powder, sea salt, and black pepper to a blender. Blend on medium speed until smooth.
Scrape down the sides. With the blender on low speed, drizzle in the avocado oil slowly through the hole in the top. Increase the speed to high for 5 seconds (count it out) to fully emulsify the dressing. Store extras in the fridge for up to two weeks.