This classic wedge salad is a perfect accompaniment to your main dish. There’s definitely a reason it’s a classic. The creamy blue cheese dressing pairs so well with the acidic tomatoes and rich bacon.
The wedge salad made a name for itself being served alongside hunks of meat at high-end steakhouses. For me, it’s still one of the best side dishes for a steak. I like to load it up with all the toppings – tomatoes, walnuts, bacon. I can even forgive it for being a little difficult to eat, because it’s so beautiful when it’s all dressed up.
If you’re looking for a great summer salad, the classic wedge salad is just the right type. The crisp, fresh iceberg lettuce has perfect summer appeal. While it’s not a particularly “light” salad, in terms of calories, it’s a playful and fun addition to the meal.
Toppings for a Wedge Salad
Really, you can top the salad with whatever ingredients you want, but the classic version has just tomatoes, bacon, walnuts, and blue cheese. I like to change out the walnuts for pine nuts once in a while. I also might add cubed chicken to make it a full meal, instead of a side salad.
You can use full-sized tomatoes, but I prefer to use cherry tomatoes because the flavor is so much more concentrated and they aren’t as watery. You can candy the walnuts, if you like. I typically don’t go to that length. I do toast them first though.
If you use blue cheese crumbles instead of or in addition to the blue cheese dressing, I highly recommend trying to find some of this Rogue Creamery blue cheese. it’s my absolute favorite blue cheese. It’s produced in Oregon, so it’s not going to be found too far outside the west coast, but it’s worth it if you ever get a chance to try it.
Assembling a Classic Wedge Salad
There’s not a lot of preparation involved in creating the perfect wedge salad, so we won’t bore you with too many details. It’s more important to get on to the eating stage! As the New York Times says, a good wedge salad doesn’t need a lot of gussying up. I agree complete.
If you are making multiple salads, one wedge of lettuce will make 4 or 5 salads, depending on how large the head is and how big of a side dish you want. A small head of lettuce, cut into fourths, is just about perfect if you’re serving just this salad or accompanying it with pork chops, chicken wings, or a steak.
I like to paint the wedge with the blue cheese dressing, which acts as a sort of glue to hold the ingredients onto the sides of the wedge. Otherwise, they mostly just topple off the sides.
You can use homemade or store-bought blue cheese dressing. Here in London, it’s very difficult to find prepared blue cheese dressing. I’ve only maybe seen it once. So I always make my own. The recipe for it is included below. It’s very easy to make. Another alternative is to use ranch dressing and just sprinkle the salad with blue cheese.
That’s pretty much all there is to a wedge salad. It’s just a classically good salad. Even if you have to eat it with a knife and fork.
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Classic Wedge Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
For the blue cheese dressing
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese divided
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tbsp milk or half and half
- 1/2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- dash worcestershire sauce
- dash garlic salt
- salt and pepper to taste
For the salad
- 1 small head of Iceberg lettuce cut into 4 wedges
- 2 medium tomatoes diced
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts lightly toasted
- 4 strips bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1 avocado diced (optional)
Blue cheese dressing
- Combine half the blue cheese crumbles with rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine. Add more milk if the dressing is too thick. It should roll easily off a spoon.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made a day ahead, if desired.
- Place one wedge on each plate. Using the back of a spoon, coat the wedge's sides with dressing. Divide the other ingredients and arrange them on top of and around the wedge. Sprinkle with the rest of the divided blue cheese crumbles.
- Drizzle with additional dressing as desired. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
- Any left over blue cheese dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.