APPETIZERS/ SIDES

The Classic Steakhouse Wedge Salad

Hello, welcome! Today I have one of my favorite steakhouse starters; the Classic Steakhouse Wedge Salad. Buttermilk blue cheese drizzle, dressed tomatoes and bacon pieces; this salad is so simple, yet so refreshing and savory. I think the Wedge Salad is often maligned because of the iceberg lettuce (mostly), but then also the bacon and blue cheese don’t do it any favors in the nutrition department. But I don’t care what anyone says; I love a well-balanced Wedge Salad. Let’s do this Wedge!

Classic Wedge Salad

For me, a well-balanced Wedge Salad means not overdoing it on the blue cheese. The flavor of blue cheese is so pungent that putting too much on the salad will overwhelm it. The other thing about the blue cheese dressing is that it should be thin enough to drip down in between the individual leaves of iceberg. If it’s too thick and just sits on top, it not only overpowers those top bites, but you’re left with naked, boring iceberg toward the bottom.

The Bacon

Start with cooking off the bacon. We will only use 2-3 strips, so it’s up to you if you like cook off the whole package and save the remaining cooked strips for something else. I bake my bacon on a wire rack set inside a sheet tray; in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, just until it begins to curl and crisp. Let the bacon drain and cool on a paper towel-lined plate. Then chop into small pieces.

Dressed Tomatoes

The dressed tomatoes and shallots are meant to counter the richness of the blue cheese, shining through with a bright pop of vinegar. When combined with the buttermilk blue cheese dressing, it strikes a great balance of creamy rich dressing and vinaigrette. To make two Wedge Salads, I have about 1/2 cup of quartered cherry or grape tomatoes. Half of one shallot, diced; and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and Kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Stir together in a small bowl and set aside.

If you are serving four Wedge Salads, double the amount of tomatoes, shallot and vinegar.

dressed tomatoes

Buttermilk Blue Cheese

I was hoping to find a good wedge of Roquefort cheese to use for this recipe because Roquefort is creamier, but I ended up with plain ol’ blue cheese. No problem. My other preference is to have all the blue cheese in the dressing. I don’t bother with extra blue cheese crumbles on top.

If you like the blue cheese crumbles on top, incorporate roughly half of your four ounces of blue cheese into the dressing. Save the remaining blue cheese to crumble over the top of the salad.

My entire 4 ounce wedge of blue cheese goes into a bowl. With a fork, mash the blue cheese wedge. Then add 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of hot sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot), then 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. The moisture content of the blue cheese will determine the amount of buttermilk to use. I am starting with two tablespoons of buttermilk at a time.

I added a total of 1/2 cup of buttermilk to get a creamy, pourable consistency. Lastly add a splash of Worcestershire Sauce and mix. Taste and add more of anything you think it needs. I added an extra splash of Frank’s Red Hot. Once the Buttermilk Blue Cheese dressing is to your liking, set it aside.

Assembling the Classic Wedge Salad

Assembling the Classic Wedge Salad

Slice one head of iceberg lettuce in half, then slice each half in half again to get four wedges. If you prefer, you can slice out the stem, but I find the stem helps keep the leaves in their wedge shape as you eat it.

Place each wedge on a plate and drizzle with the buttermilk blue cheese dressing. To keep the balance, I drizzled just about 1/4 cup of dressing on each wedge. This meant I had leftover dressing for something else.

buttermilk blue cheese dressing the iceberg wedge

Then top the dressed wedge with the dressed tomatoes and shallot, splitting evenly between the two wedges.

Top each wedge with the chopped bacon.

Classic Wedge Salad topped with bacon

And finally, sprinkle on the finely minced chives.

Classic Wedge Salad topped with chives

Classic Wedge Salad

And there you have it! The Classic Wedge is not the salad you order when you’re trying to eat light, much like a chop salad or a chef salad, it’s chock full of calories. But this steakhouse staple has my heart. It’s incredibly satisfying in terms of flavor and texture. While it’s nutritionally on the low end of lettuces, iceberg is full of water which makes each bite crisp and refreshing.

Classic Wedge Salad

Thank you so much for joining me today for this Classic Wedge Salad! If you’re looking for a different salad, I have recipes for everything from a Kale Salad with Roasted Squash, to a Classic Caesar Salad, to an Antipasto Salad. You can check out all the Salad Recipes from Djalali Cooks. Also, give me a follow on Pinterest to keep your favorite Djalali Cooks recipes in one place. Take care and be well, everyone. xo Kelly

Classic Wedge Salad

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.17 out of 5)
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Appetizer, side dish, side salad, salad American
By Kelly Djalali Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cooking Time: ~15 Minutes (for the bacon) Total Time: ~30 Minutes

A Classic Wedge is incredibly satisfying in terms of flavor and texture. Each bite is crisp and refreshing; rich with savory flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Strips Bacon, fried or baked to a light crisp and chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, sliced in quarters
  • 1/2 Shallot, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz. Blue Cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Hot Sauce, like Frank's Red Hot
  • 1/2 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • Splash of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Head of Iceberg Lettuce, sliced into quarters
  • 2 tbsp. Finely Minced Chives

Instructions

1

Bake or fry 2-3 strips of bacon. When lightly crisp, drain on a paper towel-lined plate and let cool. Then chop into small pieces.

2

Stir together the tomatoes, shallot and vinegar in a small bowl and season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Set aside.

3

In a separate bowl, mash the blue cheese wedge with a fork. Then add mayonnaise, hot sauce and lemon juice.

4

Then add buttermilk - 1/2 cup if you're using the whole 4 ounces of blue cheese, 1/4 cup if you're using half of the 4 ounce wedge of blue cheese.

5

Slice one head of iceberg lettuce in half, then slice each half in half again to get four wedges.

6

Place each wedge on a plate and drizzle with the buttermilk blue cheese dressing. To keep the balance, drizzle just about 1/4 cup of dressing on each wedge.

7

Then top the dressed wedge with the dressed tomatoes and shallot, splitting evenly between the two wedges.

8

Top each wedge with the chopped bacon.

9

And finally, sprinkle on the finely minced chives.

Notes

If you are serving four wedge salads, double the amount of the tomatoes, shallot and red wine vinegar. If you want to have crumbled blue cheese to top the wedge salad, only use 2 oz. in the buttermilk blue cheese dressing and reduce the buttermilk by half to 1/4 cup buttermilk.

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  • Mari
    November 29, 2021 at 9:48 am

    A big cheerful Monday to everyone. This recipe is a nice throwback to my childhood when the only salad we had was an infrequent wedge salad or the ubiquitous Waldorf Salad for holidays. Of course we preferred the days she made the Waldorf Salad because Mom was always convinced she would chop one of our finger off, because we tried to filch the pieces of chopped apple. She knew her fingers were safe, but ours decidedly were not, so after a few warnings she would shoo us out of the kitchen, and lock the door. Wedge salads weren’t as pretty as this one. The wedge was more of a slice, and it was topped with French dressing or thousand d island. With five children and a husband to feed, she didn’t have a lot of time when she got home from work. When we got older and ate at a restaurant, we always got a wedge salad, and always with anything but French dressing! It wasn’t until we were adults that we discovered blue cheese, and between the five of us, we have probably gone through gallons of salad dressing with blue cheese! I should be able to come up with a dairy free version for me, but the family gets the real deal. Lucky them! Happy Monday after Thanksgiving to Kelly, Alex, Terry and the blog sisters, and of course, to Sadie, Penny and Dante. Live well and prosper, and eat salad. ?

    • Kelly Djalali
      November 29, 2021 at 11:21 am

      Happy Monday, Mari! What a wonderful memory of being in the kitchen with your Mom – even if she did shoo you out! The classic salads are fun to revisit, I think all of us have specific food memories surrounding salads. I know I have very specific memories of my Grandmother’s macaroni salad and her carrot and raisin salad – neither of which I can replicate exactly. Thanks so much for sharing yours! See you again soon! Have a wonderful Monday! xo Kelly

  • Terry
    November 29, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Who doesn’t love a good wedge salad. This looks amazing I will make this sometime this week company Is coming for 9 days. Thanks for reminding me of this salad yummm ?Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      November 29, 2021 at 11:23 am

      Hi Mom, I am sure you will have a great time catching up with family this week! You will have to send my love to both of them. I bet this wedge will be a hit with Aunt Laura! Talk soon, xo Kelly

  • Judi Hume
    November 29, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    This looks delicious and I look forward to making it! Also, I just want to say thank you for writing this blog. Tonight I made myself a pan-seared steak, following the instructions from your April post on how to do that, and as always, it turned out perfectly. I’m 72 years old and pretty comfortable in the kitchen, and yet I’ve learned so many things from reading your blog. The recipes are wonderful, the instructions always clear and well-written, and the photos never fail to inspire! Thank you so much.

    • Kelly Djalali
      November 30, 2021 at 8:04 am

      Hi Judi. Isn’t that a great recipe! The cold pan method is so much cleaner, easier and foolproof! I am so happy you enjoy the blog; I know you’ve been following along since Kelly’s Kitchen and I am so glad that you still find inspiration and useful tidbits of information on Djalali Cooks! Thank you so much for your support! xo Kelly

  • Sally Burke
    November 29, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    Hi Kelly, I would have to change the dressing as my husband doesn’t like blue cheese, but wedging lettuce has been a great favourite of mine particularly this year although a friend of ours who is a chef often made her salad this way, and prepping the tomatoes before hand gives great flavours. This salad sure would be very refreshing, and I love the crunch of iceberg lettuces straight out of the fridge. We are definitely coming into regular salad season albeit I do make them the whole year round.
    Happy salad days ????

    • Kelly Djalali
      November 30, 2021 at 8:08 am

      Hi Sally, Since your husband doesn’t like blue cheese, you could make a simple buttermilk dressing with a soft cheese, like goat cheese. Then save the crumbled blue cheese to top your salad! I thought you might like this one, since you’re coming into summer soon. Have a great day, xo Kelly