I am an omnivore with strong carnivore tendencies. I know….you’re shocked. Wife, however, is an omnivore with herbivore leanings. She loves a big bone-in rib eye on occasion, but prefers salads as entrées most of the time. Her typical lunch is non-fat Greek yogurt and blueberries. Me? You don’t want to know. At home, we consume more fish, poultry and pork than red meat, and she’ll opt for grilled veggies on the side, where, when given the choice, I would go for rice or potatoes. Both of us eat a lot of fruit. I have a bad peanut habit, and can’t keep them in the house. Over the years I have come to understand and appreciate Wife’s perspective when it comes to food choices, albeit grudgingly. It kills me not to wolf down a double cheeseburger when I know no one’s looking, but let’s be honest, you just can’t do it without paying a price…on any number of levels.
So…eat the rabbit food and splurge on the good stuff! This is pretty much why my bacon obsession works, and this Wedge Salad is a perfect example. I classify it as an entrée, not a starter, because it’s huge — a quarter head of lettuce or more, big wedges of tomatoes and lots of candied bacon! Obviously there is not much to this, but I want to stress that the tangy home-made buttermilk and bleu cheese dressing — along with the candied bacon — totally make this salad. Do not, I repeat, do not use store-bought dressing! This dressing is easy to make and really, really tastes so much better than the crap on the supermarket shelf. Trust me here.
- For the salad:
- ½ head iceberg lettuce.
- 1 large tomato.
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese.
- ½ cup chopped red onion.
- Croutons. (I used store-bought, but if you wish to make your own, go for it!)
- For the bleu cheese dressing:
- ½ cup crumbled blue cheese, softened.
- ¼ cup mayonnaise.
- ¼ cup sour cream.
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk.
- ⅓ cup chopped chives.
- ½ teaspoon sea salt.
- 1½ teaspoons black pepper.
- For the bacon:
- 6 strips thick cut bacon.
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread the bacon strips on a baking sheet. Bake the bacon in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the brown sugar liberally over the hot bacon, and place back in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until the sugar has “candied”.
- Allow to cool before chopping into ½ inch wide strips.
- Whisk all ingredients together until mixture is well-combined.
- Cut the lettuce into two equal wedges and place on two plates.
- Pour enough dressing over the lettuce to get good coverage.
- Cut the tomato into wedges and distribute evenly between the two plates. Sprinkle additional bleu cheese over this and add the chopped onion, bacon and croutons. Garnish with chives and serve.
Look at that bacon. Brings a tear to my eye.
That’s it. This carnivore will be enjoying a big New York Strip, baked potato, and a smaller, wimpier version of this salad at a well-known steak house in a couple of days. The steak will be medium rare, juicy and delicious, the potato — loaded with sour cream and chives, and the restaurant wedge salad…well, it will pale in comparison to this beauty!