Iceberg Wedgie with Blue Cheese
No, not that kind of a wedgie. This is a wedge of crispy iceberg or head lettuce, served with blue cheese dressing and confetti of chopped vegetables. It’s one of my favourite salads. If you don’t like blue cheese (some don’t), serve it with another dressing that you like. I know that head lettuce went out of vogue a long time ago, when the baby greens were born, but someone revived its popularity with this salad and it became respected again a while back. There is something about this crispy, full of moisture green that goes particularly well with blue cheese and it stays crispy right through to the last bite. I am also offering a ranch type dressing recipe below for the anti blue cheese types.
When buying iceberg lettuce choose a firm head that is heavy for its size and nicely compact. If it has rusty outer leaves then leave it and wait until you can find a nice fresh one, greenish, heavy (with moisture) and fresh looking. When you bring it to your kitchen place in a plastic bag and refrigerate until needed but I wouldn’t leave it hanging in the fridge for too long. For one thing, it will get bored and it’s not fair, second, you want to enjoy it when its crispy and fresh, so use it within a couple of days of buying.
You can serve it in wedges, as I have done here, or you can slice it into thick”ish” rounds and use it that way, placing a sliced round of iceberg on the plate, or half a slice per person, depending on the size and what you are making. I have served it in both forms and it’s nice either way. For the confetti use whatever is in season at the moment. Cucumbers and tomatoes, diced into small cubes, red and yellow peppers diced small, chopoped parsley, chives, sliced radishes, any of these would enhance the salad. Or use it on it’s own with just the dressing and a sprinkling of chives. I had pomegranates so in they went, scaterred on top (although they can compete a bit with the tomatoes). I sometimes make it with pears and pomegrantes, sometime with dices apples and dried cherries. You know how it is, whatever inspires me that day.
Now, if you don’t have all the ingredients listed below don’t despair and don’t run out to get crabapples or pomegranates. use what you have in the kitchen this time and change it the next time, because I am sure you will make this again.
To plate it, spread some of the dressing on the bottom of the plate and set the wedge on top. Drizzle some dressing over (it will help the confetti stick) and then scatter the diced vegetable garnishes over the wedge and around the plate.
Drizzle more dressing over the wedge, with a back and forth motion just bfore serving and offer a little more dressing on the side. Oh, about the dressing: you can make your own but if you don’t want to then find a good bottled dressing that you like and use that. If you buy a blue cheese dressing you may want to thin it out a little with cream to a pouring consistency. It’s okay to use bottled dressing. I don’t think you’d trigger a wikileak investigation.
1/2 cup chopped radicchio (into small ribbons)
1 small cucumber, unpeeled, seeds removed, diced into small cubes
1 tomato, seeds removed, flesh diced
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsely or chives
2 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup pomegranates seeds (I know, eat the rest)
A few crab apples, sliced and a few whole ones for garnish.
Crumbled blue cheese for topping
Blue cheese dressing:
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 cup cream
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayo
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon coarse Salt
A couple of twists freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients and mix with a spoon. Taste for salt and pepper and add if needed
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1-2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayo
1 garlic, grated
1 teaspoon honey
A little hot sauce if you’d like
1/4 cup chopped chives or mixed fresh herbs
Combine all ingredients and mix until blended.