The wedge salad is a timeless classic that remains popular because of its irresistible combination of assertive textures and flavors. The crunch of cold lettuce combined with muscular blue cheese dressing and a playful medley of bacon, onion, tomato and other toppings is both nostalgic and sturdy. This salad is homey fare that goes with anything, especially a big steak.
But when you grill the lettuce, a wedge goes from steakhouse to summertime. A simple head of romaine sliced down the middle, brushed with olive oil and plopped on the grill for a minute or two, delivers pleasant smokiness and a new layer of depth. You want to grill the romaine long enough to add char marks, but remove it before it loses shape and texture. The outer layers will wilt slightly, but the rest of the head of romaine will be nice and firm, just as it needs to be in a wedge.
Grilled wedge with buttermilk blue cheese dressing
2 large, firm heads of romaine lettuce, sliced in half down the middle
Blue cheese dressing (see below)
Toppings including fresh bacon crumbles, red onion, cucumbers, fresh tomato, additional bleu cheese, fresh chives
Brush the lettuce lightly with olive oil. Place face down on the grill for 1-2 minutes. Flip and grill the other side for 1 minute. Plate each half head of lettuce cut-side up and drizzle with the dressing. Add toppings and serve.
Buttermilk blue cheese dressing
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Creole mustard
¼ cup feta or blue cheese
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
Several turns fresh cracked black pepper
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and mix briefly until combined. The cheese should still be chunky. Serve over the romaine wedges. Store for up to one week in the refrigerator.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.