Now that we have an awesome and yummy Blue Cheese Dressing, we need an awesome and yummy salad to go with it. And you’re in luck because I have just the wedge salad for you. And it even uses bacon! Clearly my blog name was a plot by my husband to get me to cook with bacon more often, and it’s working.
This blue cheese and bacon wedge salad is my new favorite salad and I’ve been eating different versions of it for the past couple of years. Over that time I’ve discovered the secrets in making the best wedge salad.
Secret One: Use butter lettuce, often called Boston or Bibb lettuce. You can use iceberg, and if you can find baby iceberg, go for it, but large icebergs we see in the store aren’t going to make a tasty salad.
Secret Two: Both wash and dry your lettuce well while keeping it as much together in a head as you can. It’s not much of a wedge salad if the leaves are all separate and it’s not a tasty wedge salad if the leaves are gritty or wet enough to dilute the dressing. If you are making this for a dinner party or a crowd, wash the heads the day before and wrap them in a dry towel after you do your initial blotting of the water away.
Secret Three: And this one may seem obvious to you but it wasn’t obvious to a restaurant I ate at recently. Make sure your wedges are facing up on the plate so the dressing can work its way into the lettuce instead of facing down so the dressing slides off.
Secret Four: Cook your bacon in the oven. Not only it is easier since you don’t have to stand over a hot pan, but it’s going to cook more evenly and get crisper without burning.
Secret Five: Make my Blue Cheese Dressing.
Secret Six: This one is optional but a nice touch when you have the time. Make your own croutons from leftover dinner bread.
If you are looking for a serving plate, I like these rectangular plates which come in a set of three and provide a dramatic presentation for the salad. Set up all your wedges and the toppings along the plate and then allow people to serve themselves at the table.
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 2 medium heads butter lettuce, washed, dried, and cut into quarters
- 1 large tomato, diced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 recipe Blue Cheese Dressing
- 1½ cups bread cubes, about a ½ inch dice
- 1 tbsp warm olive oil
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange the bacon on the sheet. Once the oven is hot, put the bacon in the oven for 8 minutes. Turn the baking sheet around and time the bacon for 5 more minutes. If your bacon is not crisp enough yet, add 2 more minutes.
- Take the bacon out and transfer it to a paper towel lined plate. When cool enough, crumble it up.
- Once the bacon is done, make the croutons. Lower the oven heat to 350F.
- Put the bread cubes in a large bowl so you can toss them around with the oil. Add the warm oil and mix with a large spoon. Add the garlic powder and salt and mix again. Spread the croutons out on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden brown.
- Now you should have all your ingredients ready to go.
- Arrange two quarters of butter lettuce onto each of four plates. (Each head will serve two people.)
- Drizzle ¼ cup Blue Cheese Dressing over each plate.
- Divide the bacon, tomato, and croutons among the plates.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the salad with the remaining blue cheese dressing on the side if anyone wants a little more.