BABY ROMAINE WEDGE SALAD W BLUE CHEESE DRESSING
Ever wonder what happened to that steak house salad that we all loved to eat?? I think it was over shadowed by the ever popular Caesar Salad and although some restaurants may offer them, it just doesn’t compare to how they used to taste.
Well here is a recipe that I taught in a recent class that got rave reviews. The secret is to use a good quality blue cheese and lots of it! Definitely start with a block of blue cheese instead of one that is already pre-crumbled. When choosing a cheese, make sure it is well “veined” with deep blue color for that strong taste that seems to be missing these days!
I know that the classic wedge salad calls for iceberg lettuce and I don’t have a problem with that, but to bring it up to a more sophisticated version I love to use Baby Romaine lettuce. Add some crumbled, crispy bacon and grape tomatoes and you have an awesome starter to any meal!!
HEARTS OF BABY ROMAINE WITH BLUE CHEESE AND BACON
• 8 strips good-quality smoked bacon
• 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
• 4 baby romaine lettuces Or two firm heads of Iceberg Lettuce
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Blue Cheese Dressing, recipe follows
Cook bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. When cooled, crumble and set aside.
Cut the baby romaine hearts in half lengthwise; rinse in cold water and drain on paper towels cut side down for 15 minutes. Wrap in a kitchen towel and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Divide the wedges among 8 chilled salad plates. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spoon about 1/4 cup of Blue Cheese Dressing over each salad and top with several halved grape tomatoes, crumbled bacon, a few grinds of black pepper and some chopped fresh parsley. Pass the remaining dressing if desired.
Chiqui’s Blue Cheese Dressing:
2 cups Hellmann’s mayonnaise or homemade mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
*1/2 cup Buttermilk or more as needed
2 cups hand crumbled blue cheese (about 6-8 ounces) or more if desired
1 French shallot, finely minced
2 tablespoons Regina red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh Garlic
1 teaspoon Dried Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Tony’s Seasoning
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Lemon-pepper to taste
Place all ingredients except blue cheese in a bowl and whisk together to blend. If you desire a more pourable sauce, add more buttermilk to reach desired consistency. Gently stir in crumbled blue cheese. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed glass container for up to 5 days.
Yield: 3 1/2 cups **To make your own buttermilk, add one tablespoon vinegar to each cup of whole milk. Let stand 10 minutes before using.
Hope you will give this a try real soon and that you love it as much as I do!
……..until next time, Bon Appetit,