Wedge Salad–It’s a Classic
While no longer the most popular choice on lunch and dinner menus, I still love iceberg lettuce salads. Thankfully for this iceberg-loving girl, one of my favorites, the Classic Wedge Salad, popular in steakhouses starting in the 1970s, can still be found on many restaurant menus.
What’s so wrong with Iceberg Lettuce
It’s crunchy, it’s refreshing, and it’s mild in taste, but these days, in the salad world of mixed greens, iceberg lettuce has taken a backseat. It’s seen as lacking nutritional value, and yes, it does lack, but I think this humble lettuce still can hold its own when it comes to health benefits. So now those of us preferring iceberg to eating other greens can rest easy knowing that iceberg salad we ate for lunch wasn’t a nutritional waste.
Albeit not as nutritious as other greens, iceberg lettuce still offers valuable vitamins, especially vitamins A (for eye health), K (for bone health), and C (for an immune booster) along with several other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
How did Iceberg Lettuce become so popular
Iceberg lettuce, first known as Crisphead lettuce, became a popular salad choice in the early 20th century.
Believed to be developed in California during the 1890s, iceberg lettuce became the go-to lettuce by the 1920s due to its ability to withstand long distance transportation. Traveling via ice-packed rail cars (hence the name “iceberg), the heads of lettuce arrived cross country still crisp and fresh tasting.
Classic Wedge Salad–An Iconic Favorite
No one can document the exact origins of the first Wedge Salad, but food historians believe restaurants began serving some type of wedge salad during the 1920s.
Blue cheese crumbles and bacon bits were added as toppings in the 1950s.
During the 1970s, steakhouses popularized the Classic Wedge Salad, and it’s still a favorite with their patrons today. Most steakhouse restaurants now put a signature touch on their wedge salad, some diced avocado or a sprinkle of nuts, but the simple ingredients of a wedge salad continue to shine.
What’s in a Classic Wedge Salad
For the Salad
- iceberg lettuce
- crisp bacon bits
- chopped red onion
- sliced cherry tomatoes
- blue cheese dressing
- crumbled blue cheese
- crisp bacon bits
For the Dressing
- light sour cream
- Worcestershire sauce
- red wine vinegar
- garlic salt
- freshly ground black pepper
How to Make A Classic Wedge Salad
For the Dressing:
- Place all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well to combine.
- Refrigerate the dressing for at least 30 minutes before serving.
For the Salad:
- Cook diced bacon in a skillet until crisp.
- Drain bacon on paper towels and set aside.
- Cut the iceberg lettuce in half and then cut the halves again in half, creating wedges.
- Place each wedge on individual plates.
- Spoon dressing over lettuce.
- Top with tomatoes, red onion, bacon bits and blue cheese crumbles.
- Season with freshly cracked black pepper, to taste.
Other Favorite Salads
Classic Wedge Salad
For the salad
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- 8 slices bacon diced
- 1/2 cup red onion chopped
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes sliced in half
Easy Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing
- 1 cup light sour cream
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tablespoons buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese plus a little for garnish
- For the Dressing: PLACE all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. MIX well to combine. REFRIGERATE dressing for at least 30 minutes before serving.
- For the Salad: COOK diced bacon in a skillet until crisp. DRAIN on paper towels and SET ASIDE. CUT the iceberg lettuce in half. CUT the halves again in half, creating wedges.
- To serve, PLACE each wedge on individual plates. SPOON dressing over lettuce.
- PLACE the bacon, tomatoes, red onion and blue cheese crumbles on top. Season with freshly cracked black pepper, to taste.