People often comment on the way I dress. I suppose it’s a little unconventional: a mix of girly and urban, ruffles and zippers, blazers and jeans. My clothes are rather like my cooking — a daily mashup of my ever-changing contradictions.
So you might guess what’s been on my mind lately. As salads go, this one’s not exactly cutting-edge. In fact, it has made the rounds on so many steakhouse menus, you might call it old school. But this is not your grandma’s recipe. With only an ounce of blue cheese per serving and a healthy dose of yogurt, the dressing tastes so rich you’ll think you’re splurging. But here’s the cheat: low fat buttermilk stretches the flavors without diluting them, invigorating the crisp wedge with a bright new stroke.
This salad is the perfect basic on which to layer your own touches: try Cotija cheese, roasted corn, avocado and black beans…or feta cheese, tomato, pine nuts and Kalamata olives. Use romaine hearts and pecans for an upscale twist; add bacon and hard-boiled egg for a downtown vibe. However you decide to style it, the wedge is back. At least for now.
1 small head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 wedges
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Light Ranch Dressing (makes about 1-1/4 cups)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup drained plain or Greek yogurt (or reduced-fat sour cream)
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil mayonnaise
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil, parsley or cilantro
A good pinch of Kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper
1. Remove the outer leaves of the iceberg lettuce and cut in half; remove the cores. Cut each half into three wedges (reserve the remaining lettuce for another time, or else make a double batch of dressing). Ideally, place each wedge on a serving plate and chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the dressing.
2. Prepare the Light Ranch Dressing: In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, yogurt, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, herbs, and salt and pepper.
3. To serve, spoon a generous 1/4-cup dressing over each wedge and sprinkle with blue cheese. Store the remaining dressing in an airtight container for up to a week.
Tonight, I’ll be serving this salad with a hearty Spanish-inspired White Bean, Leek and Potato Soup.
There is still plenty of time to send in your recipe for the January cooking contest!
Photo credit: chobani.com