A classic steak house favorite that’s huge on crunch and topped with all the best stuff, an Iceberg Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing is the antidote for your limp, salad green woes.
There’s nothing more old-school cool than a hunk of iceberg lettuce, (or crisphead lettuce, as it was known years ago) served on a chilled plate. I make my own homemade blue cheese dressing—which is so much better than the bottle— and gather up my favorite crunchy, fatty, and salty toppings. This recipe is for an easy wedge salad; you can make the dressing well in advance and store it away in the refrigerator. It only gets better with time.
I’m no snob—I think that every salad green has its use, even iceberg lettuce. Pale green, fresh-tasting, and sturdy to the core, iceberg lettuce has fallen in an out of vogue for decades. But let’s take another look at this grocery store staple, shall we?
Of course, it’s absolutely perfect alongside a steak or plate piled high with crab legs, but it’s just as spectacular on its own as a main course, just as long as you load it up with toppings.
Want to make a gallon of homemade blue cheese dressing? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
How did iceberg lettuce get its name?
Historically speaking, iceberg lettuce is made from solid stock; developed by Burpee & Company in the late 1800s, it was prized for its durability and long shelf life. Sometimes I can’t even get a bag of baby greens home in the car without it wilting, so this really is something.
Iceberg lettuce nutritional value:
Now, I know that iceberg lettuce gets a bad rap, especially when compared to kale and arugula. I’ll admit it’s not a superfood. But none of those greens have the texture and subtle bright taste that iceberg does. (And did I mention crunch? Iceberg thunders through the competition.)
While it is lower in nutrient value, iceberg lettuce is chock full of hydrating water, practically non-existent as far as calories, and it contains healthy amounts of vitamin A and K.
Also, it’s better than The Devil’s Lettuce – ROMAINE. (This statement is only applicable during the CDC ban of romaine lettuce in November-December 2018).
How do you wash iceberg lettuce?
- Once you’ve cut your slices, run cold water over each quarter, using your fingers to gently separate the leaves to let the water inside.
- Or, you can also place the quarters in a bowl of cold water, gently swishing them to loosen any bad stuff trapped inside.
- Remove the lettuce from the water and let drain on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.
- Pat the lettuce dry before using to avoid too much water in your salad.
How do you cut iceberg lettuce?
- First, gently rinse off the outside of the head.
- I like to cut the lettuce into quarters with a clean, sharp knife, no longer than 15 minutes before I plan to serve the salad. This keeps the edges from turning brown from air exposure.
- If your lettuce head is huge, you may need to cut the lettuce into six, or even eight slices. Bigger is better, though.
What kind of salad dressing can you use for an Iceberg Wedge Salad?
For dressing, I recommend using anything creamy and thick, that really sticks to the lettuce and holds all the toppings on too. I like a great homemade Ranch dressing, Thousand Island, or a Hot Bacon Dressing might be good, too.
But my all time favorite blue cheese dressing is the one in this recipe. I make huge batches to give away as gifts in jars, because it’s so completely addictive. It tastes nothing like blue cheese dressing from the store. Use gorgonzola, an Italian blue cheese, to make gorgonzola dressing.
Believe me, if I could get away with drinking it, I would. In-between pouring blue cheese dressing on salads, I use it as the best ever veggie dip, or as a blue cheese dressing for wings. It makes everything taste good.
There are so many blue cheese dressing brands out there, and I feel like I’ve tried them all.
Instead of grocery store dressing, I make my blue cheese dressing with buttermilk, sour cream, good mayo, and fresh scallions. Make it a day or two ahead of time, and let all those flavors meld together and get even more delicious.
What can you add to an Iceberg Wedge Salad?
In case you want to move beyond the bacon-egg-tomato standby, there’s plenty of options for you and your iceberg salad. How about:
- Chopped toasted almonds
- Paper thin radishes
- Chopped toasted pistachios
- Roasted or pickled beets
- Green beans
- Chopped olives
- Caper berries or capers
- Fried onions
- Blanched Asparagus
The list goes on and on….use your imagination and pick salty, crunchy, juicy or fatty things.
…or maybe just some more blue cheese crumbles.
Iceberg Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
For the Iceberg Wedge Salad:
- 1 small head of iceberg lettuce
- 4 slices bacon see Notes
- 16 cherry tomatoes quartered, or one ripe tomato, diced
- 1 small red onion peeled and very thinly sliced
- 2 hard-boiled eggs peeled and sliced
- 1 cup Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing see recipe
- 2 tablespoons blue cheese crumbled
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional Salad Ingredients:
- ripe avocado, peeled and diced
- toasted, chopped almonds
- fresh chives
- slices of pickled beets
- thinly sliced radishes
For the Blue Cheese Dressing:
- 3/4 cup good quality mayonnaise such as Hellman's or Best Foods
- 1/4 cup blue cheese plus 1-2 tablespoons, divided
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 scallions chopped, all of the white and half of the green
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
To make the Blue Cheese Dressing:
- In the bowl of a food processor, add 1/4 cup blue cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, scallions, and lemon juice and process until the scallions are finely chopped.
- Pour out contents into a bowl and mix in mayonnaise by hand; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add 1-2 tablespoons of blue cheese crumbles for a "chunky" dressing.
- Store extra dressing in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
To make the Iceberg Wedge Salad:
- Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium-low heat until crisp, 5-7 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. When cool enough to handle, crumble or break into small pieces.
- While the bacon cooks, fill a small bowl with ice water and add onions. (This will keep them extra crisp and remove some of the onion's heat.) Remove with slotted spoon when ready to serve.
- Cut iceberg lettuce into 4 wedges; place on plates and spoon dressing over. Top with bacon crumbles, red onion slices, and tomatoes, and arrange egg slices on the side.
- Bacon isn't mandatory if you'd like to leave it out, it will be vegetarian friendly.