The other best dish at the steakhouse.
Some might consider it morally wrong to come to a steakhouse and look most forward to salad. But other than a juicy, medium-rare New York strip, my favorite steakhouse dish is — hands down — a big wedge salad with thick blue cheese dressing, a few tomatoes, and a generous sprinkle of bacon. Bring the steakhouse to your house, with this classic steakhouse wedge salad recipe.
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Any steakhouse worth its salt (steak?) will have two salads on the menu: Caesar salad, and a classic wedge. The wedge salad will be a large section of crisp iceberg lettuce, served whole, with a generous pour of thick blue cheese dressing and toppings like sliced grape tomatoes, bacon, and more blue cheese.
This may not be the most low-calorie salad ever invented — this is a steakhouse item after all. But a classic steakhouse wedge salad with blue cheese dressing is certainly one of the best.
The cold, crisp, crunchy lettuce finds its perfect complement in savory, creamy blue cheese dressing, with just enough tang from fresh buttermilk and minced shallot. A pop of color from juicy tomatoes and salty, crisp bacon makes this a meal in itself.
Classic Steakhouse Wedge Salad: Recipe Notes
Make the dressing first and let it sit in the refrigerator. Better yet, make it a day early. The flavors will meld together, and the dressing will thicken up.
How to cook bacon in the oven: To be honest, I prefer to do the old-fashioned stovetop method of cooking bacon in a skillet on medium-low until it is extra crispy. But for a more hands-off approach:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lay bacon strips on a cooling rack, then place to cooling rack on a lined, rimmed baking sheet.
- Cook the bacon for about 20 minutes, or until it reaches your desired doneness.
- Be careful of the bacon grease when pulling the pan from the oven! Let cool.
Iceberg lettuce gets a bad rep. If people think of it at all, it is probably as a wan leaf of unavoidable green on a more exciting cheese burger. But iceberg — done right and properly appreciated — tastes wonderfully crisp, with a gentle flavor that adapts to pretty much any dressing.
Did you make this wedge salad? How did it go?
Classic Steakhouse Wedge Salad With Blue Cheese Dressing
For the Salad
- 1 head very fresh iceberg lettuce, outer leaves removed
- 8 ounces (about 1 generous cup) grape tomatoes, halved
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and cooled to room temperature
- 6 ounces crumbled blue cheese, divided (4 ounces for the dressing; 2 ounces for the salad)
For the Blue Cheese Dressing
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 ounces reserved blue cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 3 tablespoons minced shallot (about 1 medium shallot)
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 turns fresh black pepper
- Make the blue cheese dressing by whisking together all of the dressing ingredients, above. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight.
- Cook the bacon according to your preferred method (see recipe notes, above). Cool to room temperature and break or slice into pieces.
- Slice the very end of the iceberg stump from the head of lettuce, making sure to keep enough stump intact to keep the lettuce together. Remove the ragged outer leaves.
- Slice the head of lettuce in half through the center of the stump. Slice each half into two wedges, again through the stump.
- Place each wedge on a plate. Spoon a generous amount of blue cheese dressing over the lettuce. Top with the reserved blue cheese, sliced tomatoes, and crumbled bacon.