Iceberg lettuce wedge salad is a quick and simple side that doesn’t really “feel” like a salad. Crispy bacon on top dresses it up, and you can quickly and easily make several wedges for a crowd. Serve it with a big bowl of dressing in the center so they can dress their own.
I just pulled a bottle of salad dressing out of my refrigerator. You know what’s in it? Here are a few highlights:
- high fructose corn syrup
- Calcium disodium EDTA
- Yellow #5
And that’s one of the more natural dressings. Anytime an ingredient has such a long name that we have to abbreviate it “EDTA” I want to curl my nose up at it. I want to do better than that.
I know it’s hard to stay away from all the additives and extras that land in our food. I eat my fair share of fast food burgers and fries like anyone else–but I make an effort to reduce how much of these chemical imposters we get. And I know that when I cook for my family here at home I am especially able to control what goes in.
This is really important for my oldest child who acts like a cross between a caveman and Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man when she eats artificial colors or too much sugar. Once we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner where she grunted and bounced in the seat every time the waitress came to the table. Horrified–I threatened to take her to the bathroom and spank her until I started asking the right questions and found out she’d been eating orange-icing covered pumpkin cookies at a school party earlier in the day. Figures. Not her fault.
That means that we eat as whole as we can. I take shortcuts. I am not a rant-giving vigilante on the dangers of processed food. But I try to be sensible and I hope you do too.
About this recipe
That’s why I think everyone should have a great, easy go-to dressing in their recipe bin. Once you have mastered the very easy basic vinaigrette, it’s a good time to try something new. This wedge salad with buttermilk dressing and bacon is such a simple weeknight side. Never mind that the iceberg lettuce I used in this picture is pretty much wet air. It has basically no vitamins or minerals. When you make yours, consider romaine or even fresh spinach. It won’t be a wedge, but you’ll get a much healthier green.
This dressing uses fresh herbs. If you choose to use dried, remember to use half as much. Just throw everything in a food processor and give it a whiz. The longer it sits the better the flavor so make it ahead if you can and store it tightly covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also whip this up in a bowl with some muscle, just finely chop your herbs before you throw them in.
You can also get my homemade buttermilk ranch dressing mix recipe here to make a base you can keep on hand for any ranch emergency.
Wedge salad with bacon and buttermilk dressing
- 3/4 cup real mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh chives
- teaspoon the zest of one small lemon about 1/2 or so
- 4 slices bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
- 1 head iceberg lettuce or greens of your choice
- Add all the ingredients except the lettuce and bacon to the bowl of a food processor or into a mixing bowl and process until thoroughly combined.
- If using a head of lettuce, remove the loose outer leaves, remove the core and slice the head into wedges about 4" thick or so.
- Cover with about 1/3 cup dressing and sprinkle with bacon.
- Serves 4, makes about a pint of dressing.