Baby, Baby, Baby Romaine.
On a trip to Savannah back in the spring we tasted some wonderful southern food. I made a list of several I wanted to try and recreate and I’ve already attempted a few of them successfully.
My twin, Terry, and Pauletta and Judy (high school friends) had a great time sampling some of the local cuisine. We had so many different things to choose from that it was a challenge every meal for me to make up my mine on what to order.
Belford’s Grill was our last place to eat before catching a ride to the airport and it was so hard making a decision on what to try; my choice ended up being their Fried Green Tomato Stack. But, before handing over the menu I copied down some things that really looked interesting.
Have you ever seen baby iceberg lettuce? Belford’s had a baby iceberg wedge salad on their menu and it looked so cute. So, one day I had it in my head I was going to make this salad of iceberg lettuce, fresh “southern” peaches, bacon, blue cheese and buttermilk dressing.
The first challenge was finding baby iceberg lettuce. No one had it, not even Whole Foods. Not only did they not have it, they had never heard of it. What I did find at my HEB was baby romaine lettuce. So cute, two little heads about 5″ long in each carton. I cut the heads in half and each half was enough for one salad. My second challenge was finding good peaches; couldn’t so I used nectarines.
No matter how you cut it, it is still a wedge salad!
Even though iceberg lettuce has almost no nutritional value, I think most people really like the wedge salad.
There are so many different types of lettuce in the markets now — butter, romaine, chicory, purple, curly leaf, arugula (one of my favorites), red-tip leaf lettuce, radicchio, spinach, Swiss chard, curly endive and the lowly iceberg head lettuce. Seems like iceberg lettuce always gets a bum rap when it comes to nutritional value and even taste. It is good on tacos and ????? Can’t think of anything else that I really want iceberg lettuce on. BUT, when it comes to a wedge salad and you want a nice crisp piece of lettuce to put your bacon, tomato, cabbage and cheese on, then you definitely want iceberg.
A couple of years ago we were in NYC and had dinner at DBDG Kitchen and Bar. I remember having a duck dish and also individual baked Alaskas. And with all that over the top food we had that weekend, I remember their wedge salad and I have made mine this way ever since. Instead of doing the typical wedge, cutting a head of lettuce into 4 wedges, they cut their lettuce across the head so you have a nice 1″ thick round slice (not a wedge). I like it this way because you are not chasing the salad all over your plate and all the topping don’t slide down the side of the wedge.
So for my version of DBGB’s Wedge Salad I’m adding some finely sliced red cabbage along with the “slice” of iceberg lettuce, some tomato, bacon, a little finely sliced green onion, crumbled blue cheese and a blue cheese ranch dressing. If you want a crisp slice of lettuce, wash in cold water, drain, and then wrap in paper towels and refrigerate until you are ready for your salad.