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Classic Wedge Salad

Cool, crisp Iceberg lettuce is the star of this Classic Wedge Salad. Crunchy, wedges of Iceberg lettuce get topped with chunks of garden-fresh tomatoes, salty, crisp bacon bits, and blue cheese chunks.  A generous pour of homemade blue cheese dressing and snipped chives finishes off each serving.  This simple wedge salad is so crisp you can hear it crunch with every bite!

Iceberg lettuce, blue cheese salad dressing on a plate. Napkin, salt/pepper, bread slices in background

The Iceberg wedge salad is one of our all-time favorites and could possibly be one of your favorites as well.  We also love to use Little Gem or Romaine for the wedge salad.  Both salads are typically slathered with blue cheese dressing or buttermilk ranch dressing and we have homemade recipes for both that are easy to make and taste far better than the over-tangy store-bought version.

If you want to add a simple twist to the classic version of our wedge salad then you can switch up the salad dressings for something like feta salad dressing, Greek salad dressing, or Caesar dressing.

Iceberg lettuce on a cutting board with a knife.

Did you know:

Crisphead lettuce was the original name for this lettuce until sometime in the 1920’s when it was changed to Iceberg lettuce. 

Why the name change?  The California growers covered the heads with crushed ice when it was packed for shipment all across the country.  It seemed to be the only lettuce that would stay fresh long enough to make it to the markets and restaurants.  Hence, the name Iceberg lettuce.

Is Iceberg Lettuce as Nutritious as Romain Lettuce?

The straight answer is, no….  We have learned that the greener the lettuce, the more nutritious the lettuce and Iceberg lettuce is a very pale color of green.  As a matter of fact, it sits low on the pole of nutritious value.  It does have a very high percentage of water content which may be responsible for the crispness of the lettuce. 

Regardless of the nutritional value, this lettuce has a crisp and crunchy texture that we all love. The layers of the lettuce leaves allow the creamy dressing to seep into every nook and cranny. It’s so good. 

Blue Cheese Salad Dressing
Blue Cheese Salad Dressing

The Ingredients You Need:

This is a very easy salad to put together for either a side salad or a lunch-time meal. We like to chill the salad plates in the freezer for a few minutes before assembling the salad.

  • Iceberg lettuce buy the freshest possible!
  • Bacon, cooked really crisp!
  • Blue cheese salad dressing, make it yourself for the best flavor.
  • Blue cheese, your favorite brand
  • Tomatoes, cut chunks or cherry/grape tomatoes
  • Freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • Chives, or scallion tops
Two serving of classic wedge salad

How to Make It:

This classic wedge salad is a cinch to put together, especially if you make the dressing ahead of time. (You’ll want to keep a batch of our blue cheese dressing in the fridge at all times!) We are briefly listing the process but be sure to scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts and instructions.

  1. Cook the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels and when cool, cut into small pieces and reserve.
  2. Remove any discolored leaves from the outside of the lettuce.  Rinse the lettuce under cold water, drain and blot with paper towels.  Cut off a thin slice of the discolored cut end but do not remove the core as it keeps the wedges together.
  3. Place the head of on a cutting board and slice into 4 equal quarters.
  4. Place a lettuce wedge on chilled salad plates and pour 1/4 cup of the salad dressing on each serving. 
  5. Divide the crumbled blue cheese, bacon bits and tomatoes equally between the servings.
  6. Grind salt and black pepper over the top of each serving and sprinkle a tablespoon of snipped chive on each serving!
  7. Serve immediately.

Does that sound doable? Yes, it is!

Close up view of a serving of a wedge salad

Tips and Frequently Asked Questions:

  • We recommend blotting off as much water from the rinsed lettuce head as possible since any excess water can dilute the salad dressing.
  • For presentation, cut a thin slice off the discolored stem end.
  • Slice the Iceberg into wedges but do not remove the core as it keeps the wedge together.
  • This salad should be enjoyed as soon as possible to prevent discoloration of the cut surfaces of the lettuce. 

How do I eat a wedge salad?

This salad is often listed on restaurant menus as a Knife and Fork Salad. The best way to eat this salad is with a steak knife and a salad fork, cut off one bite at a time.

Can I add other ingredients and still call it a wedge salad?

Absolutely! Some suggestions are crunchy croutons, diced red onion, thinly sliced radishes, or chopped hard-boiled eggs. Feel free to add your favorite condiments.

Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

Tender, fresh sugar snap peas are combined with Little Gem lettuce, fresh mint leaves, chives, and crunchy smashed croutons in our Sugar Snap Pea Salad We dressed this salad with our homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.

This Italian Caprese Salad is simplicity at its finest, and it’s always a winner! Tomatoes that are fat and juicy, fresh mozzarella that is creamy, and sweet basil leaves! Drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it’s light and healthful.

Summer is in the air with this Heirloom Tomato Salad with Aged Goat Cheese. You can throw it together in minutes with only a few ingredients like tomatoes, goat cheese, and crisp prosciutto.

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Serving of classic wedge salad on a plate with blue cheese dressing

Classic Wedge Salad

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This classic iceberg wedge salad is a go-to for every occasion. With only a few ingredients, you can make it in minutes and it pairs well with any meal. The dressing is tangy and refreshing, which balances the rich flavors of steak or chicken entrees.

You will want to use your knife and fork to eat this salad.

Ingredients

  • 4 -6 thick slices of bacon
  • 1 small head of Iceberg lettuce
  • 1-1/2 cups blue cheese salad dressing
  • 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • Freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup snipped chives

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.  Set a wire rack on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and transfer to the oven.  
  2. Cook until crisp, remove from the oven, and drain the bacon on paper towels.  When cool, cut into small pieces and reserve.
  3. Remove any discolored leaves from the outside of the lettuce and cut off a thin slice from the discolored stem.  Rinse the lettuce under cold water, drain and blot with paper towels.  
  4. Place the head of lettuce on a cutting board and slice into 4 equal quarters.
  5. Set the lettuce quarters on 4 chilled salad plates and pour 1/4 cup of the salad dressing on each serving.  
  6. Divide the crumbled blue cheese, bacon bits, and tomatoes equally between the servings.
  7. Grind salt and black pepper over the top of each serving and sprinkle a tablespoon of snipped chive on top. 
  8. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • We recommend blotting off as much water from the rinsed lettuce head as possible since any excess water can dilute the salad dressing
  • For presentation, cut a thin slice off the discolored stem end.
  • Slice the Iceberg into wedges but do not remove the core as it keeps the wedge together.
  • This salad should be enjoyed as soon as possible to prevent discoloration of the cut surfaces of the lettuce. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 510Total Fat: 47gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 850mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 12g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 8th of September 2021

Little Gem is perfect for this dish! I really do like all the flavors in this salad. Particularly the blue cheese dressing -- can never resist that. :-) This looks great -- thanks.

Pat Nyswonger

Wednesday 8th of September 2021

Thanks, John....I'll try using the Little Gems

angiesrecipes

Monday 6th of September 2021

It's a favourite because of bacon :-))

Pat Nyswonger

Tuesday 7th of September 2021

Thanks, Angie!

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