Healthier and fancier salads abound, but they haven't been able to knock the classic wedge salad out of contention for iconic status. A traditional wedge salad is composed of iceberg lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, onion and blue cheese dressing. Follow the classic recipe or add ingredients to create your own twist, but think minimalist. The lettuce and dressing are the stars of the show.
Prepare the Ingredients
Fry one piece of bacon per salad until crisp. Anchovies are a piquant alternative to bacon. For a vegetarian option, season and fry strips of tofu.
Wash and dry the head of iceberg lettuce, removing any loose outer leaves. Cut the lettuce head in half from top to bottom. Do not cut out the core. Cut each side in half so that the head is quartered. Regardless of other ingredients in the salad, a quarter of an iceberg lettuce head is always the base.
Slice the tomato into wedges -- quarters or halves depending on the size of the tomato. Cherry tomatoes cut in half, or small whole grape tomatoes also work well. Strips of bright bell peppers are a zesty substitute for tomatoes.
Cut the top and bottom off the onion and discard the outer peel. Cut the onion in half from top to bottom. Slice as much of the onion as you want to use into thin strips. Substitute shallots for a slightly sweeter taste.
Assemble the Salad
Place a lettuce quarter on a salad plate. Generously cover it with blue cheese dressing for a traditional wedge salad. If that's not to your taste, any thick-and-creamy dressing will work. Try honey mustard or a dressing made with Greek yogurt.
Surround the lettuce with tomato wedges or bell pepper slices. Sprinkle onion slices or diced shallots over the dressing.
Crumble a slice of bacon or a meat alternative over the top of the entire salad. Sprinkle with blue cheese or feta cheese crumbles and garnish with chopped scallions or fresh herbs to finish the dish.
If you don't like raw onions, soak the slices in cold water for half an hour and then drain to make them sweeter and less sharp.
Add ingredients as desired to create your own wedge salad version, such as croutons, avocado slices, olives and hard-boiled egg wedges.