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The Wedge Salad

My family loves wedge salad: and, bonus, it is so easy to make! You fry bacon strips, wash a head of iceberg lettuce, cut it into wedges, then garnish each wedge with blue cheese dressing, cherry tomatoes, bacon bits, blue cheese crumbles, and some onions. Your family feels like they’re in a fancy steakhouse.

Iceberg has always struck me as a rather odd name for lettuce. Just where did this name come from? Iceberg lettuce is also called Crisphead lettuce. During the 1920s, before refrigerated trucks, commercial growers packed Crisphead lettuce under mounds of ice, allowing it to travel long distances without losing its freshness, and viola, the name “iceberg” lettuce stuck. I don’t think romaine or leaf lettuce could have withstood this “ice bath.” 

Wedge salad is a staple at steakhouses, but our neighborhood Italian restaurant, Pizza Vino, also has it on their menu. Each chain or independently owned restaurant adds its own personal touch to this salad. Sullivan’s adds a splash of red wine vinegar, and Outback’s wedge has a drizzle of sweet balsamic glaze. Pizza Vino adds fried prosciutto and crispy fried shallots.

Chefs are not only adding their personal touch to this salad, but they are also transforming this classic dish into towering culinary masterpieces. Just look at the amazing presentation the Cowgirl BBQ in Santa Fe, New Mexico, created. In includes walnuts and crispy onion strings.

If you find yourself in a bit of a salad rut, try my wedge salad. You can follow my recipe or get creative and give it your own personal flair. The classic wedge salad with blue cheese dressing will remain a staple at our house. This is one of my husband’s favorites!

Wedge of Iceberg Lettuce

with Carol Ann’s Blue Cheese Dressing

Serves 6

For the dressing:

Makes about 1 ½ cups

4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

3 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced

½ cup sour cream

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, combine blue cheese, green onions, sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the salad:

1 head iceberg lettuce, washed and drained

6 strips bacon, fried until crisp and crumbled

24 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Blue cheese crumbles, to taste

Red onion, chopped, to taste

Chopped chives or green onions for garnish

Using a sharp knife, cut head of lettuce in half. Cut each half into 3 wedges. Place each wedge on a salad plate, top with 2 tablespoons blue cheese dressing, or to taste, and garnish with bacon bits, cherry tomato halves, blue cheese crumbles, and red onion. Garnish with chives or green onions. Serve immediately.

Tips on selecting lettuce: Any type of lettuce should be free of blemishes. Its leaves should be an even green in color with little browning on the outside edges. Do not buy iceberg lettuce that lacks green color or is irregular in shape.

Tips on storing lettuce: Do not wash lettuce until ready to use. Store whole heads in reusable, eco-friendly produce storage bags or plastic bags. This helps them retain their natural moisture and stay crisp. Romaine and iceberg lettuce will keep up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Do not store lettuce with apples, bananas, or pears, as these fruits emit ethylene gas that will turn lettuce brown.

Carol Ann

Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at and explore her website,

Copyright 2024 All Rights Reserved Carol Ann Kates

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