Broiled Wedge Salad

published Jun 17, 2020
summer
Broiled Wedge Salad

A new and improved wedge salad that gets an extra layer of flavor from broiling.

Serves4

Prep20 minutes

Cook17 minutes to 23 minutes

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Platter of four broiled and quartered iceberg lettuce wedges topped with tomatoes, bleu cheese, and vinaigrette sit on a table.
Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

It’s pretty hard to beat a classic wedge salad: Crunchy wedges of iceberg lettuce, coated in creamy blue cheese dressing, topped with crispy bacon, sweet cherry tomatoes, and fresh chives. But what if I told you that there is one way to improve upon it, and that’s to broil it? Yes, I’m talking about sticking the delicate pieces of iceberg under a screaming-hot broiler, letting them burn and wilt on purpose. Let me explain.

How Broiling Can Upgrade Your Salads

Quickly broiling iceberg lettuce in the oven not only adds an extra layer of flavor to the salad, but also completely changes the texture. The outside layers of the iceberg soften and provide a welcomed contrast against the crunchy interior, and instead of the salad only being crisp, it’s now crisp mixed with soft. The charred, caramelized salad also picks up deep, smoky flavor, making it feel more like a meal versus a side dish. It’s a rule-breaking recipe that demonstrates that salads can not only withstand a little bit of heat, but they can also actually get better because of it.

Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

3 Tips for Perfectly Broiling Your Salad

1. Preheat your broiler for at least five minutes. Make sure your broiler is super hot, which ensures the leaves char and don’t just wilt. The hotter the broiler is, the more caramelization will happen. 

2. Position your rack as close to the broiler as you can without it actually touching the salad. This is another way to prevent the lettuce from wilting. For most ovens this is the upper third, but if your oven allows you to get closer, take advantage of that.

3. Serve the salad as soon as it comes out of the oven. Once assembled, this salad will last about 15 minutes before starting to get limp.

Broiled Wedge Salad

A new and improved wedge salad that gets an extra layer of flavor from broiling.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 17 minutes to 23 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    cherry tomatoes (8 ounces)

  • 1

    small shallot

  • 2 tablespoons

    finely chopped fresh chives

  • 1 1/2 ounces

    Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 1 cup

    crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces), divided

  • 1/4 cup

    full-fat sour cream

  • 1/4 cup

    mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving

  • 4 slices

    bacon (about 4 ounces)

  • 1

    medium head iceberg lettuce (about 18 ounces)

Instructions

  1. Arrange two racks in the oven, one in the middle and one in the upper third, and heat the oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Quarter 1 cup cherry tomatoes. Mince 1 small shallot (about 2 tablespoons). Finely chop until you have 2 tablespoons fresh chives. Finely grate 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup).

  2. Juice 1 medium lemon (about 3 tablespoons) into a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the crumbled blue cheese and mash with the back of a fork to create a smooth paste. Add 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Mix thoroughly until combined. Refrigerate while you cook the bacon.

  3. Place 4 strips bacon on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake on the middle rack until deep golden-brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, quarter 1 medium head iceberg lettuce through the core to make 4 wedges. Cut the core out from each wedge.

  4. Remove the bacon from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Set the oven to broil. Chop the bacon into bite-sized pieces. Discard the bacon grease and foil, then cover the baking sheet with a new sheet of foil.

  5. Place the lettuce wedges cut-side up on the baking sheet. Brush the cut sides of each wedge with some dressing. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Broil on the top rack until the cheese is melted and the lettuce is browned on the edges, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, 2 to 3 minutes total.

  6. Transfer the wedges to a serving platter. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup blue cheese, bacon, cherry tomatoes, shallots, chives, and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the remaining dressing.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Make ahead: The bacon can be cooked and chopped 1 day ahead. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Let come to room temperature before serving.