Wait. Seriously, stop. It’s a salad, yes, that’s on display right now. Even worse than being a non-pastry, it’s a wedge salad. Talk about a throwback- a non-nutrient rich, oddly shaped throwback with a rep for being flavorless and relatively useless in comparison to darker, more forestry greens. But wait, just consider. And no, I promise, I haven’t gone crazy.
What better than a wedge salad, with maximum surface area and a surprisingly refreshing crunch, to be the vehicle for buttermilk and sour cream rich Black Pepper Dressing? Because people, dear readers, this is a dressing—more of shallot, chive and black pepper loaded salad crème—that demands a substantial base. And it demands to be eaten, to dress any and all things that even have a slight relation to a vegetable. I’m pushing a wedge of iceberg right now, but really, that’s just because a thick wedge of lettuce is the easiest way to get this dressing directly into my stomach.
It’s that good. Forget about those lesser creamy dressings. A mayonnaise base? Really? Why even bother with a poached egg thrown into some oil and Dijon? This Black Pepper Dressing, with a spicy kick up front from the black pepper, followed by a light bite from the shallots and chives, smoothed out by the cool, fresh and slightly tangy sour cream, buttermilk and cider vinegar is perfect. Make a vat, not a paltry bowl, and start drizzling. Or rather, pouring. A creek of this dressing will not suffice. Lightly dressed? No way.
That’s the beauty of a wedge salad—it can stand up to rivers of dressing. The secret, as I’ve recently discovered, is that a wedge of iceberg lettuce is a vessel for greater, more flavorful salad accoutrement. Its true calling is to be loaded with thinly shaved red onions, radishes, those cute little haricot verts, green onion, celery, fennel, bacon lardons…and then topped with a luscious, tangy and flavorful dressing.
Plus, in all honesty, it’s fun to tackle a mound of anything with a knife and fork. And a wedge of iceberg lettuce definitely qualifies as a little mountain of salad.
Recipe on the following page.