Every year my family gathers at my Aunt's house for a Christmas Eve feast and celebration. Most every year we have the same delicious meal...prime rib with horseradish cream sauce, twice baked potato casserole, a salad, a veggie and dinner rolls. And every year it's my job to bring the salad. Though we have a similar meal each year, I always hem and haw about what kind of salad to bring. What will most people like? (This year there were 16 adults and 8 kids). I mean let's be real, the salad is not the star of the meal. It's an accompanying side show. But I always want it to be just right.
As I was thinking about what salad to bring, I was inspired by my Grandma. When Hubby and I spent a few days with my Grandparents this past Thanksgiving, they took us out to dinner one night at Sullivan's Steakhouse. If you've never been to Sullivan's, it's a treat. It's a traditional steakhouse with most everything served a la cart. Except the salad. A blue cheese wedge salad comes with each entree. It's a big wedge and the dressing is cheesy and creamy with a bit of tang, which is what makes it different from most blue cheese dressings I've had in the past. Grandma said one of the reasons she liked coming to Sullivan's was for the salad. Forget the steak and fork over the wedge!
I consulted Bing and searched for a copy cat recipe of Sullivan's famous blue cheese wedge. And I think this is pretty darn close. The dressing gets its tang from the buttermilk, sour cream and red wine vinegar. It's rich and creamy from the mayonnaise, olive oil and blue cheese. And it's rounded out with minced garlic and freshly cracked black pepper.
I love the cool crisp iceberg lettuce drenched in cheesy dressing. The Sullivan's wedge is served simply with lettuce, dressing and tomatoes. I added sliced green onions and bacon pieces to the salad I served on Christmas Eve (bacon not pictured above). I think the addition of the fresh mild green onion and salty crisp bacon finish off the salad nicely.
A mark of a good recipe is if I will make it again. This salad hits the mark. In fact I've already made it once since Christmas Eve. I'm sad to say Grandma didn't get to taste the dressing to give her seal of approval because she came down with a bad cold the morning of Christmas Eve. But luckily she will get to taste it next year since I have officially decided this salad is "the one."
This one's for you Gram!
Blue Cheese Wedge Salad
adapted from foodiekitchen.com
7 ounces crumbled blue cheese
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup buttermilk, well shaken
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large head of iceberg lettuce, with core removed, washed and chilled
6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
3 diced seeded plum tomatoes
6 green onions thinly sliced, white and green parts
Place all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and process until you reached the desired consistency. Process longer if you want a smoother dressing. I left mine with a little bits of blue cheese in it. Refrigerate for 24 hours or up to 3 days.
To prepare the salad, cut the head of lettuce in half. Cut each half in 3 wedges, or 2 if the head is small. Place the wedges on chilled salad plates. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the dressing over each wedge allowing the dressing to run over the sides.
Sprinkle each wedge with tomatoes, green onions and crumbled blue cheese, divided equally among each salad. Finish with a crack or two of freshly ground black pepper. Serve chilled.
Optional: Brown 1/3 pound of bacon until crisp in a frying pan, on a baking sheet in the oven or in the microwave. Crumble bacon into small bits and sprinkle over each wedge.