Wedge salad is one of those things that the Southern husband just can’t resist when he sees it on a menu. Even though he has had it a million times before. Even though wedge salad is usually pretty much the same wherever you have it – a wedge of iceberg lettuce drizzled in blue cheese dressing and scattered with tomatoes and pieces of bacon. Hey, with all that going on I can’t blame the guy, and after watching him order it for the millionth time, it finally dawned on me that maybe I should make it at home, which is how my classic wedge salad recipe post was born.
But as usual, I can’t leave well enough alone, so I started messing with wedge salad ideas. I kept all the essential bits – the iceberg, the blue cheese, the tomatoes, the BACON…but as with my recent spin on steak Caesar salad, I wanted to make it a little easier to eat. And I wanted to get a little more protein in there so it could hold its head up high as a legit meal to serve for dinner. And so with only a little extra effort than the normal wedge salad, voila! The pressed wedge salad with shrimp! Here goes.
My pet peeve with a traditional wedge salad (and yes, he orders it and I steal the bites with the best pieces of bacon off his plate. For better and for worse…it comes in handy) is that let’s face it. It is tricky to wrangle an entire wedge of iceberg lettuce. You spend a decent part of the meal sawing at the lettuce, and then chasing the pieces of bacon and tomato around the plate. The Southern husband doesn’t seem to mind this one iota, but when I am stealing bites of wedge salad off his plate I would like to get in and out of there as soon as possible. So my first hack was literally a hack. As in, hacking that lettuce into nice little pieces. It was highly satisfying.
I left the tomato and bacon and blue cheese dressing part of the salad intact, but instead of scattering and drizzling them all on top, I mixed them all together, using just enough dressing to give the salad a nice blue cheese bite. There’s nothing sadder than a salad that has been drenched in too much dressing.
Now for the dramatic part. I smooshed the salad into a little round Pyrex bowl and then inverted it onto a plate. I patted a few stray pieces into place, popped a few cooked shrimp on top, added another drizzle of dressing over the whole thing for old times sake and ta-da! Wedge salad that you don’t have to do battle with to get deliciousness in every bite.
It just goes to show you, messing with success pays off some times!Print
Jazz up your wedge salad with this recipe that calls for pressing it together and topping it with shrimp!
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
- 5 strips bacon, chopped and cooked until crispy
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- Your favorite blue cheese dressing
- 12 peeled and cooked shrimp
- Fresh round pepper
- Mix together lettuce, bacon and tomatoes.
- Mix in just enough blue cheese dressing to lightly coat the salad. Start with 1/4 cup dressing and taste as you go.
- Pack 1/4 of the salad mixture tightly into a small round bowl. Invert it onto a salad plate and gently shake it out. Press together any stray pieces that fall apart.
- Place 3 shrimp on top. Drizzle with a little more dressing, grind some pepper on top and serve.