The Wonderful Blue Cheese Wedge
In the market, iceberg lettuce conjures up two insanely different images. The first is the iceberg of my childhood memory. A bowling ball of watery leafy greens that were just about mummy wrapped in cellophane and saran wrap on the A&P shelf and served on a plate with a dollop of plain sour cream by my Aunt Josie. She was not a cook but an exceptional God Mother and Aunt.
The second was hand harvesting my first head of heirloom iceberg at Quail Hill Farm. What a treat – so much so that I’d drive 20 miles to harvest the iceberg when the crop comes in. I dare not share my secret of the exceptional flavor of the heirloom iceberg while other share holders pick the deer tongue, boston, and other fancy lettuce heads. I wanted to be able to pick more next week. And inevitably the iceberg was still there – week after week.
Now the fun begins. I love an impecable wedge – not the the Baco’s covered wedge of restaurant chain fame – but a proper blue chesse wedge salad – with or without bacon.
My second secret is a recipe from Montrachet – where the blue cheese dressing was made with buttermilk and tarragon vinegar. Exceptional by my standards.
For this recipe – you will need a gadget. A wand is perfect but a blender or small food processor will do.
Butter Milk Blue Cheese Wedge Salad
3 small heads of heirloom iceberg lettuce – or 1 large head
1 cup of Butter Milk
1 large shallot – I prefer the torpedo shaped shallots, they are easier to peel
8 to 12 oz of Danish Blue cheese
1T tarragon vinegar. And although any good quality herbal vinegar will do – the taragon vinegar imparts the perfect flavor
Coarse Ground Black Pepper for Finishing
1-Measure the butter milk and set aside.
2-Roughly chop the shallots by hand.
3- Add the shallots and the vinegar to a vessel and process to chop.
4- add the buttermilk and process adding cheese chunk by chunk continuing to process into a thick dressing
5- Taste. Drizzle in more vinegar if need be.
7- Just before serving cut the Iceberg lettuce heads into wedges. I like the smaller heads on a long platter – lined up like soldiers on guard
8- Spoon the Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing over the wedges making sure it is distributed evenly. Finish with Coarse Ground Black Pepper to taste.
Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing is a teriffic sauce over grilled skirt steak as well. And makes a lovely main course salad.