I have this weird fondness for the wedge salad. Or, rather, I have this fondness for what I want the wedge to be: crunchy, salty, rich, fresh, a taste explosion! Somehow, I always end up disappointed. And I blame the iceberg lettuce. J'accuse!
Now, I totally get that the iceberg is the foundation of the wedge and I'll concede that it is delightfully crunchy. However, it is so watery and flavorless that—even with loads of heavy dressing and bacon and whatnot—I never really get that taste explosion I crave.
So, I decided to make a wedge salad with more depth of flavor, more nutrition, and less junk than the standard. To start, I needed a new foundation and I selected: cabbage. This cruciferous veggie is inexpensive (I got some organic on sale for St. Patrick's Day for only 79 cents a pound!) and so good for you; a cup rings in at over 65% of your daily recommended Vitamin K and 42% of Vitamin C.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to skimp on the amount of dressing on my wedge. So I made a blue cheese dressing with a yogurt base; it provides goodies like calcium, protein, and probiotics for fewer calories than a mayonnaise-based dressing. The tangy freshness of the dressing provides a great balance to the earthiness of the roasted cabbage.
yield: 4 servings
- 1/2 head green cabbage, tough outer leaves removed
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 2 strips bacon (optional)
- salt and freshly-ground pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes
- 1-2T chopped scallions
Yogurt Gorgonzola Dressing
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2/3c crumbled Gorgonzola* (or other blue cheese)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2T chopped scallions
- salt and freshly-ground pepper
*Check your labels: only cheeses made from pasteurized milks are recommended during pregnancy.Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Leaving the core intact (so it doesn't all fall apart), cut the halved cabbage into four wedges. Brush oil on both sides of each wedge; arrange on baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper. If using, place 1/2 strip of bacon on top of each wedge.
Put in oven for about 30 minutes, gently flipping each wedge about halfway through the cooking time. I put the bacon aside at the halfway point, turned the wedges, and placed the bacon back on top of each wedge so it could also continue cooking and getting crispy.
In the meantime, assemble your blue cheese dressing. In a bowl, combine yogurt, cheese, garlic, lemon juice and scallions. Add salt and pepper to taste, keeping in mind that the cabbage and the bacon will also provide salt to the dish.
Roast the cabbage until it is tender with browned, crispy edges. The bacon should be well-done and crunchy. At this point, you could just squeeze some lemon juice on top and call it a day - it would made a lovely side dish as is!
But I set out to make a newfangled wedge salad and, by gosh, that's just what I did! Top the warm cabbage wedges with a big ol' dollop of dressing, some chopped tomatoes, the reserved scallions; crumble the bacon across the top and you're all set.
|The caramelization brings out the cabbage's sweetness, just like in our Cauliflower Popcorn.|
|Don't skimp on the chunky dressing. I sure didn't.|
|Lovely layers of roasted cabbage.|
Sure, it's not exactly the wedge salad from your favorite steakhouse. But I hope you enjoy my new twists on a classic, just the same. I sure did.