12.14.2011

Winter Wedge Salad With Roquefort Blue Cheese

 Winter wedge salad with Roquefort

I know iceberg lettuce gets a bad rap, but I am a huge fan of wedge salads. I like to order them when I go to steakhouses. Something about blue cheese and tomatoes always seems like the perfect precursor to a juicy steak. When I received a sample of Roquefort blue cheese from Ile de France, these flavors came to mind, and a wedge salad was the first thing I wanted to make. (A juicy steak was the second, though I didn't end up making one.)

Winter wedge salad with Roquefort

I started envisioning the combination of crispy bacon, robust Roquefort blue cheese, crunchy iceberg lettuce, and sweet tomatoes -- except here it is in the middle of December, and sweet tomatoes are not so easy to come by. My first thought was to make some slow-roasted tomatoes in the oven, but I wanted my salad ready that same night, and roasting tomatoes for 5 to 6 hours after work was not going to fly. I thought I could start with grape tomatoes, which tend to be sweeter and more resilient than other tomatoes during the winter months, and quickly roast them to release a little more flavor. This worked, not only to brighten the tomato flavor but also to add a warm element to the salad.


I liked the idea of adding some warm components to this winter salad and also fried some shallots (in bacon grease leftover from crisping some bacon for the salad) to throw on top.

I wanted the Roquefort to pop and I didn't want the salad to be too heavy, so in lieu of making a blue cheese dressing, I chopped and tossed the cheese on top of the iceberg lettuce and then drizzled some high-quality balsamic vinegar on top.

Winter wedge salad with Roquefort

Winter Wedge Salad With Roquefort Blue Cheese
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 slices bacon
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 ounce Ile de France Roquefort blue cheese, crumbled or chopped
Balsamic vinegar (or balsamic vinaigrette)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss grape tomatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon.

Reduce heat to medium, and add shallots to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned. Transfer to plate with bacon.

Remove core from lettuce, and cut into quarters. Cut each quarter into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Distribute the slices among four plates.

Dividing them evenly among the four plates, pile the tomatoes on top of the lettuce slices and sprinkle bacon, shallots, and Roquefort on top.

Drizzle each salad with a little balsamic vinegar, and serve.

Winter wedge salad with Roquefort

Don't forget to enter my Ile de France cheese giveaway!

Do you like wedge salads?

12 comments:

  1. FunandFearlessinBeantownDecember 14, 2011 6:53 AM

    I'm with you...I adore wedge salads, especially in steak houses!

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  2. I think I've had a wedge salad maybe once. It's difficult because they're usually either served with bacon and or blue cheese. I'd have one if it didn't have either of those.

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  3. I love the rich flavors of roasted tomatoes and roquefort in this salad! Both are very intense...but I'm sure very delicious together!

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  4. I LOVE wedge salads! I rarely eat iceberg, but once in awhile that crunch is just so yummy!

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  5. Looks like a pretty good salad to me! I actually love iceberg lettuce on sandwiches - gives it a bit more crunch

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  6. Yum, I love wedge salads! Which you know since we have shared one a time or two!! :)

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  7. So yummy! Looking forward to meeting you tonight at the Boston Bloggers Holiday Fiesta!

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  8. I've actually never had a good wedge salad, but I've always ordered them at restaurants - I should definitely make a vegetarian version of this and give them another try!

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  9. Steak houses are where I usually have wedge salads too. I love the roasted tomatoes and shallots here!

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  10. I love your idea to roast the tomatoes, I would never think to do that.... I am a big fan of wedge salads. The best one I've had in a while was at Stoddard's, where they actually grill the lettuce. I was skeptical at first, but it was fabulous!

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  11. this salad sounds awesome! thank you for sharing this and have a great weekend.

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  12. I can't remember if I've ever had a wedge salad. They just seem so 70ies ;) But I love that you added roasted tomatoes to yours.

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