When I was a kid, I would always order a wedge salad. I loved iceberg lettuce because it is consistently crisp, unlike that limp and earthy romaine. Well, times have changed, and I couldn’t tell you the last time I ate a wedge salad, cut into a large triangle and doused with russian dressing. When I was least expecting it, I came upon these inspired wedge salads in the prepared foods section at Wegmans. The iceberg lettuce was sliced vertically so that it almost formed its own serving plate, topped with nice looking tomatoes and a balsamic dressing. The beautiful and unexpected presentation persuaded me to follow Wegmans’ lead and elevate the humble wedge salad into something special.
To prepare a similar wedge salad, get a head of iceberg lettuce. Remove any damaged looking outer leaves, and trim off the bottom of the stem, without severing it from its leaves. Balance the head of lettuce vertically, with the stem resting on your cutting board, and use your knife to cut it into thick slices about 1.5 inches thick. Make sure that the stem and core are included in the center slice. Set the iceberg slices on salad plates.
To make the miso-sesame vinaigrette, get out a blender and add in 1 tablespoon of grated ginger, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons of white miso, 2 tablespoons of tahini, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1/4 cup of rice vinegar. Cover the top of the blender with a piece of plastic wrap, and poke a hole in the center of the plastic wrap. This covering will allow you to add oil to the running blender without dousing yourself in dressing.
Run the blender until the ingredients are combined, and, with the blender still running, slowly drizzle in 2 tablespoons of sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Taste the dressing, and season it with salt if necessary. The blender should do an amazing job of emulsifying the oils into the dressing, and it should create a wonderfully thick and clingy vinaigrette.
Pour the dressing over the wedges of iceberg lettuce, and then top the wedges with tomatoes and cucumbers. Sprinkle the salads with some sesame seeds for an extra garnish. Then, cut into your crisp and refreshing salad, and feel slightly sophisticated because you left the russian dressing behind.
- Iceberg lettuce- 1 head
- Sesame seeds
- Ginger- 1 tablespoon, grated
- Garlic- 1 clove
- White miso- 2 tablespoons
- Tahini- 2 tablespoons
- Honey- 1 tablespoon
- Rice vinegar- 1/4 cup
- Sesame oil- 2 tablespoons
- Vegetable oil- 2 tablespoons