Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Southern-Style Wedge Salad

The wedge salad has always confounded me. Here is why: its incredibly easy to make, and the ingredients are laughably inexpensive, yet time and time again high-falootin' restaurants get away with charging patrons a buttload for it. I get the sense that the inventors of the dish put it in front of the first unsuspecting patron saying,"That'll be...ten? dollars...?" And then masterfully disguising their astonishment when said patron did, in fact, fork over (har har har) the requested monies. It's borderline sinister, I tell ya.

So now that I've busted all those rest-o-rawn-tays and am probably blacklisted from most of them, it's also fair to say that the wedge salad is delish. Something impressive to throw together as a meal or first course or what have you. And in this recipe I've dispensed with the traditional bacon and bleu cheese in favor of Southernized andouille sausage and my own pimento cheese dressing, of which I am so proud.

Also, this recipe maaaaay or may not have been printed in the Community Recipes section of June's Southern Living. (squeal!!!)

Wedge Salad with Pimento Cheese Dressing and 
Andouille Sausage
One head iceberg lettuce 
1 cup red cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise in halves 
4 ounces mild andouille sausage, chopped into 1/4" pieces 

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 4-ounce jar diced pimentos, drained and divided
S&P to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté sausage until crispy. You want it crispier than you would eat it by itself. It needs some crunch. Once done, transfer onto paper towel to drain and cool. 

 To make the dressing: combine all ingredients except 1 tablespoon pimentos in blender. Blend until smooth. Add remaining 1 tablespoon pimentos and pulse blender once or twice to incorporate, but do not blend smooth. Adds texture.

 Remove outer leaves of lettuce and discard. Hit the core of the iceberg on your work surface, hard enough to dislodge it. Remove and discard. Slice lettuce into 4 equal wedges, remove any discolored or wilted leaves, and plate, cut side up. Drizzle desired amount of dressing across each wedge and garnish generously with tomatoes and sausage. 

Oh mah gawd, you are done. See, now you can NEVER pay a bazillion dollars again to buy that in a restaurant. 

Thanks for stoppin by!

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