If you love a lettuce wedge salad, you’ll love this flavorful take on the classic. Blue cheese crumbles and herby dressing pair with beets and crisped pancetta, all on fresh iceberg lettuce.
You know what the Classic Wedge is. Your mind probably goes straight to rich blue cheese dressing and, if you’re lucky, crispy bacon bits.
The iceberg lettuce is just the vehicle we wisely use to get the other ingredients into our mouths!
A New Take on a Lettuce Wedge Salad
Change perfection? I think you will like where I’m going with this.
I made the iconic side salad worthy of a meal by swapping bacon for meaty pancetta and adding crunchy hazelnuts and roasted beets.
Dress it with a tangy, lemon parsley vinaigrette, but don’t forget the blue cheese! Keep it classic with big, creamy pieces of Roquefort.
All the salty, rich, crunchy tastes we want…just new!
Other favorite salad recipes:
- Sesame Ginger Beef Salad
- Grilled Pita Salad with Lemon Chicken Kabobs
- Warm Salmon and Arugula Pasta Salad
Dressing for a wedge salad:
Typically a creamy blue cheese dressing douses a wedge of iceberg lettuce. We top it with bacon bits or crumbles and call it delicious.
It is! It’s tasty, and why mess with perfection? I lightened up a classic diner salad with herby, lemon vinaigrette. It adds a nice zing to the crispy lettuce.
I didn’t forget the blue cheese. I just enhanced it! Fresh crumbles of cheese land in your mouth with each bite.
How to cook pancetta:
I swapped traditional bacon with pancetta in this iceberg lettuce salad. Pancetta is a cured Italian bacon and is much more meaty than bacon.
I cut it into cubes. There is a fair amount of fat on pancetta and you can trim this off a bit, or just keep it for flavor.
Pancetta needs to be cooked quite slowly. You want to render the fat from the pieces rather than fry it to a crisp. This will take about 20 minutes over medium heat.
Turn the classic lettuce wedge salad into a main course by adding diced pancetta, roasted beets and protein-rich hazelnuts.
- 2 Red and golden beets
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 3/4 lb pancetta
- 1 head Iceberg lettuce
- 1/2 cup Hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup Roquefort cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 clove minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley chopped
- 1/2 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
Wrap beets, a sprinkling of kosher salt and a little olive oil in aluminum foil. Roast at 375ºF until tender, about 1 hr. Set aside to cool.
Dice pancetta into 1/2-inch pieces. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until fat is rendered and pancetta is golden and cooked, about 20 min. Reserve a few tablespoons of the fat.
Slice iceberg lettuce and serve with pancetta, sliced beets, toasted hazelnuts, crumbled Roquefort cheese and Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette.
Stir together lemon juice, garlic, black pepper, sugar and flat-leaf parsley. Combine reserved pancetta fat and enough extra-virgin olive oil to make 1/2 cup and whisk into dressing.
- Swap bacon for pancetta in this new take on the lettuce wedge.
Serving things on the side? Try my newest side dish recipes:
- Hot Spinach and Cheese Sandwich Melts
- Asparagus Puff Pastry with Cracked Pepper Cottage Cheese
- Fresh Corn Fritters with Cheddar and Pimentos
- Authentic Creamy Black Beans
- Artichokes Recipe With Lemon Mayo – Instant Pot Variation
Recipe by Tara Teaspoon
I’ve been in the food publishing business for over 20 years, creating recipes and food styling for magazines, books, television and advertising. Find out more about me!