Wedge Salad with Basil Green Goddess & Blue Cheese Dressing

Wedge salads are a traditional steakhouse side dish and normally served with a blue cheese dressing.  Whilst I’m fond of blue cheese dressing, my favourite dressing is Green Goddess.  Green Goddess dressing was first created at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the 1920’s in honour of the hit play, the Green Goddess.  The original version uses tarragon but Ina Garten revamped this classic and used basil instead, which I think is even better.  I made this wedge salad using Ina’s Basil Green Goddess dressing but added some crumbled blue cheese at the end in a nod to the classic wedge.  This is a fantastic barbecue side dish and the Green Goddess dressing makes the wedge salad seem a little lighter than full blue cheese version.

Ingredients – Serves 4

1 iceberg lettuce, outer leaves removed, washed and cut into quarters
Some speck or thick cut bacon cut into cubes
6 cherry tomatoes halved

Dressing   Adapted from Ina Garten

1/2 cup good quality whole egg mayonnaise (I use Hellmans)
3 chopped scallions/spring onions, white and green parts
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (about half a small bunch)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or half a teaspoon normal salt – kosher salt is much milder)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese (I like something a little milder for this and use a Danish blue)

To make the dressing place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, anchovy paste, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sour cream and process just until blended. Place into a bowl and gently stir in the crumbled blue cheese. (If not using immediately, refrigerate the dressing until ready to serve.)

Heat a small frypan on medium heat and add the speck/bacon and cook until crispy.  Drain on absorbent paper.  To serve place the lettuce wedges on a platter and drizzle generously with the dressing.  Place the tomato halves around the lettuce and sprinkle the crispy speck over the lettuce and tomatoes.

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