Last year on my birthday, my dad treated the whole family to dinner at Walker’s Drive-In here in Jackson. The name is deceiving, because this is not a fast food joint where you order a bunch of greasy burgers and fries from the air-conditioned comfort of your automobile. It is an actual sit down restaurant. The décor is 1950’s diner, but the food is elegant and quite honestly one of the best meals I have ever had before or since.
Normally I completely skip the salad section on the menu. The Husband and I so rarely get to enjoy a fine dining restaurant, so my thinking is why waste the experience on a salad when I could treat myself to something I wouldn’t normally get at home. I don’t know, blame the heat (it was July) or the late-stage pregnancy hormones (Little Tot would be arriving in 32 looong days), but I ordered their BLT Wedge in addition to an entrée, an appetizer, and dessert (hey, I was eating for two).
The Husband’s eyes bogged when the waiter set this huge half iceberg lettuce wedge in front of me, dripping with white creamy dressing and topped with a generous sprinkling of Applewood smoked bacon and bright red tomatoes. He loves bacon/tomato anything and for a brief moment I think he regretted skipping over the salad section and going straight for the steaks. I can tell you, there wasn’t a happier pregnant woman in the entire state of Mississippi.
I knew eventually I would have to take a stab at recreating that salad at home. The buttermilk bleu cheese dressing is what makes this special and I can tell you this dressing is yummy!
Two things I want to point out – first, the dressing contains a raw egg. If you have allergies or just don’t like the idea of raw eggs, I would suggest either using a pasteurized egg or a liquid egg substitute such as Egg Beaters. Second, it also contains three cloves of raw garlic. That may not seem like a lot, but when garlic is cooked it gets sweeter and milder. The taste of raw garlic is about ten times stronger than the taste of cooked garlic. You may want to adjust the recipe depending on your preference. I would suggest, however, that you steer clear of this dressing on a first date.
This salad makes a perfect light summer supper and is a lot more filling than you think.
Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Wedge Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing
- 1 head iceberg lettuce cut into quarters
- 1 medium tomato diced
- 4 strips bacon cooked, diced
Buttermilk Bleu Cheese Dressing:
- 1 large egg
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 ounces blue cheese coarsely crumbled
In a blender or food processor, combine egg and garlic cloves.
While the machine is still running, slowly add oil in a thin stream.
Turn the machine off and add buttermilk, salt, and peppers. Blend for a few seconds more to combine.
Pour dressing into a bowl and stir in cheese.
To assemble salad, arrange one wedge on a plate. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and bacon crumbles.