When late summer arrives and tomatoes are at their best, my wife Elizabeth and I eat this for dinner about three times a week. There are a couple of unusual ingredients called for here, but trust me, they make the dish. Also, please serve this salad in a wide bowl as a plate makes it tough to eat unless of course you park everything atop a waffle. (Just gonna leave that right there and walk away.)Photo by Lynne Calamia
Place the blue cheeses in a medium mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk and use the back of a fork to mash into a lumpy paste. Add the kewpie mayonnaise and mash a little more.
Stir in the cottage cheese along with the Worcestershire, rice vinegar, and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate one hour before serving.
For the Salad:
Cut each tomato into 8 wedges, then cut across each wedge to form medium chunks. Move tomato pieces to a medium bowl and toss with the kosher salt, then move the tomatoes to a colander and place that inside the bowl and set aside for one hour.
Cut the pork jowl into lardon (1-inch x 1/2-inch matchsticks). Cook over medium-low heat in a 10-inch black steel pan until crispy. Remove to a paper towel with a slotted spoon. (Save the fat for another application; it's like gold.)
When the tomatoes have drained (save the drained liquid for tomato martinis), trim the stem end off the iceberg lettuce, and remove a layer or two of outer leaves. Then, split the head into quarters so that each wedge is held together by a piece of the internal stem. Place each wedge, cut side up, in a wide serving bowl.
Top each of the wedges with at least a tablespoon of the dressing and top with a quarter of the tomatoes and a quarter of the lardons. Finish each with a scattering of chopped scallion and a dusting of pork panko (I go with about a teaspoon per salad).
*You may be used to slab bacon here but believe me, smoked jowl makes for a crispier, and tastier lardon.