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Course: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: American

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing

ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
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
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  • 1.5 ounces hard blue cheese
  • 1.5 ounces gorgonzola dolce
  • 2 fluid ounces full-fat buttermilk (60 grams)
  • .5 ounces kewpie mayonnaise
  • 3 ounces full-fat cottage cheese (cultured if you can get it)
  • .5 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 5-6 grinds black pepper (probably less than .25 teaspoon)
  • 2 tomatoes (327 grams)
  • .5 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces smoked pork jowl* (114 grams)
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 2 scallions, chopped fine
  • 4 teaspoons pork panko (or finely crushed fried pork rinds)

Specialized Hardware

10-inch black steel pan
ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


For the Dressing:

  • 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.
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