BLT-ranch iceberg wedge—a crunchy treat of a salad

Classic Iceberg Wedge

BLT-ranch iceberg wedge, June 2013

Does iceberg lettuce wrongly have a reputation for being the junk food of the vegetable world? Compared with all of the other foods we eat in a normal week, where is it really on the healthfulness scale? It has small amounts of fiber, protein, and vitamin A and no additives or artificial preservatives. Chances are it ranks at least in the middle. My nonprofessional advice is to go ahead and enjoy its refreshing crunch once in a while.

This recipe includes dairy-free homemade ranch dressing, and it’s topped with tomato, onion, and bacon. Serve it as an appetizer or first course so you can present it assembled on salad plates, and include a knife and fork. If you like, have it as part of a delicious summertime dinner with a main course of grilled burgers and roasted potatoes (white or sweet).

The recipe calls for seeded diced tomato. To seed a tomato, core it, then cut in quarters and with your fingers scoop out the seeds. Trim away any whitish pulp, and use only the red flesh next to the skin.

Instead of regular bacon I like to use side pork, or uncured bacon, which is nitrate-free and sugar-free. Add a sprinkle of salt and cook it like you would bacon, on the stove or in the oven at 350°F for about 35 minutes or until crisp.

BLT-Ranch Iceberg Wedge
Recipe type: Salad
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 2 small tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 4 strips side pork or bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled or diced
  • Black pepper
Make the dressing:
  1. Flatten and peel the garlic clove by placing it on a cutting board beneath the blade of a large knife. Give the knife a whack with your fist, being careful to avoid the sharp edge. The peel should come off easily.
  2. Chop the garlic into very small pieces.
  3. Sprinkle the salt onto the garlic, and make a paste by alternatively chopping and rocking the flat blade of the knife over the mixture.
  4. Place garlic-salt paste in a small mixing bowl. Add the parsley, chives, mayonnaise, and red wine vinegar. With a fork, stir to combine.
  5. If necessary to make the dressing pourable, add water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, stirring after each addition until it reaches the desired consistency.
Make the salad:
  1. Remove the core from the lettuce by hitting the stem hard on a flat surface. Repeat if necessary. Remove any discolored or wilted leaves from the outside of the head. Rinse the head under running water and shake dry. Cut into quarters.
  2. Place the wedges onto serving plates and drizzle about two tablespoons of the dressing over each wedge. Some of it will run onto the plate, which is OK. Sprinkle on the tomato, onion, and bacon. Add fresh-ground black pepper if desired.
  3. Serve chilled, to be eaten with a knife and fork.
Serving size: 1 wedge. Calories: 244; Fat: 18g; Carbohydrates: 13g; Sugar: 5g; Sodium: 950mg; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 9g; Cholesterol: 29mg.


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2 Responses to “BLT-ranch iceberg wedge—a crunchy treat of a salad”

  1. Jodi says:

    Love this dressing but how much red wine vinegar is needed?

    • Eileen Beran says:

      Jodi, thanks so much for the compliment, and for stopping by! The 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar is now included in the ingredient list–thanks for asking.

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