My husband and I don’t necessarily go out to eat all that often, but when we do, the starter portion of any menu is our absolute favorite part. I just adore small bites and variety makes me oh-so-happy. On the starter menu, my eye typically begins to mosey on down to the salads. Don’t you just feel like salads are way cooler at restaurants? Why is that? On a mission to create a restaurant quality salad at home, I came up with this little ditty.

The Wedge. It gets me every time — that crisp, fresh lettuce dripping with a creamy and decadent blue cheese dressing. So beautifully speckled with bursts of acidity and spice from the tomatoes and onions. Throw in a little bacon and some croutons, and oh-la-la, I’d say we’ve got ourselves a home run salad…at home.

For more tempting salad ideas, go to

Classic Wedge Salad

1 head of Iceberg lettuce
8 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1 pint sweet cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded (if desired)
1 cup croutons
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
3/4-1 cup Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing (see recipe below) or Better-than-the-Bottle Ranch Dressing (find recipe at

Have a dish towel ready for drying. To prepare the lettuce, remove any loose or wilted leaves. Turn the head so that the core (the white knob on the bottom) is facing the ceiling. Cut right across the center of the core and lay each half flat-side down. Using a knife, shave down any brown part showing from the knob, taking care not cut too far inward, as the head of lettuce needs to stay intact. Cut each half into thirds. Cupping each wedge, allow a stream of cold water to run across it, rinsing well, but taking care to keep the wedge in tact. Set aside to dry on dish towel.

Have ready a plate lined with paper towels. In a medium-sized saute pan, fry bacon over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown and crispy.

Plate each wedge and drizzle it with about 2 tablespoons of desired dressing. Distribute bacon, tomatoes, croutons and onion evenly across the top. Serve and enjoy.

Makes 6 servings.

Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing

1/2 c Mayonnaise
1/4 c Whole Milk
1/4 c Sour Cream
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
Pinch of Kosher salt
5 ounces Blue Cheese (such as Danish, Maytag or Gorgonzola Dolce), separated

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, sour cream, Worcestershire and salt. Using the back of a spoon, mash in about 3/4 of the blue cheese and stir. Add the remaining blue cheese and delicately fold it into the dressing, taking care not to break it apart. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.