by Carla Lalli Music, Scott DeSimon
The ultimate iceberg saladIn a world now ruled by kale salad, the iceberg wedge should be obsolete. Fortunately, this hunk of supercrisp iceberg lettuce cloaked in tangy blue-cheese dressing and topped with everything from bacon to avocado showed up this year at many of our favorite new spots-Jeffrey's in Austin, Parka in Minneapolis, Chez Sardine in New York. And why not? There's no subtext with the wedge (none of that "I'm healthy!"). Its only goal is to please. And in the end, isn't that what we want from our food?
We think our wedge salad recipe is the ultimate iteration (see below), but we're not opposed to innovation-like these embellishments and swaps. -C.L.M.
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Cut 4 oz. slab bacon into 1″-thick pieces and cook in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, until crisp, 5-7 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Whisk 1/2 finely chopped small shallot, 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives, and 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar in a small bowl; fold in 1/2 cup crumbled mild blue cheese. Adjust consistency with sour cream or buttermilk, if needed. Season dressing generously with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and more vinegar, if needed. Cut 1 small head of iceberg lettuce into 4 wedges; place on plates and spoon dressing over. Top with bacon, 1/4 thinly sliced small red onion, and more crumbled blue cheese and chopped chives.
Truth: Croutons are never a bad idea. Toss torn bread with olive oil and bake at 375° until golden.
2. Dried Cranberries
We love the tart, chewy fruit against the snappy lettuce.
3. Diced Avocado
A little fatty richness and pretty color make it a winning addition.
4. Fresh Tarragon
This herb's delicate anise flavor complements almost any green salad.
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5. Spanish Chorizo
Cut into pieces and used in place of bacon, it brings a smoky spiciness into the mix.
6. Egg Mimosa
Push hard-boiled eggs through a mesh sieve for a fluffy texture.
7. Toasted Almonds
Chopped nuts deliver crunch-and are so good with blue cheese.
8. Fried Shallots
Thinly sliced and cooked in neutral oil until crisp, they add a sweet, oniony flavor and great texture.
9. Sliced Scallion
Mirrors the bite of the chives in the dressing-but sharper.
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