Don’t you love encountering an improved version of a recipe or dish you’ve enjoyed forever? Like, over the weekend, Rob and I had a remarkable deep-dish pizza—remarkable because the pizza crust had a golden hue and delightful crunch from a generous amount of cornmeal in the dough. Now, I’m inspired to try to create a cornmeal-flecked pizza dough recipe (and yes, of course, I’ll share it here).
Recently, I hacked a better-than-basic version of the classic wedge salad. It was partly out of necessity: The cherry tomatoes I purchased were hard as rocks, and about as flavorful. (Note to self: Yet another example of why it’s perilous to buy produce that’s not in season.) To improve the salad and keep from dumping these pebbly tomatoes right in the trash, I decided to oven-roast them. In the same vein, I roasted the small shallot that went into the blue cheese dressing. And I roasted a couple slices of prosciutto to add a little salty-porky crunch to my wedge salad.
The result of this little bit of improvisation was a new-and-improved wedge salad recipe that I plan to make again and again. The roasted tomatoes were a fine substitute for all but the most pristine summer tomatoes. Roasting the shallot added a smoky taste to the blue cheese dressing. And I think crispy prosciutto is better than bacon on a salad any day of the week.
What about you? Have you adapted a basic recipe and discovered a new favorite? Share your comments!
wedge salad recipe with roasted tomatoes, crispy prosciutto and roasted shallot blue cheese dressing
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, cored and halved, ice cold
1 medium shallot, quartered
1 cup cherry or plum tomatoes, halved
2 slices prosciutto
1/3 cup mayonnaise (can use reduced-fat)
1/3 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt (can use reduced-fat)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
fresh chives, snipped
kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees; line a small rimmed baking sheet with foil. Place the tomatoes and shallot on the pan, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and season with a generous pinch of kosher salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and slightly charred. Set aside to cool (keep the tomatoes at room temperature; don't refrigerate before serving). On the same pan, bake the prosciutto slices until they're crispy, about 15–20 minutes. Set aside to cool, then crumble. Finely chop the shallot. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream and lemon juice. Stir in the chopped shallot and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the blue cheese. To serve, place a wedge of iceberg on 2 serving plates. Scatter the tomatoes around the lettuce; drizzle everything with some of the dressing. Scatter the freshly snipped chives and crumbled crispy prosciutto over the salads; season liberally with freshly cracked pepper.