Classic Wedge Salad

A wedge salad is always a crowd pleaser and becomes a special-occasion dish when paired with great wine. While a terrific light lunch on its own, you can also serve in traditional steakhouse fashion as an appetizer before a hearty steak or roast beef entrée. For best pairing, pour yourself a glass of oak-aged Verdejo to complement the creamy dressing and savory bacon.

Serves 4

4 thick-cut bacon slices, cut crosswise into ½” thick pieces
½ red onion, sliced as thinly as possible
1 small head iceberg lettuce, cored, cut into four wedges
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
16 cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Blue cheese dressing (recipe below)

In a medium pan over medium-high heat fry bacon until cooked through and crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside until ready to serve.

Rinse onion in cold water, then soak in a small bowl of ice water until ready to serve. Drain and pat dry just before using.Place wedges on serving plates, cut side up. Divide dressing evenly among each salad drizzling on over top, then divide onion, almonds, and bacon among wedges. Arrange tomatoes around the base of each. Serve immediately.

Blue Cheese Dressing

3 ounces good-quality blue cheese
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup whole milk
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place cheese in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, to make it easier to grate. In the meantime, in a large bowl whisk sour cream, mayonnaise and milk until smooth. Add in vinegar, sugar, and pepper. Grate cheese into dressing a little at a time, mixing after each addition to avoid clumps. When all cheese has been added, add salt to taste (you may need none, depending on saltiness of cheese). Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, and up to 3 days.

WINE PAIRING: The creamy intensity of the salad dressing—not to mention the bacon—calls for a richer, oak-aged Verdejo like Bodegas Matarromera Verdejo Fermentado en Barrica, Bodegas Naia “Naiades” 2014 or Bodegas Shaya Habis 2017.

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