My mom raised me to think of iceberg lettuce as the Fruity Pebbles of salad greens. That means cheap, trashy, and lacking any identifiable nutritional components. But what I came to know it as, via other kids’ birthday parties at Pizza Hut, was a vehicle for delicious delicious creamy salad dressings. These were also a no no in my house, probably because my mom never had to slather my lettuce in mayo to get me to eat it. But somehow Hidden Valley ranch dressing became a major player on my cravings list, with Gushers and Fruit by the Foot in first and second position.
Now that my tastes have evolved, I rarely will indulge in iceberg lettuce or creamy salad dressings. But for the Mad Men premiere, when I hosted Caitlyn and Matt for dinner at my apartment, wedge salad just seemed like the right thing to do.
I lightened up the classic blue cheese dressing by using Greek yogurt as the base and adding garlic, lemon juice, and dill to create that Hidden Valley taste without the MSG and artificial flavors. Of course, I’m not a complete health nut. So I made sure to add back in all the fat and trashiness that I removed from the dressing in the form of bacon. This salad still might not be the most nutritious meal around, but it’s delicious, and still a step up from my old Pizza Hut version.
To find out more about what my “balanced diet” is all about, click here.
6 strips bacon
1 head iceberg lettuce, outer leaves removed and cut into 8 wedges
1 cup creamy dill dressing (recipe follows)
1. In a large non-stick skillet, cook the bacon strips in an even layer over high heat until very brown and crispy on both sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. When cool enough to touch, crumble the bacon with your finger into ½-inch bits, or chop it on a cutting board.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves
8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove
1 small shallot
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. In a small food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse until finely chopped. Add ¼ cup of water and puree until the mixture is very smooth. Depending on the consistency you like your creamy dressing, add more water to thin it out.