Wedge Salad with Crispy Chorizo
A crisp wedge salad with a creamy buttermilk dressing and blue cheese and tomatoes is a delicious classic that usually comes topped with crumbled bacon. This is a dish you’ll find on the menu at most steak houses across America and one that I know many of my friends enjoy, too. While I can’t argue with a classic I thought that by adding a smoky element of chorizo sausage, instead of the bacon, would be a great way to update this salad and give it an interesting twist. An International flare, if you will. A friend of mine recently told me that what she likes most about my recipes is the way I add something unique to the dish. I really took her compliment to heart and was touched that she noticed because typically that is how I create new recipes…by thinking of what I can do that’s different. And that was the basic idea behind this salad, too. Sure I realize that I’m not going wildly off-base here but I’m hoping you’ll think this small change, which gives this salad a whole different flavor profile, will work in your home, too. It’s fun to mix it up a bit and give your guests something to talk about.
I chose to use a pre-cooked Chorizo sausage because it was fast (the raw kind just takes a little longer) and also because the extra sausage could save well for another use. Plus, when sautéed in a pan it crisped up nicely. There are a lot of different brands of Chorizo out there so use what you love. They all tend to vary in heat but the brand I chose wasn’t spicy at all. I really like the Silva brand Spanish Chorizo because it’s all natural and doesn’t have nitrates or nitrites. Spanish style chorizo has paprika in it, a spice commonly used in Spanish cooking, and which gives the meat a smoky flavor that is divine.
As for the dressing – it too has a tiny twist. I made the traditional buttermilk dressing but I added fresh chives and parsley along with the blue cheese to the food processor and blended it all together which gave it a more herbal note. If you can make the dressing a day ahead and let it chill out in the fridge. It not only thickens up a bit but the flavors meld together better.
So fire up the grill this summer for a big juicy steak and serve this little gem of a salad for rave reviews.
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, cored
- 1 pint mini heirloom tomatoes, halved
- 6 oz pre-cooked chorizo (Silva brand recommended), chopped
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (Point Reyes recommended)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 shallot bulb, skin removed
- 1/4 cup chives, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup parsley, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup blue cheese (Point Reyes recommended)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Combine the shallot and garlic, parsley and chives in a food process and pulse to chop. Add in the buttermilk, mayo, sour cream, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Pulse to combine to desired consistency.
- Taste dressing and adjust seasoning if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use. Overnight is recommended.
- In a small skillet heat the olive oil and then cook the chorizo until crisp. Apporximately 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Take the quarter wedge of iceberg lettuce and cut it in half again length-wise. Place on each of the 4 plates and then stack on top to give it some height. Drizzle the dressing on top and around the plate.
- Top lettuce with the tomato halves, avocado, crumbled blue cheese, and chorizo. Salt and Pepper as desired and serve with remaining dressing on the side.