Occasionally, I will lend my opinion to those looking for cooking help via the internet but more often than not I am confronted by trolls, sometimes even the person seeking the advice! I know…I know kinda goes with the territory.
So let’s say hypothetically a ambitious home cook is going to prepare beef tenderloin for guests and they ask for suggestions of a low carb option that generally goes well with said meat product. The first thing that comes to my mind would be “The Wedge”, the iceberg, blue cheese, tomato, creation which is a steakhouse staple. So you pass along your opinion as a good choice for pleasing a crowd and you can do variations depending on season and preference. A few moments latter you get a response of “that just isn’t complex enough for my guests”….complex enough? Blue-veined cheese might be in the top five of complex flavors on the palate! So today in defense of one of my all time favorites, I will do a version of the wedge without the wedge or tomatoes, because to be honest tomatoes aren’t up to their full potential this time of year, and switch up a few ingredients to make a salad that is complex enough for that special mathematician in your life….or skeptical hater.
You will need:
For the dressing:
3 oz. blue cheese, I used Rogue creamery smokey blue.
1/4 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. full fat plain yogurt
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. pepper
Blend all ingredients with a blender or food processor till well combined and creamy, just a few pulses. Place in the fridge until ready to use, makes about a cup so you may have left over, stays tasty for about a week.
1 head of butter lettuce, it’s one of my favorites lately, mild flavor, crunchy, and attractive as lettuce gets in my opinion.
2 radishes, sliced thin
1 carrot, sliced with a vegetable peeler into long strips
4 oz. pancetta
1 T. olive oil
2 T. chopped herbs of choice; flat leaf, cilantro, chervil if you classy.
In a skillet over medium heat, place oil, when shimmering add pancetta, cook time will depend on how thick it is sliced, mine was super thin I flipped after two minutes, make sure they are golden then place on a paper towel to drain.
Gently tear your lettuce and place on a platter, add a drizzle of dressing, add carrots, radishes, herbs, and pancetta. Serve!
The moral to the story is “Don’t knock it till you try it”. My mom said that to me many times as a kid and I may have rolled my eyes then, but she was right….well with cooking, probably doesn’t apply to playing chicken with locomotives or narcotics….but you get the idea. Happy salading!