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Grilled BLT Wedge Salad

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Bread who?

Grilled iceberg wedges topped with creamy black pepper dressing, bacon, cherry tomatoes, and chives on a white platter.

Summer eating is all about grill-outs, abundant bright salads, and the perfect BLT—and this salad hits on all three perfectly. Lightly charred iceberg wedges are drizzled with homemade black peppercorn dressing and showered with crispy bacon, tomatoes, and chives for a spin on the classic BLT that will leave you wondering why bread was ever needed to begin with.

Iceberg wedges grilling on a grill pan.

Grilling iceberg lettuce wedges may seem counter-intuitive—they’re super watery! Won’t they just fall apart?—but I promise it’s an absolute revelation. The grill brings a great smoky char that pairs perfectly with the crisp crunch of the iceberg. Add a rich, creamy dressing to round it out, and you’re well on the way to an irresistibly delicious salad.


Beyond the char of the grill and crunch of the lettuce, this salad is all about the variety of textures and flavors that come from the toppings. The sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes. The salty, crispy bacon shards. The smooth, creamy dressing that drapes itself over everything. Each element is integral to the success of the salad, so spring for the pricier cherry tomatoes rather than trying to get away with grape, and take the extra time to let the bacon fat render slowly over medium heat to achieve optimal crispness. And grind your own black pepper fresh. It’s worth it.


A grilled iceberg wedge topped with creamy black pepper dressing, bacon, cherry tomatoes, and chives on a white plate.

Iceberg haters beware: you’re about to meet the salad that will change your mind. Between the char of the grill, the crispy bacon, and that luscious dressing, you’ll find yourself making this salad on repeat all summer long.


Enjoy!

 

Grilled BLT Wedge Salad

(Serves 4)


Grilled iceberg wedges topped with creamy black pepper dressing, bacon, cherry tomatoes, and chives on a white platter.

For the creamy black peppercorn dressing:


1 garlic clove, grated

½ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt

1 tbsp. lemon juice

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

½ tsp. freshly cracked black pepper

1-2 tbsp. whole milk


For the salad:


4 oz. bacon (3-4 strips), cut into ½ inch pieces

1 head iceberg lettuce

1 tbsp. neutral oil, plus additional for grill

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 c. (about 8) cherry tomatoes

2 tbsp. finely chopped chives


Special equipment: grill or grill pan


Method


Creamy black peppercorn dressing in a blue bowl beside a plate of crispy bacon bits and a spoon.

For the dressing:


In a medium bowl, stir together garlic, salt, and lemon juice. Let sit 5 minutes.


Add mayo, sour cream, and black pepper to lemon juice mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in 1 tablespoon milk, then continue to add milk in 1 teaspoon increments, until dressing is a thick, pourable consistency. Set dressing aside.


For the salad:


Arrange bacon in a large metal pan and set over medium heat. Cook until crisp and golden-brown, stirring occasionally, 6-8 minutes. Remove to a plate and cool.


Meanwhile, heat a grill or a large grill pan over medium-high heat; if using a grill pan, brush lightly with oil. Cut lettuce in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half again through the core to yield four wedges. Rub cut edges of wedges with 1 teaspoon neutral oil and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.


Arrange iceberg wedges on preheated grill and cook until charred on one side, 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook until charred on the other side, 2-3 minutes more. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.


Quarter cherry tomatoes and season with kosher salt to taste.


Arrange cooled iceberg wedges on a platter. Drizzle with black peppercorn dressing and sprinkle with cherry tomatoes, crispy bacon, and chives. Serve immediately.


Grilled iceberg wedges topped with creamy black pepper dressing, bacon, cherry tomatoes, and chives on a white platter.

Originally posted June 23, 2023.

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