I’m usually not a fan of iceberg lettuce — it’s basically crunchy water. But, I am a fan of a wedge salad layered in creamy blue cheese dressing topped with crispy bacon! So while I’ve grilled all types of lettuces (including grilled romaine, for which I’ve gained notoriety with my fans, friends, and family) I decided I needed to try to grill an iceberg wedge salad because everything is better with a little smoke and char from the grill.
And since we are putting in a pool in our backyard, it’s been one gigantic construction zone. Because of this, my grills have been locked up for safekeeping and I’ve been turning to my smaller, less expensive tailgating grills a lot lately. But as you can see from this photo as I grilled my iceberg wedge lettuce, you can still achieve awesome results even with a $30 Weber Smokey Joe!
Who needs a big rig for grilling perfection, right?
Something that’s always been important to me as I cook, too, is being very careful about the ingredients I choose. Like I mentioned, one of the icings on the cake of this iceberg wedge salad is crunchy, thick slices of bacon. However, I make a point to purchase nitrate-free bacon. Nitrates and MSG are preservatives and are not good for you!
If you want to hear more about that, I go into this a little more in my post on How to Smoke a “Green” aka Nitrate-Free Ham.
Craziness in the back yard, or, “What to Expect when Building a Pool:”
- 1 head of iceberg
- 6 strips of bacon (I always look for natural, nitrate-free bacon. Nitrates and MSG are preservatives- not good for you!)
- 6 plum or campari tomatoes sliced in half. Smaller tomatoes have more surface to get flavor from the grill
For the dressing:
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup blue cheese
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 heaping tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. coarsely ground pepper
- 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. water (or more if you want your dressing a little runnier)
- Sea salt or sel gris, to taste
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a bowl, using a fork to break up the chunks of blue cheese, until somewhat uniform in consistency (there will be lumps—duh, this is blue cheese). Refrigerate the dressing until ready to move.
- Go ahead and microwave your bacon for 3 minutes or until crispy so it will be ready to crumble on your lettuce when pulled off the grill.
- Preheat your grill for medium direct heat, about 350 degrees. Oil the grill grates so your ingredients don’t stick.
- Cut your iceberg wedge in half (you will then cut again when serving, but it it is best to keep in halves for grilling), along with your tomatoes.
- Grill the iceberg, inside part down, for about five minutes, until nice char marks have formed.
- Grill your tomatoes on all sides to get as much flavor from the grill as possible. Once you’ve obtained nice char marks, remove from the grill and let cool for a few tomatoes.
- Slice the iceberg halves again and you will end up with four wedges. Divide among four plates and then add your tomatoes.
- Spoon your dressing generously over the lettuce.
- Now, for the grand finale: Crumble your bacon slices and divide among your plates. This makes for a beautiful presentation and is fun way to start an outdoor dinner party!
Pro tip: This is also great as an entrée. Use an iceberg halve and add more bacon! MMM… bacon!