September is winding down and Autumn will be official this Saturday. Time for a couple of days of “summer” barbecue. Long and slow cooked pork is always a treat. Offering it up with iceberg lettuce and a blue cheese dressing is most fitting tribute to the end of summer.
When you see it on a restaurant menu, it’s tough to move past the iconic Iceberg Wedge Salad. Brilliantly refreshing, the salad is the perfect gateway to a meaty meal. This salad and steak? A baked potato? The combination is absolute culinary satisfaction.
I’ve tried to find the origins of the salad, but failed to secure information on the web. It has a 1950s feel to it, so if one of you readers knows, please let us all know.
Even the composition of the salad is less than fixed. Iceberg, bacon, blue cheese and buttermilk/mayo dressing do form a standard core in most recipes. Sometimes tomatoes, if in season and meaty, are added. Celery appears in some recipes and — in newer versions — adornments like tarragon leaves are included.
From Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook comes this distinctly British take on the American classic. Most importantly, the bacon is gone. Replaced by pulled pork. Do you need a great pulled pork recipe? Just look back a few days here and you’ll find pulled pork using a Pitt Cue Co rub that is outstanding. Sautéed onions are included to raise the flavor tempo.
The Pitt Cue Co recipe below calls for a dressing made of buttermilk [no mayo] and blue cheese. Yesterday, I posted a recipe from this same Pitt Cue Co cookbook for anchovy dressing that is absolutely ideal for this salad. The anchovy, onions, croutons and pulled pork all stand elegantly alongside the crunchy iceberg lettuce.
In this version, this salad does not need some meat dish to follow. This salad is a meal unto itself. Beautiful, flavorful, and gratifying with every complex bite.
Yield: Serves 4
- 1 head of iceberg lettuce [fresh, no brown leaves]
- 1 bunch of scallions trimmed and sliced
- 1 ½ cups onion, trimmed and sliced into strands
- 3 slices of French bread
- Olive oil
- 4 ounces pulled pork shoulder
- 4 ounces blue cheese
- ½ cup buttermilk
Cut the iceberg lettuce into quarters and trip them into four small brick shapes. Cut the scallion into very fine rings and set aside. Slice the onions.
Butter each side of the bread and then toast. [We use our indoor, stovetop grill.] Break the toasted slices into crouton-sized pieces.
Heat a little oil in a pan over low heat, add the onions and cook stirring until they are lovely brown caramel color. Remove them from the heat and mix with the pulled pork [or, as we did, serve the pork and onions in two separate mounds on the side].
If making the blue cheese dressing from Pitt Cue Co, put the blue cheese and buttermilk into a small bowl and mix with a fork. Leaving the cheese slightly chunky. If you are using the anchovy dressing [posted yesterday], simply crumble the blue cheese over the salad as you compose it.
Place each iceberg brick on a plate. Dress liberally with the buttermilk blue cheese dressing or the anchovy dressing. Add the onions, pulled pork and croutons by scattering over the top or by arranging on the side. Scatter the chopped scallions over the top.
Sources: House Rub from Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook
Photo Information [Top]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/40th second at ISO-3200
Photo Information [Bottom]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/5 for 1/80th second at ISO-3200