A Simple Wedge Salad

6 March 2024 Vegetarian Friendly
This is your emergency salad solution. Something between a simple Caesar and a classic wedge (minus the iceberg) this not only comes together in no time with fridge and cupboard staples it uses up your leftovers.

Obsessed with wasting nothing, this salad was born out of the need to use up ends of bread and showcase my yoghurt pickle dressing – the one I make with the dregs of the yoghurt pot and the pickle juice liquid gold.

I’ve had a long standing love affair with a wedge mainly (much to my mother’s chagrin) I love to eat a salad with my hands. Casual dining at its best. And the breadcrumbs on here almost make this a sandwich, right?

Feel free as usual to use this as a jumping off point

Note: I am including the breadcrumbs here but also sharing them in a separate recipe on the site because honestly they are packed with flavour and a fantastic solution for using up your leftover bits of bread and are my topping of choice for just about every salad, vegetable, pasta or fish. They just give all the important crunch and punch to finish a dish. Don’t reserve them only for this salad.

Feel free to beef up the salad with a jammy egg or two or some sliced avocado. Really I like to keep this one simple…….

For the Salad

  • 2 gem heart lettuces, quartered through the root
  • a good sprinkling of salt
  • yoghurt pickle dressing (below)
  • zesty breadcrumbs (below)
  • a good grating of parmesan or pecorino (approx 20g)
    • a sprinkling of chopped chives (for green if you have some to hand)

Umami Breadcrumbs

  • 150g breadcrumbs from 2 slices of stale sourdough with crusts removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or butter)
  • 1 tin (approximately 12) anchovies
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed with a good pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper or 1/2 tsp chili flakes (or half a sliced fresh red chili)
  • zest of one lemon
  • small bunch of parsley (and or tarragon, chives), finely chopped

Yoghurt Pickle Dressing

  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp pickle juice from the bottom of your favourite pickle jar

Start by making the breadcrumbs. Blitz the bread in a food processor until they are fine but still have a little texture (mine are never completely uniform, probably because I’m impatient).

Place a medium sized saucepan on the heat and add the oil (or butter). Tip in the anchovies and let them melt into the oil, stirring to help them along. Add the crushed garlic and Aleppo or chili alternative and stir everything together, making sure they do not burn.

Tip in the breadcrumbs and toast them in the umami oil until they are golden and crunchy. Take off the heat and add chopped parsley and lemon zest. Allow to cool. These can be make in advance and will keep for 2 days in a sealed container.

To make the dressing, simply combine the yoghurt and pickle juice and shake or whisk together, ready to use. This can also be made in advance and easily scaled up (two parts yoghurt, one part pickle juice).

Now for the simplest bit. Assemble the salad: Lay the gem heart wedges on a platter, cut side up. Drizzle with dressing, making sure it dribbles into all the creases of the leaves. Top with a healthy sprinkling of breadcrumbs (I lavish them on top, keeping a little leftover for snacking or for use tomorrow), a little grated parmesan and some chives.

Have you made this dish?

Let me know what you think, share your efforts and any tweaks you made to the recipe on Instagram, don’t forget to tag #BuildingFeasts or email me on info@buildingfeasts.com