Bibb Wedges, Radicchio, Endive, and Blue Cheese Dressing

Like most people, I grew up on the classic iceberg wedge salad. I still think it’s one of the great side dishes, especially with a few new touches–like using more unusual and flavorful lettuces. I start with tender Bibb lettuce and add endive and radicchio for their crunchy texture and slightly bitter flavor. Prepare this in advance because the lettuce needs time to chill and crisp in the refrigerator.–Sara Foster

LC Inching Away from Iceberg Note

Remember those pale wedges of iceberg? The ones with the rust marks along the edges that were barely discernible beneath blobs of bottled blue cheese dressing? Yeah, us too. Not that this lovely little salad plate will remind you of it. Not at all.

Bibb Wedges, Radicchio, Endive, and Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 20 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • For the wedge salad
  • 1 head bibb lettuce

  • 1 head radicchio
  • 1 Belgian endive
  • 1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) crumbled blue cheese
  • For the blue cheese dressing
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, from a well-shaken carton
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • Make the wedge salad
  • 1. Cut the lettuce, radicchio, and endive into quarters through the stem ends, leaving the cores intact. Soak them in a large bowl of cold water to clean them thoroughly. Drain well and wrap the quarters, a few at a time, in paper towels to dry completely. Place the wrapped quarters in plastic bags and refrigerate for at least several hours or up to overnight to chill and crisp. Chill 4 salad plates in the refrigerator.
  • Make the blue cheese dressing
  • 2. Place the mayonnaise, blue cheese, buttermilk, and vinegar in a blender and pulse several times, until the dressing is partially pureed with some chunks of cheese remaining. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 3. To serve, remove the lettuce, radicchio, endive, and salad plates from the refrigerator. Cut the cores from the lettuce, radicchio, and endive wedges, leaving the leaves of the wedges intact; discard the cores. Place one lettuce wedge, one radicchio wedge, and one endive wedge on each plate. Drizzle the blue cheese dressing over the salad, top with the blue cheese, season with additional salt and pepper if desired, and serve chilled.
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Anna Scott

Dec 08, 2011

I agree with Sara Foster that this is one of the great side dishes! It would go well with everything from a grilled steak to a seafood dish to even a pasta dish. I loved the traditional wedge salad with blue cheese dressing, but I thought the addition of the bitter radicchio and endive were wonderful complements for the tangy blue cheese dressing. This was truly a delicious blue cheese dressing; the texture was just right — not too chunky and not too runny. I loved the tanginess the buttermilk and the vinegar added to it as well. Chilling the salad plates was a great suggestion! I think another beautiful presentation idea for this salad would be placing all of the different wedges on a large rectangular platter and drizzling the dressing all over the platter; making it a sort of family style, ‘serve yourself’ dish. Radishes would also be a nice addition for some color, and I think their peppery flavor would taste great with the dressing as well.

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Sofia Reino

Dec 08, 2011

Love the combination of these leafy types of lettuces. Their tart taste combines tremendously well with the sweet and salty dressing. Very easy to prepare and and a perfect starter for any dinner meal or just as is. The day after I just combined the rest of the salad with some roasted chicken breast and the dressing, and it was the perfect summer lunch.

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Linda Pacchiano

Dec 08, 2011

This is a great salad. It is very easy to prepare and the results are outstanding. The dressing is very tasty, and the combination of lettuces give it a very appealing appearance. My dressing turned out a bit thick for my taste, so I added a little extra buttermilk (about a tablespoon) to the blender and pulsed it a few more times. My tasters truly enjoyed the salad. I could have had another big serving of it and called it dinner on a warm summer night. Maybe a little crumbled bacon on top the next time? Serving-wise, I had enough lettuce and dressing to make eight plates, not four as stated in the recipe.

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Chiyo Ueyama

Dec 08, 2011

A great salad of sweet and tender Bibb lettuce and pleasantly bitter greens. The dressing is delicious with a slight tang from the sherry vinegar, and none of the strange aftertaste I find many bottled blue cheese dressings have (I think dried onion and/or garlic are the culprits). If you have a small kitchen and don’t have a blender ready on your counter top, I think you can make this dressing with a fork: just mash some of the blue cheese into the mayo and buttermilk first before blending — that’s how I would make it next time.

Testers Choice
Robert McCune

Dec 08, 2011

Two things make this recipe work so well. [1.] Keeping the lettuce, endive and radicchio in wedges and [ 2.] Chilling the salad and the plates. I would also make sure that the dressing is well chilled. I put the dressing in the freezer for a few minutes before serving. Next time, I think I will refrigerate the assembled salads for a short time before serving. While the salad made with iceberg lettuce is merely a vehicle for a good creamy dressing, this salad adds the element of a different texture with the Bibb lettuce. The crunch of the classic is still there, but the bitter flavor of the radicchio and endive add a new layer of taste in addition to the blue cheese. For blue cheese lovers, I think you could easily double the amount of cheese. I would also try to use the best buttermilk you can find. I used some from a local dairy and I think it made a huge difference in the dressing. This salad is great to serve with a really good steak and a baked potato.

Testers Choice
Virginia L.

Dec 08, 2011

This recipe is a great new take on an iceberg lettuce wedge with blue cheese dressing. The dressing recipe is perfect and easy to make with good-quality blue cheese crumbles from the grocery store. However, it might be even better with something like Maytag Blue Cheese. Be sure to serve the salad with a fork and a knife because the radicchio and endive are difficult to cut.


Comments
Comments
  1. Bob Joyce says:

    Great recipe, but, unfortunately, it is NOT gluten-free. Blue-veined cheeses are almost always cultured with penicillin that has been grown in bread. My celiac wife learned that the hard way, eating Wapiti blue cheese regularly for a month in New Zealand and loving it, only to discover the source of her constant distress later.

    • David Leite says:

      Hi, Bob. Before we post gluten-free recipes, we have them reviewed by our testers who are gluten intolerant to get a consensus as to the whether any particular recipe might have some gluten lurking in it. This salad passed. We also checked with a Canadian scientific study, which used three different ELISA tests on several blue cheeses and all came up gluten-free. That being said, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t certain blue cheeses that interact with certain folks who have celiac disease. So thanks for your comment. I hope it gives pause to anyone who is gluten-intolerant.

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