Saturday, February 11, 2012

Italian Wedge Salad, and How Wedge Salads Will Save Me

(Photo courtesy of Tastebook)

The last time we went out to eat with my husband's family, we dined at the Matchbox Vintage Pizza and Bistro in Rockville, MD where I ate what was quite possibly the best salad I've ever tasted. I wish I had an inside connection so that I could tell you exactly how to make that Grilled Romaine and Hanger Steak Salad. Alas, I cannot. But I can tell you about how it inspired me and hope that that's good enough, for now. It was not my first time eating a wedge salad, but it was the first time eating one that made me a true fan of them. One reason is because my brother-in-law made a comment about how wedge salads are kind of a lazy way out of making a "real" salad. My first inclination was to be very defensive of the masterpiece I was consuming (with embarrassing speed and focus,) but then a bell went off as I remembered how I hate making salads. Drying off every single leaf... Aaargh! I know that there are a lot of you out there who also hate making salads, but love eating them. Why have I never made wedge salads at home before, I thought to myself. And then I noticed how much easier it was to eat a wedge salad in a tidy fashion. (See the "About" page for a little more history on this inexplicable problem area in my life.) Are wedge salads the answer to my salad making & eating woes? I think so, my friends.

So, in honor of the Grilled Romaine and Hanger Salad, and in honor of my mother who I've embarrassed so many times over the years with my inability to judge the amount of salad my mouth can hold at one time, I give you the Italian Wedge Salad by Johnny Carino. This is a bit of a non-recipe recipe, which I kind of like because then I feel unrestrained and can add as many diced tomatoes as I want. :)

Italian Wedge Salad by Johnny Carino
Makes 1 serving

1/4 of a wedge of crisp iceberg lettuce
Top with:
bacon crumbles
candied pecans
Gorgonzola cheese
diced Granny Smith apples
diced roma tomatoes
Top salad with ranch dressing

How to make Candied Pecans: In a sauce pan on high heat pour 1/4 cup of sugar and one full bag of chopped pecans together, stir constantly. You will see the sugar caramelize. Remove from heat. These burn easily so watch them carefully.


  1. HAHA! That made me laugh. Thanks for the idea to make this salad. I'm with you, hate to make salads but love to eat them. This way to make a salad never occurred to me before, but now it's on my to do list :)

    1. Working on my salad skills with you in mind... :) xoxo

  2. I too love Matchbox! I have to make salads fun and interesting otherwise J won't eat them will definitely try this one!

    1. I didn't realize they weren't just in our area! I should have done more than a quick search, I guess. I'm dying to go back there. *drool* Let us know how the salad turned out!

  3. Sorry, what am I missing? You talk about the "Grilled Romaine and Hanger Salad" then give the recipe for "Italian Wedge Salad by Johnny Carino."

    I ask because the grilled romaine sounds really good. The wedge concept is so funny to me because when I was first married in 1967 all we knew and could get in the supermarket was iceberg. Before long, that was very un-cool and romaine or red-leaf was the thing.

    I found your site because I googled "how to eat a wedge salad." Do you cut it all up at once and mix it, or eat it in segments? :-) A

    1. Artifacts, I soooo wish that I could give you the Grilled Romaine and Hanger Salad recipe. I tried to smooth-talk the server at Matchbox into giving me the recipe or even just the list of ingredients, but, obviously, I was denied. Apparently they get asked for it all the time. I mentioned it only to explain the inspiration for offering a wedge salad recipe.
      How does one eat a wedge salad? Honestly, I have no idea if there's a proper way. But I eat mine the same way I would a chicken breast or steak, slicing off one bite at a time.
      Thanks for visiting!