Recipe: Skinny Buttermilk Ranch & Crispy Bacon Wedge Salads
Thankfully, we’ve got warm weather again(ish!) From some of my colleagues I know that in true British style people are already starting to break out the barbecue, so I wanted to share an All-American inspired side that is equally as enjoyable with a steak done in a griddle pan/ a rack of ribs done in the oven, versus the same finished on the barbecue. It’s a salad that will suit everyone, a big hunk of juicy green, topped with a (skinny) homemade version of that favourite creamy American ranch dressing, crispy bacon bits and fresh chives.
While I’ve always thought wedge salads are really pretty (and the only sensible thing to do with an iceberg lettuce other than make an English pub style prawn cocktail), I’ve never had the chance to order one as they’re usually covered in a creamy blue cheese dressing, which I can’t eat. Ranch makes a delicious substitute – if you make extra you can use it on my Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Avocado Chopped Salad, and if you bookmark this recipe and pre-order a copy, I have a couple of other uses for it coming up in Student Eats, too.
This recipe will make four wedges, using half a lettuce, and feeding two to four of you as a light to slightly heavier side. As we’re a small family/ there is just me when I’m in London, I tend to just make two wedges, and set aside the rest of the dressing (it is harder to cut down because of the garlic) for other uses.
- 2 tbsp Light Mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp 0% Greek Yogurt
- 2 tbsp Buttermilk
- 1 Very Small Clove Garlic, peeled and crushed
- Small Handful Chives, chopped
- Sea Salt
- 1 Iceberg Lettuce
- 3 Rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
First, make the ranch dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, buttermilk, garlic, most of the chives and sea salt to taste. Add a little water to thin out the dressing enough so that you can just about drizzle it using a spoon, but it is still thick enough to hold its shape on said spoon. Cook the bacon in a dry frying pan until crispy, and leave to cool on a sheet of kitchen paper. Using scissors, cut the bacon into very small pieces.
Slice the hard base off of the lettuce (you don’t want the red bit that has been exposed to the air, but you do want to keep just enough to hold the wedges together), and remove any damaged outer leaves. Quarter the lettuce, and place the wedges cut side up. Drizzle with the dressing, sprinkle over the remaining chives and the bacon bits, and finish each piece with a touch of freshly ground black pepper.
A few more sides of this ilk that look summery but are also well suited to some of the warmer (but not quite there!) days we’ve been getting: Purple Cabbage Slaw with Cucumber and Dill, A Simple Potato Salad, Fattouch with Radishes and Sumac, and Giant (Israeli) Couscous with Pomegranate & Pistachios.