Side for Steaks: Build-Your-Own Wedge Salad

If there’s one consistently reliable source for advice about life, it’s bumper stickers.

Okay maybe not, but there is one bumper sticker that I keep thinking about.

It’s in the shape of a paw print, and inside, it says: “Who rescued who?”

Who rescued who.

It reminds me of what my mom always says about raising children: “Yes, they require a lot of work, but they give so much back.”

And of what people often say about volunteering: “Yes, it takes time, but you get so much back.”

It’s similar to how I think about dinner parties: Sure, they require a little bit of effort, but they’re always worth it.

This was certainly true last weekend, when we had our friends Shannon and Ben and their kids over for dinner. Yes, it did take some time to prepare the meal, but in return, I got to experience so many wonderful things . . .

. . . like having the house smell like buttery, oniony, mushroomy, bacony goodness all afternoon;


. . . and getting to make cookies (and a HUGE mess a.k.a memories) with Jack;


. . . and having an opportunity to come up with a new recipe (the build-your-own-wedge-salad bar, see below);

Iceberg Wedge Salad

. . . and getting to enjoy a big steak dinner with friends and family.


So back to the bumper sticker: Who rescued who? Dear readers and friends, you rescue me every time you enjoy my cooking. For that, I thank you.

Iceberg Wedge Salad

Build-Your-Own-Wedge Salad 

Serves 6

Ah, the wedge salad. Such a perfect side for steaks . . . or whatever you happen to throw on the grill this summer. As far as presentation, I’m a big fan of “build your own” anything because it’s an easy way to please picky eaters. (It’s also easier for the host!) And don’t feel limited by my list of suggested toppings! What about dried cranberries? Or sliced strawberries? Or maybe a second choice of dressing? Just have fun with it. Your guests will, too. Promise.


1 head iceberg lettuce

1 bottle blue cheese dressing

Toppings (as many as you wish):

15-20 cherry tomatoes, halved

6-8 pieces cooked bacon, chopped

1 cup blue cheese crumbles

1 cup chopped candied pecans

2 shallots, sliced into thin rings


Peel off the first few layers of the iceberg lettuce leaves. Discard the outer leaves. Slice the head of lettuce in half. Cut out the core. Then slice each half into thirds.


Set the wedges on a large cutting board or platter.


Place the toppings into individual bowls.


Set the bowls and the bottle of dressing near the lettuce.

Invite your guests to build their own wedge!

Iceberg Wedge Salad

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