Grilled Bok Choy Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
I saw a recipe for Grilled Bok Choy Wedge Salad in the new Cooking Light magazine and, more than any other recipe in the issue this month, it begged me to make it right away. It was a “staff fav” and I can see why because anything smothered in blue cheese dressing is definitely a “fam fav” around here. In fact, I had Wedge Salad on my list of things to make sometime soon, and there it was in a (somewhat) healthier form!
The Wedge is a classic steakhouse salad, basically a large wedge-shaped chunk of ice-burg lettuce, smothered in blue cheese dressing and sprinkled with crispy bacon, a couple of wedges of tomatoes and sometimes, crispy buttery croutons. If you ask me, the ice-burg is just a vehicle for eating a pile of blue cheese and bacon, throw in a couple tomatoes. Still, I have found that a large platter of these is perfect for serving a group because they are portioned perfectly, with all the toppings and dressing for guests to easily help themselves, and it’s a crowd pleaser. Plus, homemade blue cheese dressing can elevate lowly ice-burg lettuce to star status.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this Grilled Bok Choy Wedge Salad is the exotic love child of the Classic Wedge and the younger, sexier Grilled Caesar. I mean, you cannot deny the striking resemblance. Amiright?
For my version of this salad, I topped grilled organic bok choy with multi-colored local tomatoes, crispy crumbled bacon, olive oil grilled croutons, and homemade blue cheese dressing. In full disclosure, I will warn you that the grilled local organic bok choy definitely required a steak knife to cut. But in my opinion, it was entirely worth it because the flavor was fantastic. If you’re looking for something that requires less work to eat, I would suggest using romaine, or maybe the grocery store variety of bok choy is easier to cut.
Below are the ingredients needed for this recipe. On the left are the ingredients for my favorite blue cheese dressing which I’ve adapted from Sheila Lukins’ USA Cookbook . (An oldie but GOOOODIE. Out of print but available used here.) My version uses yogurt and buttermilk because it’s healthier and more pour-able than the sour cream/mayo version. I’ve also used scallions today because I had some, but you could use any kind of finely chopped or grated onion/garlic combo. This is a creamy blue cheese from my local Italian market but the best, and I mean THE BEST blue cheese for making dressing is Maytag. It’s the absolutely creamiest, most delicious domestic blue cheese I’ve ever had and it’s not easy to find, so if you happen to find it….get me some, too. (I just found out it’s actually back-ordered!! Back-ordered. Now I know why it’s been hard to find. Well, if you want to get me some for Christmas, get in line here.)
You just mix all dressing ingredients together and season to your taste with some salt, pepper and a dash or two of hot sauce if you like. I cook my bacon in the oven on a foil lined cookie sheet, at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning one time after about 15 min. After it cools, crumble it and hide it really well, or anyone who comes near the kitchen will eat it while you are out at the grill. All that is left to do is lightly grill the bok choy and bread slices, cut into croutons and pile it all onto a platter.
Well, I hope you’re hungry. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere so let’s bok some choy:
- 2 Bok Choy heads, halved lengthwise
- 2 thick slices of italian or sourdough bread
- Olive oil spray
- Handful of assorted grape or cherry tomatoes
- 2-4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 scallions, white and light green parts, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- dash hot pepper sauce
- salt, pepper to taste
- Preheat grill to high. Coat bok choy and bread with olive oil spray.
- Grill bok choy and bread, 2 minutes per side until lightly marked by grill and bread is toasted.
- Arrange bok choy on platter, cut side up. Top evenly with tomatoes, bacon, cut or torn bread croutons and dressing.
- Stir together yogurt, buttermilk, blue cheese, vinegar, onion, and parsley in a bowl.
- Season to taste with hot sauce, salt and pepper.
- This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups of dressing, which is more than two servings. Leftovers can be kept in an air-tight container in the refridgerator for about a week.