When it comes to creating dishes for this blog, I come up with most of the recipe ideas months in advance and then do my best to shoot them a few weeks before they’re to be published. These are the recipes I tell myself that I absolutely must make in a given season–a healthy burger recipe in the summer, for example, or a comforting stew in the fall. (It being mid August already, I almost missed the boat on my summer burger recipe, but that’s neither here nor there!)
Other times a recipe will hit me out of nowhere and I know I just have to make it for the blog. Usually this happens near the end of the week when the fridge contains a mishmash of different things that don’t instantly go together in your mind. That’s exactly how this slightly unconventional but oh-so-right wedge salad recipe came to be.
Iceberg admittedly isn’t the most nutritionally dense lettuce in the world, but I’ve always liked it because of its sharp crunch. I happened to have a head of it in the fridge, along with some cooked corn on the cob from the night before, a handful of cherry tomatoes from the garden and a steady supply of fresh basil (also from the garden). It only made sense to combine these fresh, summery ingredients together, and iceberg wedges seemed like the perfect vehicle.
As for the chickpeas, I always make sure my salads have some form of protein in them, and they seemed like a great pairing with the other ingredients. Ditto for the feta cheese – gotta love that hit of saltiness!
The traditional–I’d even go so far as to call it “vintage”–wedge salad recipe is actually a pretty heavy dish when made in the classic way. The recipe calls for a generous amount of thick cream-based dressing, crumbled blue cheese and bacon. Tasty? Sure. Healthy enough to call a salad? Maybe not.
This wedge salad recipe is much healthier than the classic due to the use of extra-virgin olive oil (rich in healthy fats) and vinegar instead of a creamy dressing (high in bad fats), and protein- and fibre-packed chickpeas instead of bacon. The tomatoes, corn and basil add essential nutrients and active plant compounds that promote overall good health. What’s not to love?
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 to 6 wedges
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- Kernels from 1 large ear of corn, cooked (or ~1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed)
- 4 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Arrange the lettuce wedges on a large serving platter.
- In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, tomatoes, corn and feta; drizzle with the oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.
- Pour the chickpea mixture over the lettuce wedges. Drizzle with more olive oil, if desired, and serve immediately.