Califonia Bountiful
Side Dish

The California wedge

Miniature romaine hearts add a pop of nutrition and a definite California flair to the classic wedge salad.

Kristen De Groot-Vaz
Farm Fresh Bowls, Visalia

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1 loaf ciabatta, cubed
1 1/2 tbsp. olive and avocado oil blend (see note)
1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese
1/3 cup half-and-half
1/3 cup torn basil leaves
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt

4 miniature romaine hearts (can substitute iceberg lettuce)
1 small red onion, diced (pickled, if you prefer)
2 red radishes, thinly sliced
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled


For croutons: In a bowl, toss ciabatta cubes with oil and salt. Spread onto a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool completely. Crush 1/3 cup of croutons in a plastic bag or pulse in a food processor. Set aside. Store leftovers for use in other salads in an airtight container for up to a week or place in freezer to store for several months.

For dressing: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute or until completely combined. If too thick, add more half-and-half. Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a week.

For salad: Cut romaine hearts on a slant. For each serving, place romaine wedge on a plate and top with onion, radish and bacon. Drizzle with dressing and garnish each with 1 tbsp. crushed croutons.

Note: De Groot-Vaz blends equal parts avocado oil and olive oil for use in her restaurants and at home, citing the blend's health benefits and lower smoke point, which helps reduce bitterness when cooking at high temperatures.

Serves 4

Photo: © 2019 Tomas Ovalle

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