Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Iceberg Lettuce Wedges with Thousand Island Dressing

You can purchase vegan thousand island dressing from Organicville, but it's super simple to whip up a batch at home too. I drizzled the dressing over iceberg lettuce wedges tonight for a variation on this rather retro salad. It seems I'm actually in-step with culinary history; according to the Food Timeline, the iceberg wedge salad was a "ubiquitous menu entry of the 1950s and 1960s" and then lost its place in the 70s to "more interesting salads." Lately however - have we all been watching too much Mad Men perhaps? - the wedge salad has made a bit of a comeback.

  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons bottled sweet pickle relish*
  • 2 tablespoons bottled chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
1. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, water, relish, chili sauce, ketchup, mustard, and black pepper.

2. Cut the lettuce head into 6 wedges, and place 1 wedge on each of 6 plates. 

3. Drizzle each serving with about 1/4 cup dressing.

A few notes on ingredients: I recommend a light vegan mayo (like reduced-fat Vegenaise) to keep the salad healthier overall. I also recommend using filtered water, since it is never boiled in this recipe. Here's a line up of the rest of my vegan condiments for the dressing:

If you want to continue with the retro theme, try serving with the vegan breaded shrimp from Sophie's Kitchen.

*I actually took a gamble with the sweet pickle relish tonight. Whole Foods 365 brand is organic - including organic (non bone-char) sugar - but contained ever-suspicious "natural flavors." However, I have a soft spot for Whole Foods and trust the company, and since there was no allergen warning for dairy or shellfish, I went out on a limb and assumed the flavors were vegan and I could make the salad tonight. I almost never use an ingredient before receiving a confirmation on the source of natural flavors, so do hope I'm right on this one! I have an inquiry into the company to confirm my hunch, so stay tuned for the answer.

Update: I am pleased to report this response from Whole Foods: "Thank you for contacting us.  The natural flavors in our sweet relish are all vegetable in nature." Thank you Whole Foods!

Nutrition Info:
6 servings (1 lettuce wedge, 1/4 cup dressing), Calories 97

Tasting Notes:
Thousand Island dressing was my favorite in high school (vegetarian, not yet vegan), and one bite of this salad transported me back. A delight for the tastebuds. I'll confess I was always confounded as to what actually went into Thousand Island, never able to discern the components. Now knowing that there was Dijon, relish, and chili sauce, I was easily able to distinguish all three. This salad was way more dressed than usual for me, so felt like an indulgence even though light.


Vegan extra:
A little side note tonight on some of the wines I've been enjoying this winter. The colder the weather, the more I crave full-bodied wines, the liquid equivalent of winter comfort food. Some great vegan ones to try are the zinfandel from Grisole vineyards:

the syrah from Buenas Ondes:

and the merlot from Badger Mountain:

A rich chardonnay makes a good winter white; Buenas Ondes is a good one to try.  These wines are all certified vegan and available from The Organic Wine Company.

No comments:

Post a Comment