Wedge Salad with Sheep’s Milk Cheese, Anchovy Breadcrumbs, and Tarragon Vinaigrette

Here’s my take on the classic wedge salad: creamy french feta, anchovy-almond breadcrumbs, and tangy tarragon vinaigrette top perfect slices of crisp lettuce.  

The Magic of French Feta

French feta is often produced with 100% sheep’s milk. It’s milder and creamier than it’s Greek and Bulgarian cousins, and often has a texture that more closely resembles goat cheese. If you can’t find sheep’s milk feta, you can certainly replace it with another feta of your choosing. However, make sure to always buy feta in blocks, not pre crumbled. Pre-crumbled cheese often contains some kind of anti-caking agent, which ruins the creamy texture. Often enough, that pre-crumbled stuff is nowhere near the quality or freshness of the blocked variety. 

A Note on Iceberg and Other Lettuces

Iceberg gets a reputation for being watery and flavorless, and I actually disagree. It’s sweet and tender, and doesn’t overshadow the other flavors of your dish. While it’s not packed with nutrients and flavor like arugula or spinach, it does truly excel in texture. That perfect tender crunch is impossible to imitate with other lettuces. For a classic wedge salad, you really want nothing else.  

However, If you are truly anti-iceberg, you can certainly use romaine hearts split in half, or eschew the wedge salad concept all together and simply toss these same ingredients with some tender summer little gems.

 


Wedge Salad with Sheep’s Milk Cheese, Anchovy Breadcrumbs, and Tarragon Vinaigrette

Recipe by Molly MossCourse: SaladsDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

wedges
Total time

20

minutes

Here’s my take on the classic wedge salad: creamy french feta, anchovy-almond breadcrumbs, and tangy tarragon vinaigrette top perfect slices of crisp lettuce.  

Ingredients

  • For the anchovy breadcrumb crumble
  • 3-4 oil packed anchovies

  • 1 tbsp oil from the anchovy jar

  • ⅓ cup panko

  • 2 tbsp finely minced almonds

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • For the tarragon vinaigrette
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced

  • ½ tsp honey

  • 1 tsp warm water

  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard

  • 1 tbsp finely minced tarragon

  • Juice of 1 small lemon

  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil

  • Lots of freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

  • **Assembly
  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce

  • Minced chives

  • French sheep’s milk feta cheese (look for french feta in a block, not pre crumbled)

  • 1 radish, thinly sliced

Directions

  • For the anchovy breadcrumb crumble
  • Heat a small pan over medium low heat. Add the anchovies and use a spoon to gently break them up in the pan.
  • Add the breadcrumbs along with 1 tbsp of oil from the anchovy jar and increase the heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring regularly, until the breadcrumbs are toasted and brown, but not burnt. When the breadcrumbs are about half way done, (2 or so minutes in), add the nuts, and continue to stir until everything is toasted.
  • Add the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • For the tarragon vinaigrette
  • Place the minced shallot and honey in a bowl and pour over the warm water. Season generously with salt. Let sit 2 minutes.
  • Add the dijon, tarragon, and lemon juice, and stir to combine thoroughly.
  • Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking the rest of the ingredients constantly. Taste and add salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.
  • Assembly
  • Remove the wilted outer leaves from the iceberg lettuce and toss. Cut the lettuce in half once lengthwise, then cut each half again in half, revealing 4 wedges. Remove the tough stem from any pieces.
  • Use your fingers to gently massage each wedge, so that the lettuce isn’t too tight. You want to keep the wedge intact, while still opening up some of the leaves so that the vinaigrette can penetrate.
  • Use your hands to crumble the block of feta cheese into smaller pieces. french feta
  • Top each wedge with the tarragon dressing, a generous helping of feta, the anchovy breadcrumbs, chopped chives, and thinly sliced radishes.wede salad
  • Serve with a fork and knife.
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