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Romaine Wedge Salad is a modern update combining two retro recipes into one easy and impressive side dish. Hot bacon dressing, jazzed up with real maple syrup instead of refined sugar, is drizzled over a wedge salad. Only this one uses Romaine lettuce instead of iceberg. It’s a combination of two vintage dishes, and it is absolutely delicious!
Is that nostalgia in the air? Or do I just smell…
It’s time for some Retro Recipes for #SundaySupper. You know, those recipes that bring us back to mom’s or grandma’s kitchen, or just remind us of a time gone by. This week we are sharing our favorites, either made as we remember them, for the sake of nostalgia and sentimentality, or remixing them to update them to be more modern, whether it is taste, ingredient availability, or healthy and nutrition considerations.
I sort of remixed two recipes in one – the classic lettuce wedge salad, and an old fashioned Pennsylvania Dutch Hot Bacon Dressing.
While not “bad” for you, I think we all know that iceberg lettuce is pretty much void of any nutritional value. Not only for the health benefits, but also for the flavor, I do prefer darker leafys, like romaine, baby spinach, arugula, or mixed greens. There are two places where I will consciously make the choice to get a wedge of iceberg. One is a restaurant near my mom’s, Irish Eyes, in Lewes, DE, where they load up the wedge with blue cheese, bacon, and tomatoes. I usually opt for the blue cheese dressing over their recommended Ranch (since I swear I am one of the few Americans who hates Ranch dressing). This is my meal, it is so huge and tasty!
The other is a great local pub, Tumulty’s, in New Brunswick, NJ with amazing burgers. I have been going there since I was a kid, and actually went for a burger when I was in labor with The Bug (talk about nostalgia!). Their house salad is a plain old wedge, but served with one of their delicious homemade dressings. I usually opt for their pungent honey mustard, or creamy and tangy blue cheese.
Hot Bacon Dressing was first introduced to me in the form of a jar of gloppy stuff from my mother-in-law’s fridge.
It was warmed in the microwave and served over iceberg lettuce. But then I was digging in a box of recipes she had given to The Hubby years ago, and found a recipe for Pennsylvania Dutch Hot Bacon Dressing scrawled on a scrap of paper. I use the term “recipe” loosely, because it was basically a list of ingredients and some vague instructions. So one day, I decided to wing it, and the dressing, in its “original” form, turned out delicious! It is definitely a favorite of The Hubby.
So how did I remix these two classics? Instead of a quarter of a head of iceberg, I gave you half of a romaine heart with some halved grape tomatoes. The dressing is made gluten free by using cornstarch instead of flour, and made without refined sugar, by using super-flavorful real maple syrup. A leaner center cut bacon is also used, though I have made the original recipe with turkey bacon in the past, and have been quite pleased with the results. We also like a little more tang, so I upped the vinegar. Perfection!
I will admit though, hot bacon dressing is quite tasty over plain old iceberg and is lovely with the romaine. But I am thinking it would be perfect to slightly wilt a bed of baby spinach with either some raw button or cremini mushrooms, or some grilled portabellos. Oh, the possibilities! While the leftovers taste fine cold, heating it really does bring out the sweet, sour, smoky, and salty flavors. There really is no need to have anything other than some lettuce and this dressing. Though some blue cheese could never hurt…
No recommendations from The Bug, because while he is a pretty good eater, I cannot do anything to get him to eat anything raw, green, and leafy.
Even if I cover it in sweet, creamy, hot bacon dressing goodness….
Crazy kid! But from The Hubby – big thumbs-up! I also managed to polish off the leftovers for lunches the rest of the week. I will never turn down hot bacon dressing!
Make sure to check out all of the other super-fun Retro Recipes at the bottom of this post!
What is your favorite “retro” dish? Do you like the classic version, or have you updated it?
Please let me know what you think of the maple twist on the hot bacon dressing!
Romaine “Wedge” Salad with Hot Maple Bacon Dressing
For the dressing:
- 2 c water
- 1/4 c real maple syrup or 1/3 c sugar
- 2 T cornstarch
- 1 egg or 1/4 c egg substitute
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4-1/3 c cider vinegar
- 6 slices well-cooked crumbled bacon (I used center cut. Regular bacon or turkey bacon works fine, as well)
For each salad:
- Half of a romaine heart
- 5 or 6 grape tomatoes halved
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing:
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the water, syrup, cornstarch, egg, and salt.
- Heat over medium low heat to a simmer, then cook, whisking frequently, until it is hot and starts to thicken.
- Increase the heat and allow to boil slightly to thicken completely.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar and crumbled bacon.
- Serve while still warm, or reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
For each salad:
- Lay the romaine heart on a plate, cut side up.
- Top with the tomatoes, pepper, and a few spoonfuls of the warm dressing.
Sunday Supper Retro Appetizers:
- Irish Cheddar-Whiskey Fondue by girlichef
- She Devils: Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs by Ruffles & Truffles
Sunday Supper Retro Salads:
- Coca-Cola Salad by Magnolia Days
- Salmon Salad | Retro Tuna Salad by Family Foodie
- Ambrosia Salad by Simply Gourmet
- Romaine “Wedge” Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Carrot & Raisin Salad by The Roxx Box
- Sweet & Smoky Broccoli Salad by In The Kitchen with KP
Sunday Supper Retro Breads and Sandwiches:
- Italian Style Bread by The Meltaways
- Creamed Chipped Salmon Jerky on Toast by Pescetarian Journal
- Grown-Up Tuna Melts by Home Cooking Memories
- English Muffin Pizzas by Comfy Cuisine
- Patty Melt, Hand Cut Fries, & a Shake by Mooshu Jenne
- Grown-Up Grilled Cheese With Tomato Soup by Catholic Foodie
- Toast Topper #16: Grandma’s Mock Apricot Jam by What Smells So Good?
SundaySupper Main Dishes:
- Chicken Pot Pie Topped With Bacon Cheddar Biscuits by Chocolate Moosey
- Tuna Noodle Casserole by Country Girl in the Village
- Nana’s Marinated Beef Roast by Supper for a Steal
- Chorizo Scotch Eggs by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Chicken Maryland by Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Mushroom Stroganoff by Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Dairyfree Toast Hawaii by Galactosemia in PDX
- Porcupine Meatballs by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Chicken Kiev by The Urban Mrs.
- Salmon Quiche with Preserved Lemon by Shockingly Delicious
- Steak Diane by Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
- Fried Chicken only in the Oven by In the Kitchen with Audrey
- Hambak Steak a.k.a. Salisbury Steak by Kimchi Mom
- Retro-Redo: Homemade TV Dinner by The Little Ferraro Kitchen
- Kicked Up Meatloaf by Curious Cuisiniere
- Shrimp Scampi (a lighter version) by Kudos Kitchen
- Old-Fashioned Pork Chops by My Trials in the Kitchen
- Jägerschnitzel by Sustainable Dad
- Healthier Hamburger-Corn Noodle Casserole by The Weekend Gourmet
- Inspired by Tuna Noodle Casserole by Cookistry
- Chicken-N-Biscuits Pot Pie Casserole by The Messy Baker Blog
- Souper Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes by Mama.Mommy.Mom
- Meatloaf that will make you swoon and Datz the truth by Midlife Roadtrip
- Spaghetti with Currywurst Sauce by Masala Herb
- Tator Tot Casserole by NeighborFood
Sunday Supper Retro Sides and Veggies:
- Smokey Braised Red Cabbage by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Classic Corn Casserole by The Foodie Army Wife
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Balsamic by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Classic Green Bean Casserole Redux by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Mem’s Broccoli Casserole by Momma’s Meals
Sunday Supper Retro Desserts and Cocktails:
- Peachy Keen Tutti-Frutti Jello by La Cocina de Leslie
- Old School Boozy Rum Cake by Webicurean
- Individual Baked Alaskas by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Rainbow Jello by Cravings of a Lunatic
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake by Noshing with the Nolands
- Pineapple Bars by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Creamy Dairy Free Fresh Orange Julius With Coconut Milk by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Refrigerator Strawberry Cheesecake by There and Back Again
- Frozen Pineapple Upside-Down Cake by Juanita’s Cocina
- Boston Cream Pie by Gotta Get Baked
- Coca-Cola Cupcakes by Daily Dish Recipes
- Jello Poke Cake by Flour On My Face
- Devil’s Food Cake by Maroc Mama
- Bread Pudding with Pecans by Basic and Delicious
- Victoria Sponge Cake by The Lovely Pantry
- A Chocolate Twist on the Classic Japanese Strawberry Shortcake by Ninja Baking
- Post War Apple Pudding by My Cute Bride
- Layered Mini Chocolate Banana Cakes by Big Bears Wife
- Raspberry Jam Cakes by Pippis in the Kitchen Again
- Cocktail: Moscow Mule by Crazy by Crazy Foodie Stunts