Livio Velardo of Gotham Bar and Grill | Buttermilk Wedge Salad

A classic wedge with a bright buttermilk dressing

It began with pizza. Livio Velardo was pursuing a psychology and teaching degree, working at a pizzeria for extra cash. But before long, the current chef de cuisine at New York's Gotham Bar and Grill determined he preferred the kitchen to the classroom.

Velardo has since cooked on both coasts, at San Francisco's now-shuttered Rubicon, as well as at New York City's Montrachet, Tabla and New French, now all closed, where he honed his bistro skills. For Tasting Table, he shared a recipe for a basic, incredible wedge salad with bacon and a buttermilk dressing. Refreshing and versatile, you'll want it in your cooking arsenal from now on.

Recipe adapted from Livio Velardo, Gotham Bar and Grill, New York City

Wedge Salad With Bacon, Avocado And Buttermilk Dressing
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Livio Velardo of Gotham Bar and Grill | Buttermilk Wedge Salad
Servings
2
servings (plus leftover dressing)
Ingredients
  • Dressing
  • Buttermilk, ½ cup
  • Sour cream, ¼ cup
  • Mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon
  • Fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons
  • Red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons
  • Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon
  • Large garlic clove, 1 (finely grated on a Microplane-style grater)
  • Fresh chives, ½ bunch (finely chopped; about ¼ cup)
  • Granulated sugar, ⅛ teaspoon
  • Kosher salt, ½ teaspoon
  • Freshly ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon
  • Salad
  • Bacon, 4 thick-cut strips (preferably Vermont applewood-smoked bacon cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick strips)
  • Iceberg lettuce, ½ head (cored and halved lengthwise)
  • Cherry tomatoes, 1 cup (halved)
  • Medium beefsteak tomato, 1 (cored and sliced into wedges)
  • Small red onion, ¼ (thinly sliced lengthwise)
  • Ripe Hass avocado, ½ (pitted and chopped)
Optional Ingredients
  • Gorgonzola cheese, 2 ounces (crumbled; optional)
Directions
  1. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the: Buttermilk Sour cream Mayonnaise Lemon juice Red wine vinegar Dijon mustard Grated garlic Finely chopped chives Granulated sugar Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 2. Cook the bacon: In a medium skillet set over medium heat, add the: Bacon strips Cook the bacon, using the metal spatula to stir it often, until the bacon is browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.
  2. Assemble the salad: Divide among two plates the: Iceberg wedges Halved cherry tomatoes Beefsteak tomato wedges Sliced red onion Chopped avocado Crumbled Gorgonzola (if using) Divide the dressing over the two plates. Serve sprinkled with the: Crispy bacon
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