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Franglais: The Roquefort Wedge Salad

Posted: 04/ 7/11 03:45 PM ET

2011-04-05-SARETSKYRoquefortWedge.jpg


If it's wrong to expound on the beauty and perfection that is the blue cheese wedge, then I'm sorry. I just don't care. To me, it is the snow-capped Everest of salads. It might even be holy.

Salads can be grueling. You really wanted a burger, but here you are, with a pile of foliage, and a little pot of fat-free Italian on the side, counting calories. It is misery itself. Yes, a halo spins around your head, and your middle names are virtue and penance, but after it all, you know you're binging at 3 o'clock.

But the Blue Cheese Wedge. It is the least PC of all salads. A huge block of the only nutritionally maligned lettuce ever to exist, topped with an avalanche of cheese and creaminess, scattered with, can you believe it, bacon. What could be more Mad Men-kitsch? What could be more naughtily on the verge of nice? It is an unhealthy salad--the only salad you would ever order out of love.

I insist on one a week.

I love that I have to crack it open with a steak knife, and that the last bite makes me feel like a culinary Bear Grylls at the heights of Himalayas. I could have accomplished nothing else that day; but I ate an entire Blue Cheese Wedge. I love how the lettuce crunches to water in by mouth, and how the blue cheese fills my nose with that pungent stench that is somehow so utterly alluring. I love it, pure and simple.

Now imagine replacing the nameless blue cheese with one of the greatest blues to come out of the greatest cheese country in the world: Roquefort, from France. Sharp, almost numbing in its spice, it moves you from Everest to the Alps. Cheese in French salads is rarely so adulterated as to be converted to a dressing, but try it before you knock it. Sometimes, it tastes good to be a bit naughty.

Roquefort Wedge Salads

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

3 ounces room temperature Roquefort cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons half and half
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 small head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 wedges, with the core removed
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts

PROCEDURE

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Roquefort, mayonnaise, half and half, vinegar, and pepper. Leave some lumps. Place each wedge on a plate, and pour the sauce over the top. Top with walnuts, extra pepper, and some additional crumbled Roquefort (optional).

 

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