Summer salad season has commenced, and warm weather cooking is focused on easy fare with minimal heat and prep. My body always craves crunchy and fresh foods when the temperature rise, and I certainly try and avoid lengthy time in the kitchen. A classic wedge salad typically features iceberg lettuce, blue cheese dressing, and bacon - tasty but not very nutritious. For a more virtuous spin on the classic wedge, consider this salad which features yogurt ranch dressing and crunchy romaine lettuce along with other vegetables -all topped with smokey almonds.
To emulate traditional ranch dressing, I used siggi’s plain skyr as the base. It is thicker, creamier, and has higher amounts of protein than other greek-style yogurts on the market. Siggi’s also contains no added sugar and is made with simple ingredients with lots of flavor. To create a ranch-like taste profile, the skyr is mixed with fresh dill and chives, lemon juice, and garlic, building a zippy and creamy topping for the greens. Don’t just stop with salad, use this dressing as a dip with fresh veggies or with grilled or roasted meat or fish.
Traditional wedge salads have a signature layer of bacon. Smoked paprika almonds, sweetened with a touch of maple syrup, add a similar smokey/sweet layer to the salad. Crunchy radish, cucumber, tomatoes, and bell peppers all come together for a colorful and refreshing take on a classic steakhouse staple.
If you prefer not to knife and fork it, chop up the romaine and toss everything together with the dressing for a tasty chopped salad instead.
wedge salad with yogurt ranch dressing and smoked paprika almonds
smoked paprika almonds
1 cup almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
yogurt ranch dressing
1/2 cup siggi’s plain whole milk 4% skyr
1 garlic clove, grated
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dill and chives, finely chopped
1 head of romaine or 2 hearts of romaine, rinsed, dried, and sliced lengthwise into quarters, or halves, depending on size of romaine
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 orange or red bell pepper, diced
2 Persian cucumbers, diced
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 tablespoon chives and/or dill, minced for garnish
To make the smoked paprika almonds: preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Combine the almonds, olive oil, maple syrup, paprika, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Toss the almonds to coat evenly. Spread the nuts out in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until fragrant and lightly toasted. Cool to room temperature and roughly chop. You will likely have more than you need for the salad - enjoy as a flavorful snack!
To make the yogurt ranch dressing: whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust salt/acid, if needed.
To make the salad: arrange the romaine on a serving platter. Drizzle dressing over lettuce. Top with radish, peppers, cucumber tomatoes, and almonds. Enjoy immediately.