Iceberg wedge salad, retro food or secret beauty treatment?

Delicious wedge, topped with garlic croutons and blue cheese dressing
Delicious wedge, topped with garlic croutons and blue cheese dressing

Back in the 60’s and 70’s an iceberg lettuce wedge topped with chunky blue cheese dressing was the ultimate in fancy dinner party fare. Micro greens, frisee or even arugula where nowhere to be found in your local supermarket. Artisanal cheese had yet to make an appearance, but, Roquefort (the king of French blues) was available and every good hostess had her own recipe for a killer dressing, including my über stylish Mom. I couldn’t wait to sop up the leavings with a slice of glowing wonder bread whenever Mom made this special dressing. Sadly the wedge fell out of style until recent years when it started appearing on steak house and American classic menus.

A few years back I remember being astounded at the number of calories in my favorite wedge salad, served at the Capitol Grille near Grand Central. Granted it was heaped with cheese, bacon and croutons, but, with more calories than a steak in cognac cream sauce how could this ever be a healthy choice?

If you hold the bacon and restrain yourself to a limited amount of dressing there’s a bit of good news! A team of researchers at a Cambridge-based biotech company Lycotec has published a study in Medical Hypothesis, which revealed why French people may have the edge when it comes to longer life, fewer wrinkles and cardiovascular health. Cheese! The study sites blue cheese, Roquefort in particular.

Caves de Roquefort
Caves de Roquefort

Roquefort cheese, it was shown, could fight inflammation, prevent cardiovascular disease, and when the cheese ripens, the anti-inflammatory properties only grow more powerful, especially in acidic environments. The most notable environments the cheese had an effect on included the skin’s surface and the stomach lining. Because of this study, the researchers urge that the anti-inflammatory elements of Roquefort may be worth extracting to use in cardiovascular drugs and even in anti-aging creams! I just may start putting that left over dressing on my face instead of my bread!

Now that we don’t have to feel guilty about indulging I’d like to share my Mom’s favorite recipe for Roquefort dressing. Easy, delicious and healthy! For pairing suggestions I like to serve with a Chenin Blanc from South Africa but a nice Pinot Blanc from Alsace works nicely as well. Enjoy!

Roquefort Dressing recipe


1.5 cups Sour Cream

1.5 cups Hellman’s Mayo

1 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese

1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

In medium mixing bowl blend all ingredients except cheese till smooth. Fold in cheese with spatula being careful not to over mix. Chill for 1 hr to blend flavors. Keeps for 1 week in fridge.



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