Iceberg Wedges with Bacon and Buttermilk Dressing

This salad from Thomas Keller's family-style restaurant, Ad Hoc, in Yountville, California, is a twist on the quintessential American combination of iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges and packaged bacon bits with a mayonnaise dressing. Only the iceberg lettuce wedges stay the same: The tomatoes are oven-roasted, the bacon is cut extra thick and the buttermilk dressing is spiked with chives, mint and parsley. More Recipes by Thomas Keller

Iceberg Wedges with Bacon and Buttermilk Dressing
Photo: © Max Kim-Bee
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 40 mins


  • 4 large plum tomatoes (bottoms marked with an X)

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 ounces brioche (cut into 3/4-inch cubes; cups)

  • cup mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup crème fraîche or sour cream

  • ¼ cup buttermilk

  • 2 ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped mint

  • 3 tablespoons snipped chives

  • ½ pound thickly sliced bacon (cut into 2-by-1/2-inch pieces)

  • 2 medium heads of iceberg lettuce (cut into 4 wedges each)


  1. Preheat the oven to 275°. Prepare a bowl of ice water. In a medium pot of boiling water, blanch the tomatoes just until the skins loosen, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the ice water to cool. Drain and peel the tomatoes, pat dry and halve crosswise.

  2. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on a nonstick baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the chopped thyme and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 2 1/2 hours, or until the tomatoes are very tender and slightly shrunken. Transfer the tomatoes to a plate and let cool.

  3. Meanwhile, spread the brioche cubes on a small baking sheet and toast for about 15 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Let the croutons cool.

  4. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, crème fraîche and buttermilk until smooth. Add the lemon juice, parsley, mint and 1 tablespoon of the chives and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled.

  5. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and slightly crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

  6. Put each iceberg wedge on a plate, add a tomato half and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Scatter the croutons and bacon on top. Garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of chives and serve, passing the buttermilk dressing at the table.

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