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From The Food For Thought Vaults: Epiphany! Make An Iceberg-Blue Cheese Layer Cake

Deb Perelman's horizontal iceberg lettuce/blue cheese salad

As I tell Nancy Leson in this week's Food for Thought, I have had an iceberg lettuce epiphany.  A voice whispered, "Slice it horizontally." 

The voice was that of Smitten Kitchen food blogger Deb Perelman and I heard it in my head while leafing through her Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, which I bought immediately.

Here's the deal: Instead of cutting the lettuce in the usual wedges, Perelman slices it horizontally, then stacks the layers, drizzling each with blue cheese dressing.  Top with 1/4-inch diced celery and radishes, maybe some bacon or pancetta, and have at it.

Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen blue cheese dressing recipe: 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 small garlic clove, minced 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 2 ounces crumbled firm blue cheese (1/2 cup) 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives Blend buttermilk, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor until smooth. Add blue cheese and pulse until cheese is incorporated but dressing is still slightly chunky. Transfer to a bowl and stir in chives. Makes about 1 1/4 cups of dressing.

Flame away, lettuce snobs, but I'm making this one as soon as I get home.

"The embarrassing thing is that the salad dressing is out-grossing my films."

– Paul Newman

Note: This episode of Food For Thought originally aired on June 5, 2013.


Dick Stein has been with KNKX since January, 1992. His duties include hosting the morning jazz show and co-hosting and producing the Food for Thought feature with the Seattle Times’ Nancy Leson. He was writer and director of the three Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen. Previous occupations include the USAF, radio call-in show host, country, classical and top-40 DJ, chimney sweep, window washer and advertising copywriter.