Wedge Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

Wedge Salad with Cheddar Cheese
Serves 4-6

The classic Iceberg Wedge Salad can be as simple or as dressed up as you like. This recipe is for a version with a homemade dressing that is very pleasing on the pallet. Shown in the photo is a version with balsamic dressing and cheddar cheese.

1 large, firm, head Iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 or 6 wedges, as desired
6 strips bacon, fried and crumbled
1 small red onion, sliced into rings
1 Granny Smith apple, julienned*
1 rib celery, finely diced
½ cup carrots (julienned)*
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 Cucumber, sliced (optional)
1 cup glazed pecans, crushed, candied (optional)*
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder

*Julienne, or allumette, is a culinary knife cut in which the food item is cut into long, thin, strips, similar to matchsticks.

1. Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble when cool, and set aside.
2. Combine dressing with pepper puree and oil. Stir well.
3. Top each lettuce wedge with dressing drizzle. Sprinkle with cheese, bacon, vegetables and pecans.
4. Garnish with red onion rings and julienned Granny Smith apples.

Roasted Red Pepper Aioli
1 small bottle ranch-style dressing
2 roasted red bell peppers, seeded
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1. Puree peppers with oil
2. Combine with dressing

Candied Pecans
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup pecan halves

1. Combine ingredients except pecans in a skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until candy thermometer shows 220 F degrees.
2. Remove from heat; add pecans and stir until well coated. Spread on wax paper and separate with fork.